New explanimation on stem cells from MARRIAGE

20 October 2016

After training 15 young researchers in the molecular mechanisms of ageing, the Initial Training Network “MARRIAGE” is coming to an end. To celebrate MARRIAGE’s successful closure, an explanimation (explanatory animation) has been released that illustrates one of the core research subjects of the Network: stem cells. The animation entitled “Stem cells; Fountain of Youth” explains in a fun and easy way what stem cells are, and what their role in the human body is exactly.

The European Union (EU) supports scientific research in Europe. They do not only provide funding, but stimulate training and development as well. A perfect example of this can be found in the so-called Initial Training Networks (ITNs). ITNs are collaborative projects between academia and industry that focus on the training of young scientists. The ITN that goes by the name of “Marie Curie Ageing Network”, or MARRIAGE, consists of 12 partners, representing 7 member states of the EU, Switzerland and Canada. The network is coordinated by Gerald de Haan at the European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing (ERIBA), part of the University of Groningen and the University Medical Center Groningen in The Netherlands.

The objective of MARRIAGE is to train and teach the next generation of scientists in the emerging field of ageing. Ageing, as a scientific field, cannot possibly be developed in isolation but requires larger teams of investigators to collectively collaborate on specific molecular aspects. It is thus a perfect subject for an ITN. MARRIAGE formally started in October 2012 and has been a stimulating environment for 15 young researchers for the past four years. Under the guidance of a group of premier scientists, they were trained in the molecular mechanisms that underlie ageing, with a strong emphasis on the role of DNA repair, telomeres, and metabolic rate on homeostasis in self-renewing tissues.

MARRIAGE is now gradually coming to an end, and with success! The students have contributed to many research papers, and have developed new models and technology to study molecular aspects of the ageing process. It is now time for them to find their way to the next phase in their career. To celebrate the successful completion of the project, MARRIAGE has produced a short explanimation on one of its important research subjects titled: Stem Cells, Fountain of Youth.

With beautiful graphics and an easy-to-follow storyline, the animation explains what stem cells are and what their role in the human body is. The animation shows in a fun and easy way why stem cells can be seen as “nature’s own anti-ageing agents”, and answers questions like “What is the difference between pluripotent and tissue-specific stem cells? ” and “How do stem cells age?”. So please enjoy and immerse yourselves in the wondrous world of stem cells for a few minutes.

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