How to Use this Passage and Waypoints

Welcome! Let's get started.

Using your Passage’s Interactive PDF, answer the questions in each section from the multimedia Waypoints.

What’s this? In this leg of your Researching Biomedicine Interactive Reading Passage, you’ll learn about what it’s like to work in a biomedical research lab.

Watch this video and use the interactive PDF to complete the answers for this Waypoint.

Don’t have the PDF? Ask your teacher to download Researching Biomedicine!

What’s this? In this leg of your Researching Biomedicine Interactive Reading Passage, you’ll learn more information about being a biomedical researcher.

Watch this video and use the interactive PDF to complete the answers for this Waypoint.

Don’t have the PDF? Ask your teacher to download Researching Biomedicine!

What’s this? In this leg of your Researching Biomedicine Interactive Reading Passage, you’ll observe cells through different imaging techniques.

Look at the images and read the captions. Use the interactive PDF to complete the answers for this Waypoint.

Don’t have the PDF? Ask your teacher to download Researching Biomedicine!

3D Spheroid NMIIA Phalloidin DAPI (1)

Kidney Cells

3D Spheroid: Three dimensional cell culture model system of MDCK cells grown in a collagen matrix. Blue is DAPI dye that stains the nucleus, Green is Phalloidin that stains the actin cytoskeleton, Red is Nonmuscle Myosin II staining. These cells make the collecting duct tubules in the kidney. In collagen matrix they for a ball of cells with a single lumen (empty inside the ball).

Photo courtesy: Sanford Research

neuron image unique

Neurons (Brain Cells)

Microscope image of inhibitory interneurons of a hippocampus using anti-parvalbumin antibody. The hippocampus is associated with memory, learning, and emotion.

Photo courtesy: Sanford Research

cerebelum image unique

Cerebellum Cells

Microscopic image of a sagittal section of the mid-cerebellum of a 15 month-old wild-type pig, stained with Cresyl Violet – staining Nissl material. Method allows visualization of neurons to show the line of Purkinje cells between the granular and molecular layer. Loss of Purkinje cells is known to be associate with many disorders, such as Ataxia Telangiectasia.

Photo courtesy: Sanford Research

cardiomyocytes

Cardiomyocytes (Heart Muscle Cells)

Microscope images of rat cardiomyocytes. Both cardiomyocytes are stained with MitoTracker (green, mitochondria) and Hoechst (blue, DNA). Top: Cardiomyocyte stained with LysoTracker (red) indicating lysosomes. Bottom: Cardiomyocyte stained with TMRE (red) indicating mitochondria with a strong membrane potential.

Photo courtesy: Sanford Research

What’s this? In this leg of your Researching Biomedicine Interactive Reading Passage, you’ll review actual data from one of two research paths in biomedicine.

Choose either the regenerative medicine path or the cancer genetics path and use the data and interactive PDF to complete the answers for this Waypoint.

Don’t have the PDF? Ask your teacher to download Researching Biomedicine!

Regenerative Medicine with Pedro

Gel images of DNA isolated and amplified for specific DNA sequences.  GAPDH is a gene that Pedro knows should be in every organ of the animal model, this is his way of ensuring that he did the DNA extraction and amplification correctly. hKM is a human chunk of DNA that will let Pedro determine if there is human DNA in any of the organs he collected from the living models.  If there is human DNA in the organs, he can conclude the human MSCs he injected have migrated to those organs. Pedroexamines the gels by comparing the presence of fluorescent bands (bright blue) in his samples to the control bands that show the correct size of the DNA he has amplified.

An internet search of “DNA electrophoresis” and “PCR” will explain this process if you are interested.

Cancer Genetics Path with Hannah

Using your interactive reading Passage, review the graph below and answer the Waypoints.

STEMJourneys Real Science Cancer Path Relative Expression Table

What’s this? In this leg of your Researching Biomedicine Interactive Reading Passage, you’ll help make decisions on how to develop treatments to help people.

Use both the regenerative medicine path or the cancer genetics path links to answer the Waypoint questions in the interactive PDF.

Don’t have the PDF? Ask your teacher to download Researching Biomedicine!

Regenerative Medicine with Pedro

Pedro wants to learn more about how stem cells are working in the injured joints. Now he knows that intra-articular joint injections are the best method, which of the following should be Pedro’s next step in his research?

  • Choice A) Find patients at the hospital with injured joints, extract MSCs from their adipose tissue, and inject them directly into their injured joint, tracking their healing.
  • Choice B) Pedro should design a controlled experiment using two animal models with the same injury. One model should get stem cells injected into their injured joint (intra-articular injection) and the other model should get only a fluid injection without any stem cells.
  • Choice C) Pedro should do the experiment above but with several control models and several stem cell injected models.

Check this out!

Microscope slide image of animal model lung tissue. Nuclei of cells are stained purple. Stem cells are identified by looking for the brown immunohistochemistry stain for proteins associated with stem cells. The images look like a maze because the alveoli in the lungs are pockets of air (white space) surrounded by a thin layer of cells (purple). Can you see brown spots in any of the cells? These brown spots indicate that stem cells are indeed present in the lungs of Pedro’s living models.

Cancer Genetics Path with Hannah

Based on your analysis, what do you think Hannah’s next step should be?

  • Choice A) Run a clinical trial with the drug that targets GENEblue to see if she can cure cancer. 
  • Choice B) Try to collect the genetic material for GENEgreen and GENEblue and see if she can grow the genes in bacteria and other cells for future studies on the genes.
  • Choice C) Design the drug to target GENEgreen, grow a whole mouse brain from stem cells and put the drug for GENEgreen on it to study what happens.

Check this out!

Fluorescent microscopic image of a neural rosette within a cerebral organoid derived from a human induced pluripotent stem cell line.

What Do You Think Pedro Should Do Next?

If you chose Answer C for Pedro, you’re correct!

Microscope image of animal model knee joint.

Pedro can analyze the cell type, structure, uniformity, and patterning of the joints to determine how much healing has occurred.

What Do You Think Hannah Should Do Next?

If you chose B, you’re correct!

More research on GENEgreen and GENEblue helps the team understand cell signals and allows them to consider targets or communicates their body of research before trying new medicines in a human population. Click here to watch a bonus video!

What’s this? In this leg of your Researching Biomedicine Interactive Reading Passage, you’ll learn about other technologies used in biomedical engineering.

Watch this video and answer the Waypoint questions in the interactive PDF.

Don’t have the PDF? Ask your teacher to download Researching Biomedicine!

Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of South Dakota

What’s this? In this leg of your Researching Biomedicine Interactive Reading Passage, you’ll create a poster session to share your findings from your research.

You may also share your STEMJourney by proceeding to the Share Your STEMJourney page and submitting feedback. We will place a pin on the map!

Don’t have the PDF? Ask your teacher to download Researching Biomedicine!