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Stem Cells

This presentation was made for an ISP Project. Specifically designed to target grades 6-8 using easy to understand vocabulary. I hope this information is useful! You can email me at stemcells67l@gmail.com for any questions. Ryan :D

Ryan Chan

on 15 March 2016

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Transcript of Stem Cells

The definition from scientists:
What scientists want to achieve:
Scientists and researchers alike have big plans for stem cells. They want:
- to use patient's own stem cells to grow their own organs.
- to easily grow human parts
- to treat diseases
- to use them as messengers
What are they being used for?
Stem cells are mostly used for the following purposes:
- The treating of certain diseases
- Research
- Experiments
What is a Stem Cell?
Can anyone name a book/movie with clones in it?
What is a chimera in Greek mythology?
Hybrids are organisms that have parents who are both genetically different.
Adult Stem Cells
- Are multipotent cells
- They are cells found in fully formed tissues disregard the age of the person.
- Found in a variety of tissues (fatty tissue, intestine, liver, lungs, skeletal muscles, brain, blood vessels, heart muscle)
- They are supposed to replenish tissue cells when they wear out or die.
- Many adult stem cells are inactive, like bears in hibernation
- Their job is to create new cells in their respective tissues as needed throughout the body’s life.

About Stem Cells
Mixing and matching cells
Adult Stem Cells
Stem Cells
What do you know about stem cells?
A stem cell is an undifferentiated cell of a multicellular organism that is capable of giving rise to indefinitely more cells of the same type, and from which certain other kinds of cell arise by differentiation.
Did anyone understand that?
A stem cell is:
- A cell that can self-renew for a really long period of time
- It can create/reproduce more stem cells and specialized cells

Working with animals and other organisms
Question: What does animals and other organisms have to do with stem cell research?
Why do animals and organisms play a big role in stem cell research?
I know this sounds bad, but scientists use animals to figure out and test things that might work on humans.
Humans, animals and other organisms have similar types of cells:
- Eukaryotic Cells (a distinct nucleus and cell membrane)
- Prokaryotic Cells (no distinct nucleus or cell membrane)
The role of mice in stem cell research:
Who thinks that mice have nothing to do with stem cell research?
Some facts about the role of mice in stem cell research:
- 2 CANADIAN researchers, James Till and Ernest McCulloch experimented on mice.
- They exposed the mice to high doses of radiation (Which is really bad)
- Practically the mice's immune system got killed.
- They injected the mice with bone marrow cells.
- What happened? The mice lived!

This paved the way to many more solutions to how to treat leukemia and other bone marrow diseases, all because of CANADIAN researchers!
Understanding Cells
Anyone have an idea of what a cell might look like or be like?
Cells are basically balloons filled with non-explosive chemicals and water. (Michael Bay proof cells)
Stem cell structure/reproduction
Symmetric Division: when the cell reproduces itself
the same.
Asymmetric Division: when the cell reproduces itself, creating different cells every time.
What if other materials want to go inside?
No offense intended
Before we can move on to stem cells, we must first understand what cells are.
Does anyone know the story about Prometheus and his liver?
Did you know that your liver can regrow even if it is 3/4 damaged? WOW!
Animals that have regenerative powers:
Crayfish: claws, legs
Earthworms: bodies
Frogs: Hind legs
Newt/Starfish: legs
Planaria: Cut it into 32 pieces and you will have 32 flat worms. It has that many stem cells that it can regenerate into 32 INDIVIDUAL worms.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), humans CANNOT regrow their own arms or legs. But, they can regrow and .
This is why scientists want to use stem cells to regrow organs and limbs for patients who need it.
Example of stomach cancer patient. If their stomach gets cut out, scientists can create a new stomach for the patient using stem cells.
Now, let's watch a video related to cells. YAY! VIDEOS!
By: Ryan
Embryonic Stem Cells
What are embryonic stem cells?
Where do we find them?
Embryonic stem cells can be found in a blastocyst. If the blastocyst is grown properly, then the inner cell mass are embryonic stem cells.
Potency of cells
There are 3 types of potency:
Pluripotent: cells that can generate any kind of cell in the adult body. Embryonic cells are pluripotent. They can give rise (create) to any cell type.
Multipotent: (technically means the same thing as pluripotent) used to describe cells that give rise (create) specific types of cells such as different blood cells, or skin cells. Adult stem cells are multipotent.
Totipotent: the potential to create all types of cells in an organisms at any stage of development. Totipotency is EXTREMELY RARE. In humans and other mammals (as far as scientists know) have only the first 8 cells created in our blastocyst to be totipotent, since those cells create all the other cells. Basically if you were totipotent you could regenerate.
What embryonic stem cells CANNOT do
-They cannot make babies
-They cannot be used to clone adults
-They cannot cure diseases by themselves
-Embryonic stem cells cannot solve our medical problems overnight
What embryonic cells might be able to do
They might be able to:
-create cells and tissues that can be transplanted in humans
-develop drugs that are cheaper and more effecting in treating diseases
-growing replacement parts (new limbs, organs, skin)
How do they work?
- Many tissues have adult stem cells
- Their level of activity depends on what type of tissue they reside in.
- Human skin, is particularly rich in adult stem cells, because you shed a lot of dead skin everyday
- In other tissues like the liver, the adult stem cells most of the time “hang out” in the liver. Only when they are signaled to produce more stem cells, then they do. Scientists are trying to figure that signal that the stem cells receive in order to start producing.

Adult Stem Cells
- Researchers have identified a lot of what seem to be adult stem cells.
- Here are some miscellaneous stem cells. Get it? Mis
aneous? Hahaha
- Heart stem cells (more to yes)
- Intestinal stem cells (do not know)
- Lung stem cells (more to yes)
- Pancreas stem cells (do not know)
- Scientists want to figure out if these stem cells exist.
- Scientists are trying to figure out if they can grow more adult stem cells using embryonic stem cells.

What do you think about if I said the following words:
All of these words show that cells were mixing and matching.
You are all hybrids! Me, you, everyone.
- Hybrids include things like corn, mules, and babies
- Did you know that:
- Peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint and water mint?
- Wheat: a hybrid of three wild grasses
- Scientists use hybrids to study heridty

Fire-breathing lion whose tail was a serpent and who had a goat head on its butt.
- Chimeric mice are being analyzed to see if they can help with the ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease
- By studying mice they can play with the neurons

- Cloning means when two organisms are genetically identical (such as identical twins, but not fraternal twins)
- cloning can lead to cloning of stem cells

Looking into cancer's cradle: Cancer stem cells
What is cancer
-Cancer is a disease
-It is a result of genetic changes
-Caused by chemicals, radiation and certain types of viruses/bacteria
-Can be genetically passed
-There are around types of cancer
Cancer cells are different than normal cells in a few ways:
-They divide abnormally
-They do not die when they should
-They can spread everywhere
Main types of cancer:
- Brain and spinal cord cancer (nervous system)
- Carcinomas cancer (skin cancer or any epithelial tissues)
- Leukemias (bone marrow and blood-forming tissues)
- Lymphomas and myelomas (immune system)
- Sarcomas (bone, muscle, and connective tissues i.e. tendons)

The of stem cells
Cancer is a field that requires more research.
Cancer stem cells are basically stem cells but cancerous.
How can scientists manipulate these cancerous stem cells so that they do not produce cancer cells anymore?
Using stem cells to understand and treat neurodegenerative diseases
Question: What does neurodegenerative mean?
These diseases are:
-attacking the central nervous system
-some of the most evil of human diseases
-can result in mental and physical disability
More on neurodegenerative diseseases
Some types include:
-ALS (Lou Gehrig's)

They are common diseases.
They are either impossible or nearly impossible to treat with today's equipment
Common signs include:
-loss of neurons
-neurons lose connection with nerve cells
Alzheimer's Disease:
unknown cause
-most common form of dementia
-loss of synapses
-synapses are the intersections
-normally the memory, learning and problem solving parts of the brain lose their synapses first
-progressive disease
-sporadic disease
-can compare with dead neurons/synapses to stem cells
-can try to grow neurons/synapses

Lou Gehrig's Disease:
-starts with muscle weakness
is p
-basically an untreatable disease
-sometimes it just suddenly stops for no reason
ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
(Stephen Hawking)
stem cells can be mutated to see how they interact with ALS cells
embryonic stem cells can be used to grow new motor neurons
Parkinson's Disease
Relatively common
uncontrollable tremors and muscle rigidity
largely sporadic
mostly caused by external forces
not enough dopamine
dopamine is a chemical that registers pleasure and controlling movement
drugs can release dopamine
stem cells can make dopaminergic neurons
Spinal Cord: Facts and Injuries
Question: What is your spinal cord?
-transmits pulses from brain to your body
-designed to protect against shock
-susceptible to falls (shock), car crash (shock) gun shot wound (shock)
When hurt, the inflammed part is striped of myelin, the protective thing that protects the nerves and the signal senders.
Injuries are devastating.
severe paralysis
breathing problems
susceptible to infection
myelin complications
Can stem cells be used to make myelin producing cells?
Where we are now: Stem Cell Treatments
2 stem cell treatments that work so far:
Bone Marrow Transplants
Inject transplant
Leukemia free blood
suitable donors: 1/2 of patients
Skin Grafting
mild burns
skin stem cells
taking skin from body and sewing it on to the burn
skin will regrow
easy to get infected
Kinesthetic Activity
Yay! Game!
Please wait for instructions
One last video, to summarize what we learned today
Stem cell researchers and scientists look at organisms with a different perspective and angle than normal people do.
The cell becomes like a camp Half-Blood.
- Let's only certain things in
-Let's only certain things not in
Definition from Ryan:
Protein Receptors
Stem Cells: An overview
There are 3 types of stem cells:
- Adult Stem Cells
- Embryonic Stem Cells
- Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
We are now going to discuss 2 of them, due to the fact that the last one requires more research in from scientists and researchers.
A pluripotent cell
They are created from leftover embryos that are willingly donated by patients from fertility clinics.
As humans, we are naturally hybrids. By studying hybrids, scientists can apply certain techniques to chimeras and cloning.
(2012-5.4 million Americans-Alzheimer's-1.8%)
2,500-3,000 Canadians are suffering from ALS
More than 100,000 Canadians since 2012 suffer from Parkinson's.
Michael J. Fox
With all this research going on, scientists hope to resolve many serious health problems with stem cells in the next 5-20 years.
Ten Possibilities for the Future of Stem Cells:
- Fighting and Winning the War on Cancer
- Developing Stem Cell Direction Drugs
- Growing Tissues in the Lab
- Healing Spinal Cord Injuries
- Improving Treatments for Neurodegenerative Diseases
- Helping Stroke Victims
- Beating Multiple Sclerosis
- Reversing Retinal Degeneration
- Fixing a Broken Heart
- Assisting Diabetes Patients
Full transcript