ISSCR: How a piece of chalk, and a few stem cells, could help solve life’s greatest challenges

One of the more intriguing signs around the vast Boston conference center at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) is a large chalkboard that poses the question: “What if you could solve some of life’s greatest challenges using stem cells?” It then asks people to list their stem cell “what ifs”.

Chalkboard at ISSCR, on day 1 of the meeting. More chalk dust was generated as the meeting went on - see below for more photos.

Chalkboard at ISSCR, on day 1 of the meeting. More chalk dust was generated as the meeting went on – see below for more photos.

And people do.

Some “what ifs’ fall into the very worthy but rather obvious categories of curing diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s or ALS. Some wander a little further afield such as wanting to get Democrats and Republicans to work together (stem cells are incredible but I think that might be a stretch). And some are just plain funny “increase alcohol tolerance”.

Anyway, here are some photos of the responses people wrote about their “what ifs”. If nothing else it proves that stem cell scientists care, and have a sense of humor!

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