Once a subject of intense debate, stem cells have made their way into the research laboratory. Thanks to a Nobel-prize winning technique pioneered by Shinya Yamanaka, scientists don’t have to harvest cells from ethically-questionable sources. They can just tweak the expression of a few genes, and turn adult skin cells into the blank cellular slate that is a pluripotent stem cell, which can then become a variety of different kinds of cells depending on the treatment.
Even though there is a method to make them, working with stem cells can still present challenges for researchers. This video is a tutorial from the Allen Institute, which describes the best way to bring a vial of induced pluripotent stem cells out of deep-freeze storage, and back to a happy state in the lab.