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Learn.Genetics: Stem Cells
Name: Ari Naccarato
Visit the following website and answer the questions below regarding stem cells. You may type your answers directly
underneath each question. Make sure to save the file to your documents folder.
http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/tech/stemcells/
1. Choose the “What is a stem cell?” link. Click through this animation to answer each question.
a. What is a stem cell? A cell whose job in the body is not yet determined and that can be transformed into
a number of other kinds of cells
b. When does a stem cell know what type of cell to become? They keep dividing until signals to tell them
what they have to be.
c. Define differentiate. To change over time. A stem cell would differentiate into transforms into to help
the body function.
d. In the phone booth, choose a type of cell and dial its number. How often does this number get dialed in
real life? When you are done, dial 6 to finish animation. Skin cells would need to be called a lot because
skin keeps falling off and it needs to be replaced.
2. Choose the “What are some different types of stem cells?” link from the main page (link is above).
a. Read the intro and press play.
b. Define totipotent. Totipotent is when a stem cell that can be changed into any type of cell.
c. At what stage in development are cells totipotent? Stem cells are totipotent in the first stage of human
development, when the embryo is being created and changed, or early embryonic stem cells.
d. Define pluripotent. It is when a cell can become almost any type of cell.
e. At what two stages in development are cells pluripotent? They Pluripotent when the embryo becomes a
structure of a blastocyst and the embryo develops into a fetus.
f. Define multipotent. It is when a stem cell can differentiate into only a limited amount of cell types.
g. At what two stages in development are cells multipotent? Stem cells in the umbilical cord are
multipotent, and they can be used after they have been cut. They are multipotent in adult stem cells.
They guide the growth and maintenance throughout the life of the body.
h. You do not have to take the “lab coat quiz” if you don’t want to.
3. Go back to the main page (link above) and choose one of the “learn more” links on the right side of the page (i.e.
what is the goal of stem cell research?). Write a one to two paragraph summary of what you learned from the
activity below.
Stem Cell Therapies Today
I saw that there are many different aspects of stem cell therapies. They are treating patients that have diseases
such as Leukemia. Doctors are performing these treatments by transplanting stem cells into the effected area
of the body. Transplants such as bone marrow stem cell or umbilical blood stem cells are helping many people
who are suffering from the conditions they have. For the people with leukemia, doctors transplant good bone
marrow to make their bones become healthier. These transplants have saved many people’s lives and have
made a huge difference in the medical world. In the end, I believe that with this information and ability to
transfer stem cells, doctors can continue to save many peoples lives that have the harsh diseases such as
leukemia.