Skylar’s Stem Cells

This past week, I was completely in awe of all the amazing research being conducted through the BSURF program this summer. Everyone did an incredible job explaining their projects and practicing the communication part of science that is so important. While all the talks left me with some fascinating pieces of science to think about, one of the presentations that really stuck with me was Skylar’s chalk talk about iPSCs and HESCs.

My personal research interests intersect a lot with the ethical concerns in the scientific community, in the way scientific research is conducted, presented, and applied in practical settings. Hearing her talk about this different way of using induced pluripotent stem cells to avoid the ethical concerns of utilizing human embryonic stem cells I thought addressed a very interesting question that arises a lot in scientific, especially biology, research that I don’t think gets talked about enough.

The second part of her project was just as intriguing to think about: comparing neural progenitor cells in chimps and humans to see how regulation in the genes of interest in these cells differ. The whole time I was listening, I kept thinking about what a neat application of science to focus on. The hybrid model, to me, was especially interesting in the way that it helped to control for and eliminate potential confounding factors, like their (chimp and human) environment. I can’t wait to see what new things were discovered at Skylar’s poster presentation, and I am definitely looking forward to hearing more about her amazing stem cell research.

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