© Pint of Science, 2023. All rights reserved.
Have you ever wondered why DNA is shaped like a helix, or what the DNA code really means? Our interactive sci-art event will explore this by creating a larger-than-life 3D model of DNA. With help from Manchester-based researchers, you'll learn how to de-code the hidden messages within our DNA. We’ll also discuss how scientists are using these messages to develop new cures for genetic disorders.
Decoding our DNA: what's the hidden message?
Paul 'Polyp' Fitzgerald (Manchester-based artist)
I'm a Manchester based artist, cartoonist, graphic novelist (paine.org.uk) and prop builder, chair of the Peterloo Memorial Campaign, and active Skeptic. I've long had a fascination for science, and DNA in particular, but often been frustrated by the shortage of clear, plain language explanations of how the famous helix actually works: hence my passion to find simple, bold and fun visual ways to communicate that info to the public. Join me at the Pint of Science festival where I’ll be collaborating with the audience to create a larger-than-life, biologically accurate model of the DNA helix.
The Discovery of DNA
Prof. Mark Ashe (Professor, Cell Biology, The University of Manchester)
Mark studies how genes (sections of DNA) are copied into mRNA and then used to make proteins. In his talk, Mark will explore the history of how scientists discovered the structure of DNA. Understanding the true arrangement of DNA molecules in the helix has helped scientists to understand how our cells “read” our genetic code. This is important, as the ability to make a different set of mRNAs and proteins from similar genetic information drives the diversity we see in living systems.
Studying our genome: the ‘omics’ revolution
Dr Lauren Forbes-Beadle (Postdoctoral Researcher, The University of Manchester)
Lauren is a postdoctoral researcher researching the life and death of mRNAs in the development of organisms. In her talk, Lauren will be exploring how modern-day ‘omic’ technologies have revolutionised scientists’ ability to study DNA, RNA and proteins within the cell. These techniques have enabled us to discover thousands of new molecules, which would not have been possible with older scientific techniques. Scientists can also use omic technologies to measure the level of a single DNA/RNA molecule or protein within a cell, which can reveal important new molecules in disease.
Defective gene regulation in disease and medicine
Paula Chacua Mojica (PhD Student, The University of Manchester)
Paula is a PhD student studying how mRNAs localise to factories for protein production in cells. In her talk, Paula will explain how the regulation of DNA, RNA and proteins can go wrong in different diseases. The aim of many research groups is to understand exactly how and where this regulation is going wrong. By developing specific therapies that can correct this mis-regulation, scientists across the world hope to develop new treatments that can cure genetic disease at the root of the problem.
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