Using stem cells in medicine can feel like miracle work since the process by which the cells travel, settle down, take their final form, and begin participating as a part of a larger system is still very much a mystery. Scientists working at Boston Children’s Hospital’s Stem Cell Research Program wanted to see what stem cells actually do during their lifetime so they developed a technique to actually see the cells working inside the body.
The body in question is that of a zebrafish, a transparent animal that’s popular in laboratory studies. The stem cells were genetically altered to produce green fluorescent protein (GFP) that can be seen under a microscope. By following the green dots the researchers were able to track the steps stem cells take and how they interact with and adapt to the tissue already living at their destination point.
Here’s an animation the group created that pulls together the various new pieces of knowledge the new imaging technique has revealed:
Harvard Gazette: Imaging captures how blood stem cells take root…