Stem Cell Futures: an introduction to iPS cells

This 16 minute video, ideal for general audiences and biology students aged 16+, tells the story of one of this century's most extraordinary scientific discoveries - induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells.

Nobel prize-winning medical doctor and scientist Shinya Yamanaka describes the experiments that arose from his desire to help his spinal cord injury patients. Together with other leading stem cell researchers, Yamanaka talks about the scientific, medical and ethical implications of his discovery that mature cells, such as skin cells, can be 'reprogrammed' into a new type of stem cell - iPS cells - that behave like embryonic stem cells.

Cameron Duguid's distinctive and appealing animations take us inside the reprogrammed cell, and bring the science to life on screen.

Using the film in the classroom

This short film has been carefully structured to work well as an engaging educational tool for 16+ year olds. Download our quick quiz below to support use of the film in the classroom.

If you can't access YouTube where you are, try Stem cells - the future on Vimeo


Amy Hardie and Clare Blackburn, the University of Edinburgh. We welcome requests to screen films or licence footage - please get in touch.

Director: Amy Hardie

Science producer: Clare Blackburn

Producers: Katia Hervy, Lili Sandelin, Amy Hardie, Clare Blackburn

Animator: Cameron Duguid