Visitors to a previous 'Science in the Supermarket' event
The Medical Research Council Festival of Medical Research is an annual event taking place in England, Scotland, Wales, online and in Africa, where a wide range of free public activities showcase MRC-funded research.
MRC Festival activities include open days, public lectures, debates, activity days, workshops, interactive seminars and quizzes, and this year a number of groups from the Medical Sciences Division will take to the road to give local people a chance to find out how their research is shaping tomorrow's therapies.
Researchers from the CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology, MRC Human Immunology Unit , MRC Molecular Haematology Unit, and the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine will be visiting shopping centres across Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire for a series of 'Science in the Supermarket' events, using table top activities to explore the use of genome editing technology in cancer and immunology. These will explain how genome editing works, with two editable DNA molecules challenging visitors to find the sequence to alter without the use of the guide molecule that makes this technique so powerful. Meanwhile a giant bone gives visitors the opportunity to explore how genome editing is being used to cure blood diseases such as anaemia, and researchers will challenge children (and adults!) to search for sick cells that they can turn into healthy cells using the power of genome editing. A final activity explores how genome editing can be use to understand how our cells cope with viruses infections, a smaller version of genetic screens being done in University of Oxford labs (such as demonstrated in this video by the Rehwinkel lab at the MRC WIMM).
In addition, researchers from the MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit will run activities at a local primary school in Oxford to help pupils understand more about the brain, memory and movement. Activities will include observing nerve cells under a microscope, measuring electrical activity from muscles and discovering different type of memories. Staff and students from the Unit will also host a site visit for lay members of two local groups of charity Parkinson’s UK. Attendees will be people affected by Parkinson’s, including those with the disease, their carers and families, and they will be able to attend talks from scientists, lab tours and Q&A session to learn more about the Unit's research.
You can catch our researchers at the following 'Science in the Supermarket' events:
- 16 June - Newbury
- 17 June - High Wycombe
- 18 June - Aylesbury
- 20 June - Banbury
- 21 June - Witney
- 22 June - Swindon