I recently wrote about a surprising discovery from Thea Tlsty’s lab at UCSF. She’s a CIRM grantee who found a group of cells in breast tissue that have the ability to form all types of tissues in the body. This finding defied the conventional wisdom that only cells from the 4-5 day old embryo, which are grown in the lab as embryonic stem cells, have that ability. (Adult cells reprogrammed to mimic those embryonic stem cells can also make all the body’s cells.) By contrast, stem cells in adults can only make cells from the tissue where they originate.
Now, our friend Florie Charles, a graduate student at UCSF, has worked her white board magic to explain why Tlsty’s discovery of these flexible cells is such big news. I especially like her description of the fishing expedition the scientists embarked upon to find these rare cells amidst all the other cells of the breast. While making the research clear and understandable, she also makes clear the long hours the scientists spent on this discovery.
You can see Florie’s other videos at www.yourekascience.com.