Dewars contain liquid nitrogen, and vials containing the stem cells collected from baby teeth.
Nitrogen is a colourless, tasteless and odour free gas. It is present in all living things like plants and people. Sometimes nitrogen can be used to store food and keep it fresh. In fact nitrogen makes up about 78% of the air that we breathe.
However, when Mike uses nitrogen he uses it in a liquid form, by freezing it to a really cold temperature of -195 c.
The very cold temperatures stop the cells from getting any older, and they remain in the same top condition as the day that Mike started to freeze them.
They are held in a state of ‘suspended animation’.
B. Temperature Monitors
The temperatures inside the dewars are monitored around the clock, every day of the week, to ensure that the temperature remains constant. Even if the electricity fails, the liquid nitrogen will stay cold and can be added manually.
Each childs stem cells are stored in two separate dewars.
Mike and his Assistant Eden, wear lab coats and overshoes.
These shoe covers are just one item that helps keep the lab scrupulously clean. They have a special sole that makes sure Mike and Eden don’t slide on the shiny lab floor.
The microscope enables Mike to check the cells are in good health, and that they are doing what they should. Mike makes sure that the cells are healthy are one of the ways he does this is by looking at them through a microscope.
Microscopes make items much bigger than what they are when we look at them with our eyes.
This means that they can help us to study tiny items like cells, and bacteria.
A microscope is usually on a platform that has a hole underneath it. When you look at something through the microscope, such as cells, they are placed on top of the hole. Under the hole there is usually a light or a mirror. This means that light passes through the cells and on to the lens of the microscope, and the lens makes the cells look much bigger than they actually are.