Newcastle Hosts Major Interactive Science Exhibit Exploring the Wonder of Stem Cells

International Centre for Life only UK location on world tour

Newcastle’s Centre for Life will host a unique and inspiring “hands-on” showcase for all demonstrating the power of stem cells, our body’s master cells.

The exhibit uses interactive displays to help explain everything from where disease comes from, to how a lizard grows a new tail.

The Cell Therapy Catapult commissioned the exhibit, along with its partners*, as part of a global public education programme which will have the exhibit displayed in key locations around the world to demonstrate the continuing revolution in biotechnology.

Keith Thompson, CEO of the Cell Therapy Catapult, said: “We’re proud not only to help fund the building of this fantastic exhibit, but also help bring it to the UK where families can learn how cells have the potential to provide new treatments to help cure diseases and conditions as diverse as blindness, diabetes and cancer. We’re delighted that the Centre for Life in Newcastle is hosting this exhibit to help people understand how this important area of science will help the health and wealth of the country for generations to come.”

“Super Cells: The power of stem cells”was conceived and built by Canada’s Stem Cell Network and the Sherbrooke Museum of Nature and Science. The planning and production with its partners* spanned nearly two years, and included consideration of what children are taught in school as well as their natural curiosity.

Dr. Michael Rudnicki, scientific director of the Stem Cell Network, said: “As scientists, we see the incredible beauty and transformative power of stem cells every day in the lab. Stem cells are remarkable, not just for their possible use in reversing disease, but because they are so important to how our body grows and functions on a daily basis. We wanted to share this with the broader public, which is why the Stem Cell Network initiated the Super Cells exhibit, and we are thrilled that the Cell Therapy Catapult and the Centre for Life have lent their support to bring it to the United Kingdom.”

Linda Conlon, Chief Executive of the International Centre for Life, said: “This is a very fitting exhibition for Life as stem cell research takes place right here on site. The exhibition captures the excitement surrounding the potential of stem cells and explains what they are through accessible and entertaining activities. We’re sure it will be a big hit with visitors who are very proud of the Centre for Life and the ground-breaking work that happens here.”

Animations, touch-screen displays, videos and stunning images are part of the colourful exhibit. Each of the four sections has a specific area of focus, whether introducing the concept of a cell, to explaining how stem cells form the body from fertilisation to birth and beyond, to showing where stem cells live in the body’s tissues and organs. One of the largest sections is a small replica of a lab, where visitors can see how stem cell research is done, what challenges exist, and can try their luck with a game that asks them to grow and implant new cells into an eye, in hopes of giving sight to a person who has gone blind.

The exhibit runs until 19 April 2015.

*Exhibition presented by the Stem Cell Network and produced by the Sherbrooke Museum of Nature and Science (Quebec, Canada); in partnership with the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the Cell Therapy Catapult and the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine; with the contribution of EuroStemCell.