Mr. Poruban Stem Cells/Project Genetics & Biotechnology

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Mr. Poruban Stem Cells/Project Genetics & Biotechnology

Visit the Genetic Science Learning Center’s Website at:

Navigate to the section titled “The Nature of Stem Cells” and go through the tutorial. Please press the “CC” button at the bottom left corner of the page to read what is being narrated.

  1. What is a stem cell?

  1. When a cell is differentiating, what does it mean?

  1. How does a fertilized egg turn into an embryo?

  1. About how many different types of cells are there in our body?­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

  1. What is another word for adult stem cells?

  1. What are somatic cells? Please give an example of somatic cells.

  1. Where else in the body are somatic stem cells found?

  1. What is the common factor between the orgin of our various cells, tissues, & organs?

At the top left corner of the page, click on “Stem Cells” then once you are back at the homepage, please click on the “Stem Cell Quick Reference” section. Please read about the 3 types of cells (not about therapeutic cloning) and then answer the following questions. Each type of cell will only be used once as an answer for the following 3 questions.

  1. What type of cell can be reprogrammed in a laboratory to become almost any cell in the body?

  2. What type of cell can be taken out of a very early embryo (called a blastocyte) and have the potential to become any cell in the body?

  1. What type of cell can be found in various locations throughout the body, but may be difficult to isolate and grow in the laboratory?

At the top left corner of the page, click on “Stem Cells” then once you are back at the homepage, please click on the “Go Go Stem Cells” section.

Pluripotent: refers to the ability to become almost any kind of cell in the body.

  1. What is a stem cell niche?

Choose 3 out of the following 5 niches to complete.

Brain Cell Niche:

  1. What type of cell sends & receives signal in your brain? __________________________________

  2. What is the hippocampus region of the brain responsible for doing?__________________________


  1. Summarize how memories are formed in the brain. _______________________________________



Hair Follicle Cell Niche:

  1. What 3 type of cells form a protective barrier around your body? ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­____________________________

  2. What are stem cells in the hair follicle are responsible for doing? ____________________________

  3. Summarize how new hair grows using stem cells. _________________________________________



Intestinal Cell Niche:

  1. What are the cells inside the intestine that look like tiny finger-like projections called? What are their function? ______________________________________________________________________

  2. Summarize how stem cells are used to make new villi? _____________________________________



Bone Cell Niche:

  1. What do the stem cells in your bones (a living organ) do as a function? _________________________

  2. What is a type of bone cell that helps build and repair bones by secreting a special kind of extracellular matrix that contains the protein collagen? _______________________________________________

  3. Summarize how do osteoblasts build bone? _______________________________________________



Blood Cell Niche:

  1. What is the stem cell niche responsible for making blood cells? _____________________________

  2. What is hemoglobin? ____________________________________________________________

  3. What is the main function of the red blood cell? _______________________________________

  4. Circulation takes its toll on hard-working red blood cells and usually become damaged over time. About how long do red blood cells survive in your body? ____________________________________________

  5. Why do you think the Red Blood Cell’s organelles are lost? To make room for all of the hemoglobin.

  6. Blood is made up of many different cell types that do a variety of jobs. What 3 types of cells make up the blood & what are their functions? ___________________________________________________

The Project:

As you learned from the information above, there are many different types and portential uses for stem cells. Pick a type of stem cell or application that interests you. Research and gather information about that topic.

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