Educator Resources

Class Discussion
Establish Prior Knowledge

Review what students know about the human heart. Ask students to give their opinions on whether the human heart has the ability to regenerate cells. Tell students that in the snapshot they are about to see, researchers have uncovered new information about heart cell regeneration.


Have students watch the Snapshot and read the synopsis. Use the following questions to guide a class discussion.

  • What did researchers focus on to come to the conclusion that heart cells can regenerate?
  • What was the result of atomic bomb testing in the late 1940s?
  • How did radioactive carbon-14 get into the DNA of human cells?
  • What method did researchers use to infer that the heart can replace 1 percent of its cells per year?


Use the following questions to wrap-up your discussion:

  • How might researchers use these findings in the future?
  • Suppose you were a researcher, what would your next question be?