April 14, 2006 | In March, Children’s Hospital in Boston launched an interactive, Flash-based feature on its research site. The Virtual Stem Cell Laboratory allows online visitors to “express their inner scientist” and “prod, manipulate, and investigate” a “living” culture of embryonic stem cells. www.childrenshospital.org/research
When users launch the interactive feature, the cells begin to reproduce through mitosis. Users can then add different coaxing factors (e.g., proteins) to differentiate the cells into increasingly specialized cell types.