EuroStemCell newsletter: May 2012

Hope Beyond Hype

If you haven't seen it yet, check out OptiStem's recently-launched graphic story. It's been getting great reviews around the web, and the story it tells - of the journey from basic research to clinical trials and therapies - is one we will increasingly focus on in the next two years. Read our How are we doing? story for more on this. We're keen to hear your feedback and ideas - on these stories and others.This newsletter is sent out monthly. For more regular updates, you can also follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook page or subscribe to our RSS feeds. You have received this newsletter because you have signed up to the EuroStemCell site, or have been involved in a related project. If you do not wish to receive subsequent editions, please use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this message.

OptiStem launches Hope Beyond Hype on International Clinical Trials Day

“The strangest discoveries can end up saving lives… like the discovery that skin could be grown in a dish.”

So starts an inventive 16 page graphic story that tells a story of stem cells from lab bench discoveries to working therapy.  The graphic story, Hope Beyond Hype, grew from the desire of OptiStem, a large European consortium of stem cell researchers, to go beyond just explaining the science of stem cells.  They wanted to depict the process they undertake as they try to move stem cell research on towards clinical trials and therapies. 

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How do you teach stem cells?

On Monday 4 June from 8-9pm (UK time) we're hosting an #asechat on how to teach stem cells, on Twitter. It's a topic we've thought a lot about, as we've developed, tested and refined a whole suite of tools and resources to support anyone interested in teaching stem cells. We're really looking forward to the discussion!

What is #asechat?

#asechat is a weekly online science education discussion group organized by the Association for Science Education. The discussion is conducted via Twitter. #asechat takes place on Monday evenings from 8.00-9.00pm (UK time). Everyone is welcome.

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EuroStemCell's first two years, in pictures: how are we doing?

Last month - two years since this EuroStemCell project kicked off - we brought partners, funders and advisory board members together to take stock of the project. At the 2 day meeting, hosted by our partner CRG in Barcelona (pictured left), we explored 3 questions:

1. what have we achieved so far?
2. what have we learned?
3. what should our priorities be for the next two years, and beyond?

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NeuroStemcell group finds a new way to turn stem cells into neurons

A study coordinated by Malin Parmar at the University of Lund has developed  a new method to convert human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) into functioning brain cells. Researchers say that the technique is twice as fast to perform as previous methods and reduces the risk of tumour formation, one of the most common obstacles in stem cell transplantations.

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New purpose-built stem cell research facility in Edinburgh

The £54 million Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine (SCRM) was officially opened by Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal this week.

The University of Edinburgh’s Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine will carry out cutting-edge stem cell research to help find therapies for patients with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, and heart and liver diseases.

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Munster scoops the Debating Science Issues 2012 title

Secondary school students from all of Ireland participated in the fifth All-Ireland Final of the Debating Science Issues (DSI) competition. The final took place on Thursday, 19 April, in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin.

DSI is a dynamic, cross border debating competition which invites young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science.

Instructions to conduct this project on any scale can be found in the EuroStemCell toolkit.

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Stem cell resources: recent additions to our directory

We're cataloging useful resources from across the globe. To search the full list or add your own, visit our stem cell resources page.