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EuroStemCell toolkit

A growing set of downloadable, mix-and-match stem cell resources and activities suitable for a variety of educational settings. All components have been extensively tested, and come with full instructions.

Available in several European languages.

ISSCR: a closer look at stem cell treatments

Helps patients evaluate stem cell treatments

Let's Talk Stem Cells

This activity provides teachers with a resource which supports (i) an understanding of stem cells, (ii) how they can be used therapeutically, and (iii) a discussion activity which raises some of the issues relating to stem cells. In the Scottish Curriculum, the resource supports CfE level 4 science outcomes and the stem cell outcomes from National 4 and 5 Biology.

This resource also helps teachers encourage young people to:

  • make informed personal decisions and choices<
  • express opinions and show respect for others' views
  • develop informed social, moral and ethical views of scientific, economic and environmental issues
  • discuss and debate scientific ideas and issues.

StemCellShorts - What are induced pluripotent stem cells?

The third in a series of short (around 1 minute) animated films that answer basic questions about stem cell research.

Celebrated by the 2012 Nobel Prize in Medicine, a type of cell known as an "induced pluripotent stem cell" or "iPS cell" has important implications for the emerging field of biomedical technology. In this video, Canadian scientist Dr. Mick Bhatia explains how iPS cells are created and how they can be used to create new therapies for human disease.

For a more detailed look at iPS cells, and accompanying resources, see Stem cells - the future: an introduction to iPS cells.

StemCellShorts - What are embryonic stem cells?

Part 2 in a series of short (around 1 minute) animated videos answering basic questions about stem cell research. This video is about embryonic stem cells and is narrated by Janet Rossant.

Since their first discovery, embryonic stem (ES) cells have been the focus of intense research and public scrutiny. Derived from discarded 5-day old embryos (typically obtained from patients undergoing in vitro fertilization), this type of stem cell possesses the ability to create any tissue in the human body and replicate indefinitely in culture conditions. Because of these properties, ES cells represent a unique research opportunity to understand human development and create new therapies for disease.

StemCellShorts - What is a stem cell?

The first in a series of short (around 1 minute) animated films that answer basic questions about stem cell research.

A seminal paper published in 1961 by Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch was the first academic study to prove the existence of an exciting new type of cell, the stem cell. Since this foundational study, the promise of stem cells and their application to human disease has grown tremendously, their potential only beginning to be realized. This animated video, narrated by Dr. Till, provides a brief explanation of this early study as well as explaining the two basic concepts that define the answer to the question "What is a stem cell?"

What are stem cells? - a TED-Ed lesson

This short animated TED-Ed video introduces the different types of stem cell and their potential to treat disease.

Includes Q&A and discussion questions.

Animation: Disease modelling with cells

How are stem cells used to model disease in the laboratory? This 3-minute animation gives a clear, simple and visually appealing explanation of what disease modelling is, why it is useful and how it is done.

This animation was created for EuroStemCell by animator Duncan Brown, with scientific content by researcher Dr Christian Unger and voiceover by Dr Nathan Adams. It is supported by an accompanying factsheet on reprogrammed cells in disease modelling.

TELESCOPE: Embryonic stem cell research and ethics

TELESCOPE is a set of scenarios and discussion prompts to support a debate on the ethical questions surrounding embryonic stem cell research and its applications. The materials were developed as part of a 2-day event culminating in a video conference debate between two schools, but the activities lend themselves equally well to in-class discussion and debate.

Prior knowledge needed

Students will need an understanding of what embyronic stem cells are, how an embryo develops and what invitro fertilisation (IVF) is. You may find the following materials useful to introduce key concepts prior to using the TELESCOPE discussion cards:

T.E.L.E.S.C.O.P.E. stands for Trans-European Learning on Embryonic Stem Cells and debate Opinions on Policies in Europe. It was an initiative of the EU research project ESTOOLS, which has now closed. More information about the original event series is on the ESTOOLS website.

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