We had a very inspiring start to our week, with a fascinating assembly this morning from one of our parents, Professor Georgina Ellison-Hughes.
Professor Ellison-Hughes recently gave a Ted Talk about her work in heart stem cell research and it is this that she based her talk on today.
The Professor told the children how she came to know she wanted to be a scientist, how it was discovered that stem cells are found in the adult heart and how the stem cells make new heart muscle cells so the heart recovers after damage.
Professor Ellison-Huges then explained how old age makes the stem cells become aged, meaning they cannot work as well anymore – they can’t make new heart muscle cells and the heart cannot recover following damage.
She finished by telling the children about the research that her team are doing on trying to prevent or delay the ageing of stem cells and keeping them healthy. They have found that flavonoids, present in fruit and vegetables, and exercise, can improve the health of your heart’s stem cells, keeping our heart healthy and working better and enabling us to live, longer, healthier lives.
The children were absolutely fascinated and no doubt Professor Ellison-Hughes’ talk will have inspired some budding young scientists in the audience with possibilities for their own future careers, as well as being an important reminder to them to live healthy, active lives.
A huge thanks to Professor Ellison-Hughes for taking the time to come and talk to our Reception-Year 6 children today.