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STEM CELLS – THE SOURCE OF LIFE

02. March 2016 - 10. July 2016

Stem cells are potentially immortal and have, therefore, been the subject of much research in recent years. This exhibition, designed by the Swiss National Science Foundation, focuses on stem cells and regenerative medicine, giving visitors insight into one of the most exciting yet controversial fields of biology and medicine. It demonstrates not only what stem cells are but also how humans, animals, and plants are able to regenerate themselves and how scientists are trying to use these regeneration mechanisms. The exhibition presents research projects with surprising results, while at the same time highlighting the possibilities and limits of regenerative medicine. One of the main goals is to encourage critical discussion and debate about both the opportunities and the risks associated with stem cells and to clearly separate science from fiction.
The exhibition comprises a number of easy-to-use interactive modules. A time-lapse recording shows birth, growth, and death – the fundamental principles of nature and the basis of all life. Spectacular examples of successful skin, cartilage, blood, and tissue regeneration raise hope, but also give rise to critical questions for the future. For example, will it be possible one day to cure diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or spinal paralysis by using stem cells? At the moment it is still too early to give credible answers to such questions.
Stem cells are potentially immortal, so another debate inevitably connected to this issue is that of eternal life. This topic is addressed at the end of the exhibition. Of course, we are still a long way off developing the technology that would enable us to live forever. But should we even try to do so?

NHM-Tip: Lecture at the ÖAW on 3rd March 2016
 
 
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