Try this!
Here you have the video.

Remember, for B1EG, deadline 22nd April.

Some of you wanted me to add some comments about the video, so here you are:

Specialised cells can't make copies of themselves, that's why we need stem cells to replace cells that die, are damaged or used up.
Stem cells are different from other cells of the body because stem cells can both self-renew (Make copies of themselves) AND differentiate (Make other types of cells – specialized cells of the body.)
Tissue stem cells are in different parts of our body, like in the bone marrow, in skin, blood, guts and muscle, and even in the brain.
Normally they make cells like them, stem cells, or of the type of tissue they are in.
We can create skin cells in flasks from skin samples, until they cover the whole surface of the flask.
We can't reconstruct hair follicules or sweat glands.
Treatments with stem cells can be the future for difficult diseases. In patients with leukimia we could repair the entire blood system. Or for example, perhaps we could grow new insulin-producing cells to transplant into a patient with diabetes. 
Embryonic stem cells are exciting because they can make all the different types of cell in the body – scientists say these cells are pluripotent. There is a big controversy in using embryonic stem cells. These stem cells are the most powerful ones, but in order to work with them you need to destroy the trophectoderm (outermost layer around the stem cells in a blastocyst).
In 2006, scientists discovered that it is possible to make a new kind of stem cell in the laboratory. They found that they could transform skin cells from a mouse into cells that behave just like embryonic stem cells. In 2007, researchers did this with human cells too. The new stem cells that are made in the lab are called induced pluripotent stem cells. Just like embryonic stem cells, they can make all the different types of cell in the body – so we say they are pluripotentThere is a long way to go before scientists can do this, but iPS cells are an exciting discovery.


Hi there,
To avoid any misundertandings or people complaining that they weren't in class when I said this, I'm going to write all the things you should keep in mind for the following classes:

1. All the presentations finished, you will have to assess them before Monday the 7th April.

2. The exam of ALL THE DISEASES you have presented in this third term will be next Thursday, 10th of April. It will include Gastroenteritis, Schizophrenia, ADHD, breast cancer, ATM and Down syndrome.

3. The news comments should be sent before the 2nd of May, but I would much appreciate if you could send it before Easter, so I don't have to correct 20 comments in one day!

4. You should prepare your role in the Stem cells debate by adding information to your charts related to  current facts in Spain. For more information, check the debate entry in this blog. (Check the date!)

5. Just FYI, in our next class of Thursday, 11th of April, we will revise some more information about stem cells and you will have a questionnaire about the video we will seee in class for homework.

That's all, thanks for reading!


Getting ready for the debate? When we think about stem cells we immediately think of building organs to replace damaged ones. But are there any other things we can use them for? What do we mean when we say they can be interesting to study new drugs?
Here you have a nice futuristic vision of what we could call "personalized medicine"

June 2013, TED talk

And here we have some more information.



Debate dates:
B1AB: Monday, 7th April 2014
B1EG: Friday, 2nd of May 2014


• Steve Silver (Wheelchair user)
• Maddie Clark (Embryonic stem cell scientist)
• Orrick Adair MP (Politician)
• Prof. Gala Takana (Historian of science)


• Dr Rosie Swann (GP)
• Rahul Singh Gupta (Human rights campaigner)
• Abigail Chandler (Former IVF patient)
• Owen Martins (Children’s charity worker)


“I think the government should/shouldn’t fund embryonic stem cell research because......................”
“I think .................. is the most important point to think about.”


• What are stem cells and what might they be used for in future?
• What ethical issues do stem cell treatments raise?


0. You can have a look at this and other information to prepare for the debate. Here you have some info about regulation in Spain.

1. We will have 5 to 10 minutes in our group of students with the same character to comment our position and possible change of mind of our character.

2. We form new groups with each character in them, where in turns each one introduces themselves, and reads or explains the first section with their opinion about the main question: "Should the government fund embryonic stem cell research?"
3. Students debate.
4. They take turns again to read the facts in their cards. Debate continues: any change of mind?
5. They take turns again to read the issue in their cards. Debate continues: any change of mind?

6. We all vote for which position we agree with most, and explain why.


   Living things eat, grow, get rid of waste products and reproduce. All living things are made of cells. In even the tiniest unit of any living thing, there is a cell. Cells have special structures called organelles. The organelles help cells do the work of moving materials around, dividing to make more cells and making proteins for the body’s needs.
   Cells get energy through a process called cellular respiration. During this process, cells convert sugar (called glucose) and oxygen into water and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is the gas we breathe out. This whole process releases energy for the cell to use. The energy is stored as ATP. The cell keeps ATP in storage, like “back up power.” It can be taken out to be used as needed. By storing ATP, the cell always has the energy it needs.
   Living things can have just one cell or many. Single-celled organisms include things like bacteria, yeast, and some types of algae. They do the same things that living things do. However, they must do it all within just one cell. Multi-cellular organisms have billions of cells that work together to provide for the organism’s needs.
   Plant and animal cells both have organelles. Some types of organelles are the same in both plant and animal cells. Other types of organelles, however, are only found in plant cells or animal cells.
All cells have a control center called a nucleus. The nucleus stores a special molecule called DNA. The organism’s traits are controlled by the coding found in its DNA. All cells have a cell membrane that surrounds the cell to protect it and control what goes in or out. Materials can move through the membrane by diffusion or osmosis. Diffusion is when materials move in or out of a cell from a place of high concentration to one of low concentration. Osmosis is a special kind of diffusion that allows water to pass through the membrane. However, in osmosis, many other materials are not allowed to pass through. Plant cells have an extra layer called a cell wall that surrounds each cell’s membrane. The cell wall is much stiffer to help the plant’s stems stand up and support leaves and flowers.
   Cytoplasm is a thick gelatin-like fluid that fills the space between a cell’s nucleus and its cell membrane. Organelles float in and are supported by the cytoplasm. Ribosomes are organelles that make proteins. Lysosomes, which are found mostly in animal cells, break apart nutrients. The Golgi apparatus prepares proteins be sent to various parts of the body. Vacuoles are like bags of fluid that cells use to store things until they are needed or until they can be disposed of. Mitochondria generate energy for the cell. The endoplasmic reticulum, or ER, is a system of tubes and passages for transporting materials. Chloroplasts, which are found only in plants, allow food to be made using sunlight and carbon dioxide. All the organelles work together to make sure that the cells, and ultimately the living organism, can do all the things that are necessary for survival.


If you are not sure what we are talking about, please have a look at this explanation It's really easy to understand when they explain it like this!

File:Stem cells diagram.png
To have a little perspective of what we are talking about, first we need to have a look to the history of the 33 years of stem cell research that have been developed. Maybe clearer in this interactive timeline.

After this, we can watch a very interesting video of the stem cell history explaining how they work. And then you can do this questionnaire for homework. Remember it's part of your marks. You will have this weekend, till Sunday midnight.

Then it might be interesting to watch a video of what is happening right now, published on January 2014.

And to finish we'll prepare a debate where you will be given roles you will have to defend.

Hope you enjoy this topic.


Dear students,

As I already told you in class, this third term you will have another news comment to help you with your 40% homework part of the marks.

Here you have the format you must use, as usual, and as you know you have to create a copy of my document, change the title to your code name (for example B1AZubiría), complete it, and then share your work with me via Drive, so I can comment on it and rate it.

Remember the piece of news must be related to science, recent (this month or so), and if posssible related to the topic we are studying or seen in the TV news recently.

Deadline this time will be right after Easter, 2nd May (yes, that means the 3rd of May it's too late).

In order to save you from having to do it at the same time you are revising for your exams, and me from correcting everything in the last minute, I would appreciate if you didn't wait till the deadline to hand it out.

Where to find interesting news:

- In this other blog you may find some recent interesting news about stem cells.
Here you have news for students.
Great for lots of different things.
- The New York Times - science pages
- And of course, BBC.



Dear students,

Of course the responsibility of giving you a term mark is mine, but I'd like to have a look at your opinions too, and besides this is one more chance to show your interest...

You will assess YOUR GROUP with the self assessment questionnaire, and THE OTHER GROUPS with the corresponding questionnaire.

I hope it's useful and fair.

Enjoy your weekend and remember to send the information BEFORE the deadline.

See you in class,


1: Esox: Iñigo, Patricia S., Violeta, Marina, Carmen --- Malaria /Alzheimer's
2: Patricia I, Johnatan, Veronika -------------- AIDS / glaucoma
3: Melisa, Jesús, Isabel - smallpox / paranoid personality disorder
4: The Avengers: Irene, Olga, Guillermo --- Hepatitis A / Brittle bones


1: Arantza, Andrea, Nerea, Adrián, Mariel. ---------------- Chickenpox / Schizophrenia
2: Aroa, Iñigo, Miren, Oihane, Maite E. -------------------- AIDS ADHD
3: Naiara, Alberto, Diana, Maite J., Ana -------------------- Mononucleosis Breast cancer
4: Lidia, Raisa, Noemi, Paula, David. ------------------------ Leprosy ATM
5: Isabel, Zoya, Alba, Precious, Dakota.--------------------  Gastroenteritis  / Down syndrome