Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A summer of public engagement kicks off with two groups attending Cheltenham Science Festival

Exploring the Folding Genome through C-Synth

Cheltenham Science Festival is one of the UK's biggest science fairs, offering six days of debate, discovery, experiments, enjoyment and hands on fun that allow the public to explore the latest scientific research. This year two groups from the Medical Sciences Division are attending the Fair to bring their science to the public. 

From the 5-7 June, researchers from the Paediatric Neuroimaging group in the Department of Paediatrics will be running activities around treating and measuring pain in infants, a topic which generates immense public interest and challenges medical assumptions. Using life-size infant and adult brain models, researchers from the group will give the public the opportunity to see how the human infant brain develops and interacts with the outside world and understand the dramatic structural changes that occur in the human brain throughout early development.

FrightNight3.jpg

Paediatric Neuroimaging Group activities at a previous event

A life-size interactive sculpture will also be on display, demonstrating how adults and infants experience pain, and the group will also use virtual reality technology to allow participants to see how our brain responds to events in our external environment. An animated film about infant brain imaging will reveal how you can better understand what happens in a baby’s brain when they are experiencing pain.

Virtual reality technology will also be in evidence as researchers from the Radcliffe Department of Medicine present their Folding Genome activities at the Festival from the 8-10 June. These activities - which debuted at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition last year - reflect research in the department which uses a unique blend of virtual reality and innovative genetic techniques to understand how DNA folds- and how mistakes in this cellular origami can cause diseases such as diabetes and anaemia. The software developed for this - CSynth - is designed to provide an engaging way to explore and understand the complex structure of the genome in 3D, by integrating data from genome sequencing, computer modelling and high powered microscopy. Visitors to the Festival will be able to use this software manipulate DNA in virtual reality, seeing first-hand how changes in DNA folding influence the way our bodies work. A set of interactive touch screens and table top activities will also be at hand to explain and engage the public with this cutting-edge research.

Find out more about how the Medical Sciences Division engages with the public 

Similar stories

Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert delivers 44th Dimbleby Lecture

Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, Saïd Professorship of Vaccinology, Jenner Institute & Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, delivered the 44th Richard Dimbleby Lecture, named after the late broadcaster, Richard Dimbleby.

Com-COV2 study supports flexible second dose options following Pfizer or Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs

Following up first doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines with second doses of the Moderna or Novavax jabs will generate robust immune responses against COVID-19, according to researchers running the University of Oxford-led Com-COV study.

Meta must do better - data from social media giant essential to mental health research

People are rightly sceptical about scientific discoveries made in secret or without scrutiny. And anyone claiming to have found a new planet with a toy telescope, would not be taken seriously. Recent leaks of internal Facebook research on the mental health of children and young people have caused a great stir on both sides of the Atlantic.

New Oxford-GSK Institute to harness advanced technology and unravel mechanisms of disease

GlaxoSmithKline plc and the University of Oxford today announced a major five-year collaboration to establish the Oxford-GSK Institute of Molecular and Computational Medicine.

Oxford researchers honoured by British Society for Immunology

Four researchers from the University of Oxford have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to immunology with Honorary Lifetime Membership of the British Society for Immunology, with the awards being announced at the recent British Society for Immunology Congress held in Edinburgh.

Medical Sciences researchers scoop 2021 Times Higher Education Awards

Coronavirus researchers from across Medical Sciences have been honoured at the 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.