Venue: Miraikan, Tokyo
Research on regenerative medicine and cells is gradually becoming a topic with which people are familiar. Would you be interested in expanding your knowledge in this area of research? On the fifth floor of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), after the completion of the "Life" area in the permanent exhibition zone "Explore the frontiers", a new area will commence on March 20, 2015. This area consists of three spaces, 1) an exhibit space "CELLS in Progress," 2) an experiment class "iPS Cells and Regenerative Medicine," 3) the "OPINON BANK" in which visitors fill out questionnaires for stating their opinions.
In the exhibit space, ongoing research on cells will be introduced to visitors. They will have an opportunity to experience near-future simulations at the five theatres at which visualized stories will be provided. The stories are based upon people's wishes, such as "I hope to have my spinal cord injuries cured utilizing iPS cells" and "I would like to have my cells used for research on muscular dystrophy". We believe that experiencing these simulations will give them the opportunity to begin considering regenerative medicine as it might apply in their own lives. As regards the creation of this space, Dr. Makoto ASASHIMA, Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo as well as the world's leading expert on developmental biology, served as the editor-at-large. The creator Gabin ITO and the cartoonist Kotobuki SHIRIAGARI provided cooperation.
Regarding the experiment class, it will be held on a monthly basis. It will target students in the fourth grade and above for opportunities to observe iPS cells through microscopes. Students at junior-high school age and above will also be allowed to observe operations for creating iPS cells as well as to perform experiments for transforming the cells into a variety of different cells.
In the "OPINION BANK", we will explain the most recent information on iPS cells and regenerative medicine as well as the accompanying social and ethical risks. Then, we will have visitors themselves consider these issues and state their opinions on questionnaires. After summarizing the questionnaires, we are planning to utilize them as reference for our future research.
Simulation experience at five stands of the exhibit space "CELLS in Progress"