KS3/4 Science - Stem Cell Research: The Issue

  Screen capture from KS3/4 Science - Stem Cell Research: The Issue


Stephen Cuff is only 39, but he suffers from Parkinson's Disease and it has turned his life upside down. He can no longer look after his two children and basic day-to-day activities like shaving, takes him a long time. Conventional drugs have not been successful for Stephen, leaving him no option but to undergo brain surgery.

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Stephen's operation is successful, but it doesn't cure him. One potential future cure is embryonic stem (ES) cell therapy. This is being pioneered by the likes of Professor Ian Wilmut, who became famous when he cloned Dolly the sheep.

Professor Wilmut introduces us to the concept of stem cells and the science behind them, whilst presenting his opinion of the technology.

Alison Davies, the chair of No Less Human, is a wheelchair user who would refuse ES cell therapy if it were available. She offers a different ethical perspective as to why the use of ES cells should not be permitted.

We also hear the differing opinions of leading cell biologists at a recent stem cell conference.


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    • Stem cell therapy
      26 January 2009 - 22:46

      An excellent short video clearly highlighting the desperate debilitating condition of Parkinson's and the treatment that transformed the patient- The introduction to how stem cell therapy could help cure Parkinson's was fascinating with the ethical dilemna being fairly presented
      An excellent video to show students at KS4 to show how research is hopefully leading towards opportunities to help people suffering from such conditions

    • Ellie Russell Ellie Russell


      Stem Cell Research video
      12 December 2005 - 21:15

      A fascinating film. I think that this would be very useful for my top set students. I'm not as sure how well it would be understood by lower ability students. I'd want to see more animations and science explanations along the way - even as simple as recapping 'fertilisation'. Perhaps chunking the video into shorter chapters would help?

      e.g. What is a stem cell? What happens when our cells stop functioning properly - case study several examples then focus on Stephen. What options to 'cure' people? What is the latest research potenital + why are people concerned?