Yesterday I was doing some experiments for a collaborator. The idea was to see if our unique measurement was sensitive enough to detect cells loaded with magnetic nanoparticles. We are talking about a handful of teeny tiny particles in just a handful of cells. Can our instrument tell which cells have nanoparticles and which don't? The uptake of nanoparticles by cells is very important for things like targeted drug delivery and hyperthermia. That was the experiment yesterday in between cat stuff which is another long story still unfolding.
After the experiment was done (the results haven't been analyzed) I asked the grad student who brought the cells over what type of cells they were. She told me they were human embryonic stem cells. I was flabbergasted. Stem cells were something I had just read about in popular science magazines and amidst political debates. I know more about them than the average citizen but not more than many scientists. She must have seen the look of surprise on my face and got very defensive.
"Shoot. Did I need to discuss this with you? Are you one of those people that is going to have issues with this?"
"No! I think it's awesome!"
I did stem cell research yesterday. Ha!