Last week, we hosted about 70 eleventh and twelfth-grade students from Rabin High School in Haifa, who got a rare glimpse into the fascinating research in stem cells.
Dr. Nadav Sharon opened the visit with a lecture on stem cells, which are responsible for maintaining the integrity of our body tissues and can be used as a source for transplantation as a therapy.
He discussed organoids – miniaturized versions of living organs, currently used to study the biology of healthy human tissue, understand disease mechanisms, and test drugs and treatments for cancer, diabetes, and many other diseases.
He explained about embryonic stem cells that can differentiate into any of the hundreds of cell types in the human body and also how green mice are created (spoiler – transplantation of a jellyfish gene) and how Dolly the cloned sheep was created.
The students then toured the faculty labs, witnessing how embryonic stem cells are induced to become insulin-producing cells, which could be transplanted into diabetes patients in the future. They visited the Center for Structural Biology, learning about crystal growing, and also toured the cannabis research lab for cancer.