Establish Prior Knowledge
Call on students to share what they know about stem cells and how stem cells might be used. If necessary direct students to this website:
Explain that in recent years scientists have been able to turn human skin cells into stem cells – but there have been challenges. Tell students that the snapshot they are about to see highlights a new and safer method for creating stem cells from skin cells.
Have students watch the Snapshot and read the synopsis. Use the following questions to guide a class discussion.
- What method did scientists use in 2007 to insert genes into the DNA of skin cells?
- What flaw did this method have?
- Describe the new method scientists used to insert genes into the DNA of skin cells.
- In what ways was this method an improvement over the 2007 method?
- What do you think is the next step for research scientists?
- Why do researchers want to share these new stem cells with researchers around the world?