Other Exeter events

Keep It Together: Bones and Muscles

Please note this event takes place on the first floor and does not have step-free access
Past event - 2019
20 May Doors open 19:00
Event 19:30 to 21:30
The Exonian, 99 Fore Street,
Exeter EX4 3HY
Ever wondered what happens when you break your bones? Or how do bones survive? Curious about the causes of back pain? Join us to discuss leading research in the study of our bony bodies.

How do bones grow?

Lesley Smith (PhD Researcher)
Ever wondered what happens when you break your bones? Or how do bones survive? My research focusses on tiny, weird star-shaped cells that control bone growth from sensing activities as basic as walking. These cells have only been seen in the lsat 50 years and I will explain why. With this knowledge I hope to understand how your skull fuses as babies as well as the infamous soft spot and baby mice skulls are going to help me do this.

Endplates: Where the soft tissues in your spine meet bone

Eve Nebbiolo (PhD Researcher)
Back pain is one of the most common disabilities in this country and is often due to the soft tissue in your spine (the disc) degenerating. Disc health is dictated by nutrients from neighbouring bones, so the interface, known as the endplate, between these two regions is vital. As one ages the endplate becomes calcified, disrupting the flow of nutrients and causing the disc to lose its structure, which is the most common feature of chronic back pain.
My research is looking into what microscopic changes occur before the endplate mineralises, so that we can diagnose and treat back pain early on.

Worms in Space for Health on Earth

Colleen Deane (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)
Spaceflight and ageing are associated with smaller and weaker muscles making it harder to carry out inflight operations and everyday talks, respectively. The molecules in the body responsible for these changes remain unknown and so hunt for effective treatments continues. We conducted the first UK-led experiment on board the International Space Station in December 2018, which aims to find out the exact mechanisms of, and test treatments against, spaceflight induced-muscle loss. The findings of this project might be helpful for combating the age-related loss of muscle mass observed on Earth.