For Immediate Release:
July 01, 2005
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367
Interactive Live Mouse Stem Cell Exhibit Opens
The Exploratorium has joined with UCSF and Gladstone Embryonic Stem Cell Laboratory professor Bruce Conklin to develop a prototype exhibit for the public that displays mouse pluripotent (potential to become many different things) stem cells. The interactive exhibit using live mouse stem cells, opens to the public on July 1, 2005-January 8, 2006 (Fridays-Sundays only, 10am-5pm) and can be seen in the Exploratorium’s high-resolution microscope Imaging Station. It is designed to show stem cells at different stages of differentiation, from their uniform, pluripotent state to those that have received signals that cause them to become more specialized. In the first of its kind public display, the public can witness the transition from stem cells in their undifferentiated state and their progress towards a mass of pulsating, beating heart cells. In this case, they will see cardiac myocytes, the cells that would form the heart. The Interactive Mouse Stem Cell exhibit is included in the price of admission to the Exploratorium.
Stem cell research is among the most promising—and politically charged—area of medical science today. Stem cells offer a window into the earliest stages of every organism’s development (even humans), and the promise of new knowledge and treatments for a variety of human diseases. Present in embryos, stem cells have two features that make them unlike any others: they can make identical copies of themselves, and they can make differentiated—or specialized—cells, such as cardiac myocytes.
The Exploratorium’s Imaging Station provides visitors the ability to image living stem cell specimens, as well as control the instruments themselves. Visitors see the view through the microscopes on high-resolution video monitors. Through these instruments visitors can select among various specimens, move over them, change the magnification and focus. Visitors can pick and choose specimens of their choice, refine their selection, change magnification, and engage in suggested activities at their own pace.
The Exploratorium’s Microscope Imaging Station, is a research-grade facility that provides access to the public and teachers to all kinds of cellular biology and is the only one of its kind in the country. The National Center for Resources (an NIH Center) and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation provided support for its development.
Known worldwide as a pioneer of cutting-edge wet biology in a museum, the Exploratorium’s overall effort is to offer and explain the authentic fruits of current scientific research in a new research arena, but in a public setting. In the case of this new exhibit using mouse stem cells, the Gladstone Institute’s Embryonic Stem Cell Laboratory, headed by Dr. Conklin, provided the Exploratorium’s Charles Carlson, head of Life Sciences, with the actual stem cells, provided critical support in culturing the cells, as well as the techniques to activate them into their differentiated cardiac myocyte state. Working with GICD, the Exploratorium has become the intermediary that connects the public directly with state of the art scientific research and the scientists themselves. It provides educational programs and materials essential for public understanding in this vital, emerging area of biomedical science and human health.
Hours of Operation & New Evening Hours
Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm; every Thursday evening adults only (ages 18 and up) 6pm-10pm.
$25 for adults, with lower rates for SF Bay Area residents, youth, seniors, students, teachers and the disabled. Tickets available at the door and advance tickets available online at www.exploratorium.edu/visit/tickets.
The Exploratorium is easily accessible by public transit. Convenient parking is available nearby. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit/location-directions.
About the Exploratorium
The Exploratorium is the global leader in informal learning, igniting curiosity and inspiring creativity in people of all ages. The world-renowned science museum creates original, interactive exhibits, on display at more than 1,000 science centers, museums and public spaces around the world. Dedicated to education reform in and out of the classroom, the Exploratorium is a premier professional development center for educators and a creator of award-winning educational resources. Since 1969, the Exploratorium has influenced generations of entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, teachers, students, children, museum professionals and everyday doers, reaching nearly 180 million people annually from around the globe. On April 17, 2013, the Exploratorium opened at Pier 15 in the heart of San Francisco's Embarcadero, where it will celebrate a new era of experiences that encourage critical thinking and awaken wonder for generations to come. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit.
Linda Dackman, Public Information Director (415) 528-4363
Leslie Patterson (415) 528-4377
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367