Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Is Science Good or Bad group visits Harvard and Merck

Today was one of the busiest days during project week. We started our day by visiting Harvard Medical School. There we learned about iPS core. iPS core is an essential technology that would lead to further development of stem cell research and cell therapy. This sounded really strange, but also interesting, so that I wanted to know more about it. At the iPS facility, they showed us the rooms, explained the steps, and showed us a video of cell colony growth. Next we talked with a lawyer about the ethics of the bio bank and the technicalities of informed consent.

Next, we visited a zebra fish facility, which includes tons of different kinds of zebra fish. Our group could observe various phenotypes of zebra fish, including all kinds of different mutants.


In my opinion, one of the most interesting places we visited was Merck s Pharmaceutical Company. At there, we could see that most of the work was done automatically by mechanical robots. People in the company said that using the robots would enhance efficiency of their work.

After looking around the laboratory, we gathered at a conference room and had an amazing experiment about Lactose Intolerance. I think the experiment actually supported us to feel more comfortable about science, which might sound extremely hard to study. Then, we came back to the hotel, and attended a lecture from Linda Thayer, who is a pro-life activist. Her lecture about stem cells impressed me so that I thought more deeply about the usage of stem cells in the future and the consequences of it. 

- Terry Kim and Mian Horvath

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