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CCTV monitoring of mice and stimulating brain electricity. Intrigued...? Oliver will also be giving some hands on demonstrations - always exciting! Plus, Pint of Science pint glasses and tshirts to be won! (Please note: ground floor event, easily accessible)
Big Brother for Mouse Genetics
Sara Wells (Facility director)
Genetically altered mice are used to study a range of genetic diseases. Measuring the effect that changing a gene has on the behaviour and appearance of an individual mouse can be difficult. Mice are active at night, find being handled stressful, and prefer familiar social environments with other mice. We have developed a sophisticated CCTV-like system to remotely monitor the activity of laboratory mice 24/7. Using this equipment we can for the first time see very subtle changes in behaviour, movement and social interactions. This technology is being used to refine animal care in research.
Modelling nerve communication
Oliver Britton (Research Assistant)
Animal experiments are used throughout biomedical research, but we are always looking for alternatives to replace them. Our group uses computational models to make the most of scarce biomedical data from humans, as an alternative to animal experiments. With the help of some hands on demonstrations, we will show how computational models of human heart and nerve cells can be used to understand how cardiac arrhythmias are triggered; predict whether new drugs are safe for your heart; and investigate how the electrical excitability of nerves involved in pain signalling are controlled.