Methods in Stem Cell Engineering is a four-session afterschool program exploring the science of gene modulation in stem cells. Participating students learn basic hands-on lab skills, using RNA interference (RNAi) to silence the expression of an oncogene in human cancer stem cells.
RNAi is a sophisticated technique that scientists use to inhibit the expression of specific genes in order to study their function. During Methods in Stem Cell Engineering, students learn bioinformatical approaches to designing an RNAi experiment and measure the effect of inhibiting the gene oct-4 in stem cells derived from testicular cancers. They also explore the real-world applications of RNAi technology, hearing from guest speakers and experts in the field of stem cell engineering.