The stem cells in our body have an extraordinary regenerative potential. Scientists hope to be able to harness that potential in the lab and use it to cure diseases.
The European Consortium for Stem Cell Research, or EuroStemCell, has sponsored a 15-minute documentary on stem cell research – an ever-present topic in current public discussions about science.
A stemcell story traces a path that goes from the properties of these “multi-purpose” cells to their current medical applications - including the treatment of leukemia and burns - all the way to future scientific and clinical breakthroughs such as the treatment of metabolic or neurological disorders and the development of new drugs.
Research in this field is progressing rapidly. The documentary describes the main challenges scientists from all over the world are trying to cope with. One of the mysteries that captivate experts is the stem cells’ ability to “make decisions” during their development cycle, resulting in the tissues that make up specific body parts. Understanding how that happens is one of the goals of research and a key to understanding life itself.
Four prominent European experts, namely Austin Smith, Yann Barrandon, Jennifer Nichols and Daniel Pipeleers, accompany the audience on this journey into the world of stem cells.