Other London events

Life in a petri-dish: From cell to organism

Please note this event takes place on the first floor, sorry there is no step-free access.
Past event - 2024
13 May Doors open 6.30pm
Event 7.00-9.00pm
The Britannia, 1 Allen St, Kensington,
London W8 6UX
Sold Out!
We're all made of millions of cells that replicate and regenerate on a daily basis, but how can we better understand how that all works? Scientists are able to look under the microscope and follow the journey of a single blob of cells to a living breathing organism - join us for an exciting evening learning about how this is all made possible by cutting edge technology!

‘Mini placentas’: Modelling how pregnancy boosts the newborn’s immune system

Alice Hawkins (PhD Student at the Institute of Reproductive Developmental Biology )
The placenta functions to support pregnancy by facilitating the transfer and exchange of nutrients and waste. Antibodies are small proteins produced by cells in the immune system that can help fight infections. During pregnancy, antibodies are transferred from the mother to the fetus by the placenta, providing immunity to the newborn baby in early life. This antibody transfer can be boosted via maternal vaccination. Studying antibody transfer across the placenta is important to guide therapeutic research, by providing an understanding of what occurs at the cellular level. In vitro models offer opportunities to explore this placental barrier, that animal models cannot provide. My research aims to develop a cell-based model of this placental barrier using stem cells and other cutting-edge systems. This innovative in vitro model provides a platform to investigate the specific processes responsible for transporting antibodies across the placenta to the fetus during pregnancy.

How long is a piece of string? The shape of our DNA and its impact on how cells work

Dr Tom Frith (Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow at the Francis Crick Institute )
During development, it is important to have the correct cell type in the correct place and time. This is controlled by biological signals, that are interpreted by regions of non-coding DNA called regulatory elements, which act to switch genes on and off. Regulatory elements are often found a long way away from the genes they control, and it is not clear how regulatory elements bridge long distances to turn genes on and off. However, we do know that when this process goes wrong, it can cause diseases such as cancer.
I am studying the how the location of regulatory elements affects the function of a gene called Olig2, which is required for the development of motor neurons in spinal cord. To do this, I am using embryonic stem cells and CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing to identify on how the shape of DNA affects how cells can turn on the right genes at the right time during development.

What can we learn about human development from stem cell models?

Jesús Cantoral Rebordinos (PhD Student at the Francis Crick Institute )
Although it's hard to imagine, all our lives started as a single cell which had all the information needed to become an embryo. During embryonic development, our cells divide and make decisions to give rise to the thousands of cell types in our organisms, in the right place, and at the right time. However, our understanding of human development is limited because we would have to make use of embryos which poses ethical, legal, and technical limitations. For these reasons, scientists are turning to in vitro models of human development which mirror some aspects of embryo development. We can culture stem cells in the lab to understand how they interpret signals from their environment, coordinate, and interact with each other. In this talk you will learn about the 3D gastruloid model and some of the questions being addressed by scientists and see the advantages and limitations these models pose to understand how we come to be.
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Other The Britannia events

2024-05-14 Heartfelt futures: Using cardiology and genetics to predict future illness The Britannia 1 Allen St, Kensington, London, W8 6UX, United Kingdom
2024-05-15 Diseases... in a dish! The Britannia 1 Allen St, Kensington, London, W8 6UX, United Kingdom
15 May
Sold Out!

Diseases... in a dish!

in n out image