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How to make a human

Technology meets biology with our new stem cell robots

How to make a human was developed by one of our Principal Investigators Dr Elisa Laurenti in partnership with Dr Stephane Magnenat, researcher in educational robotics, EPFL, Switzerland.

The activity presents the robot as a pluripotent stem cell, which requires programming to become a specific cell lineage. Visitors are taken through the choices a cell makes during differentiation and are then tasked with programming their robot by filling out a specially designed bar code. The robot is then put to the test, as it reads the code and makes it way across a floor map, making choices until it reaches it's cell type of choice.

We launched the activity at Cambridge Science Festival 2016 with two hands on days in the Guildhall on 12 and 13 March, and a session at the Clinical School on 20 March. Since then the robots have featured at a number of festivals and events and even returned to the Science Festival for a second year in a row!

Funded by a Public Engagement Seed Fund grant from the Stem Cell Institute

   

   

   

RSS Feed Latest news

Affiliate group leader Florian Merkle named Robertson Stem Cell Investigator

Oct 23, 2019

The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) announced the 2019 class of NYSCF – Robertson Investigators, welcoming six of the most talented stem cell researchers and neuroscientists into the NYSCF Investigator Program.

First cell map of developing human liver reveals how blood and immune system develop

Oct 09, 2019

In a world first, scientists have created the human developmental liver cell atlas that provides crucial insights into how the blood and immune systems develop in the foetus. It maps changes in the cellular landscape of the developing liver between the first and second trimesters of pregnancy, including how stem cells from the liver seed other tissues to support the high demand for oxygen needed for growth.

Diabetes drug reverses cell ageing and could stop multiple sclerosis

Oct 08, 2019

New research published in Cell Stem Cell suggests a common diabetes drug could hold the key to stopping disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS). The new finding offers hope to people living with advanced forms of the condition, who currently have no treatment and often see disability as inevitable.

Stem cell studies offer hope for childhood neurological condition

Oct 03, 2019

Two new studies by an international team of researchers report progress in using stem cells to develop new therapies for Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD), a rare genetic condition affecting boys that can be fatal before 10 years of age.

Cancer cells ‘corrupt’ their healthy neighbours

Aug 28, 2019

The healthy cells immediately surrounding a tumour become more stem cell-like and support cancer growth, reveals a new study published in Nature. The discovery was made during a research collaboration between Dr Joo-Hyeon Lee at the Wellcome – MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and Dr Ilaria Malanchi at the Francis Crick Institute.

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The Cambridge Stem Cell Institute is a world-leading centre for stem cell research.

Our mission: to transform human health through a deep understanding of stem cell biology.

 

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