Lecture 1 – Where do I come from?

Your life stems from a single cell. Yet within the trillion of cells that make up your body lies a fundamental conundrum. Each cell contains identical DNA, yet muscle cells are very different from skin cells; blood cells are very different from brain cells.

How does each of your cells 'know' exactly what to do? And when? And where? How do your heart cells start beating? How can your eye cells help you see the world around you? Can we use our understanding of how stem cells transform into specialised cells to build new body parts? What can we learn from animals that can regenerate their limbs? And what are the implications of tinkering with the fabric of life?

Supported by


© Royal Institution / Windfall Films




Alison Woollard



All lectures in the series