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A night at the museum

Posted on 27/02/2014

Scientists from King’s College London took part in an evening of experiments and entertainment at the Science Museum’s Bio-revolution Lates event last night.

Hosted by The Francis Crick Institute and the Science Museum, the event provided an opportunity for people to explore and debate cutting edge-research with scientists from the Crick’s six partner organisations – King’s College London, Imperial College London, UCL, Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Wellcome Trust.

There was a strong King’s presence at the event with researchers from the Department of Twin Research, including Professor Tim Spector, demonstrating how simple tests can lead to biomedical discoveries in the field of epigenetics and ageing, and how twins are leading this revolution.

Tytus Murphy, Ksenia Musaelyan, Dr Sandrine Thuret and others from the Institute of Psychiatry served up ‘neurogenesis cocktails’ to show how certain diets and lifestyles promote the birth of new nerves and cells in our brains – a process linked to learning, memory and mood, known as neurogenesis.

Representing the Department of Physics and the Cardiovascular Division respectively, Dr Klaus Suhling and Dr Aleksander Ivetic showed how fluorescence is used to study the fight between white blood cells and infection.

Dr Julie Keeble, Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, and Zisis Kozlakidis, Division of Immunobiology, Infection & Inflamatory Diseases, led ‘talkaoke’ sessions in which members of the public grappled with the issues surrounding drug development and biobanking.


Other activities included the opportunity to use a scanning electron microscope, which can magnify objects up to 10 million times their actual size; a talk from Cancer Research UK’s London Research Institute about how they are working to stop cancer; and a study by the MRC’s National Institute of Medical Research on how zebra fish may hold the key to regenerative medicines.

Christopher Coe, Director of Public Engagement, said: ‘We are delighted to work with our Crick partners to put on this exceptional event, which highlights the diverse range of expertise that will contribute to research at the Institute. Science Museum Lates are hugely popular and represent a great way of communicating with the public about this research and the work currently going on at King's. The enthusiasm of experts from across the College is infectious.’

Paul Nurse, director of the Francis Crick Institute, said: ‘A key part of the Crick’s strategy is to be committed to transparent science for the public good. The Science Museum’s Lates event provided a wonderful opportunity for people to meet some of the scientists who’ll be moving into the Crick when we open next year, as well as those working for our partner organisations, and to see how exciting the research will be.’
The Francis Crick Institute, which opens next year, will carry out biomedical research to help better understand why disease develops and to find new ways to diagnose, prevent and treat a range of illnesses - such as cancer, heart disease and stroke, infections and neurodegenerative diseases.

Notes to editors

Images: Wellcome Images.

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