Crick News

ISSUE 16

A Crick Chat

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One of the Crick's key priorities is to engage the public in our research. We recently launched a series of Crick Chats, aimed at giving the general public the opportunity to engage with our researchers in a relaxed and informal environment.

The first Crick Chat took place at New Horizon Youth Centre on 19 November. Attendees were brought face-to-face with two scientists working at the frontline of cancer research: geneticist Barry Thompson and clinician scientist Samra Turajlic from Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute. Setting the tone for what would be a lively and fascinating evening, the event started with a quick-fire quiz on cancer statistics. This was followed by Barry and Samra discussing how genetics is transforming our understanding and treatment of cancer.

"We have around 20,000 genes in our cells, and we are just beginning to understand the function of each one", explained Barry. "Cancer is caused by damage to DNA and genes becoming faulty. If we can identify which genes are faulty in a cancer patient, we can give them a treatment that targets that gene, and they will be more likely to make a full recovery.

There were plenty of opportunities to ask questions, chat informally with the scientists and even take part in interactive demos. It was a great start to what we hope will be a popular and engaging event series.

Crick Chats are free and open to all. Keep an eye on our website for details of the next one.

 

Microscopic Creatures

This December we've also been busy delivering a series of unique workshops for primary schools and community groups in the King's Cross and St Pancras area. Led by artist Lorena Carbajal, the workshops aim to engage our local communities with science through art.

 

Inspired by the beautiful and bizarre world of bacteria, fungi and viruses, participants had the chance the get creative, making 'microscopic creatures' from craft materials, before bringing them to life with stop-motion animation software. Each animation will be added to our 'Bank of Microbes', available to view online in the New Year.