Simple ‘eye’ grown from stem cells

A Japanese team of researchers have turned embryonic mouse stem cells into a very basic eye, or ‘optic cup’. This video shows a time-lapse of the cells self-organising into the structure:

As you watch the video and read the article, think about the following curriculum links:

  • How do cells ‘organise’ and how do stem cells become differentiated?
  • What might be the therapeutic uses of this in the future?
  • What functionality does this ‘eye’ have compared to ours?

“Remarkably, the rudimentary eye and the different types of cells it contained took shape spontaneously from a floating cluster of embryonic stem cells the scientists had cultured.”

The Guardian has a good article on the story. The original paper was published in Nature (paywall), but their Scitable area has a very good focus on stem cells.

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About Stephen

Director of Learning & MYP Coordinator at Canadian Academy, Kobe, Japan. Formerly MYP HS Science & IBDP Bio teacher and missing it terribly. Twitterist (@sjtylr), dad and bloggerer.

Posted on April 7, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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