Today was the second day of Junior Urban Adventure. We as a group, ‘Life against Life’, went to Harvard University and met one of the stem cell researchers, Joe Zhou. He explained to us precisely what he has been doing relating to stem cell research, specifically, regeneration; actually, he said that stem cell research is the part of regeneration research because the way stem cell research is applied is rooted from regeneration. He mentioned salamanders as an example when explaining about regeneration; when the gut of salamander was cut off, it did not die but regenerated the organ. This was interesting because, one day, as the regeneration research is improved, such specialized regenerating stem cell will be applied to a human’s specific organ.
After lunch, we traveled to Harvard Medical School in Boston. We met with professor Tracy, and Christina, two doctors researching IPS on how to use adult stem cells on Alzheimer’s disease. Fist, Dr. Tracy showed us a power point presenting the research of stem cells in an overview and the contrasts between a healthy brain and a brain infected with the Alzheimer’s disease. After, we looked at an electron microscope and saw the projections of the images on a computer screen. Christina described to us what the images were showing. We asked Dr. Tracy what her point of view on embryonic stem cell research was and she said that she wasn’t against embryonic stem cell research, but that they don’t use it for Alzheimer’s disease. We learned that there are two sides to every argument.