Some pretty amazing and cutting edge scientific work goes on behind the walls of the International Centre for Life, but that’s not always visible to the public. We’re not just an ice rink or a place for school trips and somewhere to go on a rainy Bank Holiday. In labs and offices around Times Square we host biotechnology companies, a fertility clinic, and biomedical research and services. We’ve even been in the news lately.
Some of our labs work with stem cells and we are part of the North East Stem Cells Institute (NESCI). Our bodies are made up of cells that make up tissues that make up organs that make up us. We have a lot of specialised cells. Skin cells, heart cells, eye cells. The trouble is skin cells will only ever be skin cells, heart cells will only ever be heart cells. That’s a problem if some of our tissues get damaged.
Stem cells are different. Stem cells can turn into different types of cells found in the body. These could offer huge potential for use in medicine, helping our bodies repair themselves, but there is a lot we still don’t know about how we could or should use them. At the International Centre for Life research is ongoing, looking at treatments for corneal damage, blood diseases, wound healing and diabetes. There is a long list of things that stem cells could help us treat.
Our visitors are keen to know what’s going on behind these closed doors, and we like to help where we can. Soon we open the doors to a new temporary exhibition highlighting the research and potential of Stem Cells. If you’re visiting Life Science Centre over the next few months, look out for Super Cells. We’re excited about where stem cells might take us, we hope you are too.
Super Cells is open from 28 February – 19 April 2015 and is included in your Science Centre ticket.