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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

   

   

   

 

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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