Last Wednesday, the Allen Institute for Cell Science provided access to their living stem cell collection. These stem cells in their collection are unique in that they have been genetically altered to make their internal structures glow. This allows scientists who are working on stem cells to observe the cells without interfering with their natural processes.
“What makes these cells special is that they are normal, healthy cells that we can spy on and see what the cell does when it’s left alone,” says Susanne Rafelski, director of assay development at the Institute. Under a microscope, she says that “they are a wonder to behold.”
Ruwanthi Gunawardana, director of stem cells and gene editing at the Institute, says that the goal of the Institute was to make the new cutting-edge technology accessible to any person working on stem cells. “We would not have been able to do this two years ago,” she says.
For more on this story, go to: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/11/30/503776073/glowing-human-cells-may-shed-light-on-sickness-and-health