Self-Healing Muscles

Doctors have always dreamed that the best way to help those patients with serious muscle damage would be to harness the self-regenerating power of muscles in a big way — implanting a muscle and letting it grow. Thanks to research at Duke University, the dream may become a reality. Watch as researchers uses stem cells to grow muscle outside of a body and then transplant it into a mouse.

NGSS Performance Expectation: Use a model to illustrate the role of cellular division and differentiation in producing and maintaining complex organisms. HS-LS1-4.

Discussion Questions

Use the web and links below to answer these questions before you watch the video:

  1. What is cellular differentiation?
  2. What are the unique characteristics of muscle cells?
  3. What are satellite muscle cells and how do they work?
  4. How does the structure of muscle cells influence their function?
  5. What jobs are available in the field of biomedical engineering?

Watch the video to answer these questions:

  1. What are the virtues of the small lab-grown muscle?
  2. What question is the researcher asking by using the mouse?
  3. How long does the researcher say it will take to be able to implant large muscles?


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