Question Sheet: From Stem Cell to Any Cell | Science News for Students

Question Sheet: From Stem Cell to Any Cell

Dec 8, 2011 — 5:18 pm EST
SCIENCE

Before reading:

  1. In biology, what are cells? Why are they important? 
  2. Name the main parts of a cell. See askabiologist.asu.edu/research/buildingblocks/cellparts.html (Arizona State University).

During reading:

  1. What are stem cells? Where are they found? 
  2. What are three important uses for stem cells? 
  3. Name two organs that are easy to repair using stem cells. What are two organs that are difficult to repair using stem cells? 
  4. Why are embryonic stem cells more useful than other stem cells? 
  5. What makes the new technique called "somatic cell nuclear transfer" appealing to doctors? 
  6. How are scientists trying to get around ethical concerns about the use of embryonic stem cells in research and medicine?

After reading:

  1. Explain in your own words why stem cells are better than other cells for helping people. See stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/(National Institutes of Health). 
  2. What do you think "regenerative medicine" is? How does it relate to stem cells? See science.howstuffworks.com/question621.htm(How Stuff Works). 
  3. Why is the ability to regrow cells important for healing people? See stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/basics6.asp(National Institutes of Health). 
  4. Name another area of scientific research in which ethics is an issue and plays an important role. Why is this research or field controversial? See www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/elsi.shtml (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), www.apa.org/science/anguide.html (American Psychological Association), or www.twis.org/science/science_in_society/science_research_ethics/(This Week in Science). 
  5. How far should researchers take stem cell technologies? Just because we can do something, should we? Why or why not? See www.time.com/time/2001/stemcells/(Time). 
  6. Do embryonic stem cells represent a human life? This is an ongoing debate that brings up the question of when life begins. Should the embryo or fetus have any rights in the matter? Who has the authority to decide? See archives.cnn.com/2001/HEALTH/07/17/cohen.otsc/ (CNN).

SOCIAL STUDIES

In the United States, what is the Bush administration's position on stem cells? Find and summarize an article that talks about the U.S. government and stem cell research. See www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/08/20010809-1.html (White House) or stemcells.nih.gov/policy/guidelines.asp (National Institutes of Health). Do other countries have restrictions on stem cell research?


LANGUAGE ARTS

  1. Find two different newspaper articles on stem cells. Summarize the main points that the articles make about the debate over stem cell research. Which article does a better job in presenting the arguments? See, for example, www.csmonitor.com/2005/0526/p01s01-uspo.html (Christian Science Monitor) or www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-07-31-frist-stem-cells_x.htm

    (USA Today). 

  2. Interview three people whom you know about the stem cell debate. Write a news article that presents how different people feel about the issue. For interview question hints, see archives.cnn.com/2001/HEALTH/07/17/cohen.otsc/ (CNN).

MATHEMATICS

In the United States in 2002, there were 2,443,387 deaths of people of all ages. The following table lists the top 10 leading causes of death.

Cause of Death
Number of Deaths
Heart disease
696,947
Malignant tumors (cancer)
557,271
Stroke
162,672
Respiratory disease
124,816
Accident
106,742
Diabetes
73,249
Influenza and pneumonia
65,681
Alzheimer's disease
58,866
Kidney inflammation
40,974
Blood poisoning
33,865
All others
522,304

Convert the number of deaths for each cause into a percentage of the total. Create a bar graph and a pie chart showing the percentage of all deaths in each category. Which type of graph appears more effective in conveying this information? See www.mathleague.com/help/data/data.htm (Math League Multimedia).