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Our brains can degenerate through different disease processes that affect our day-to-day life. Join us at the City Cafe at 7pm (in the basement function room) to learn about the parallels between Multiple Sclerosis, myelin, and stuffed cannelloni; as well as how stem cells are changing Parkinson's Disease research - and how they led to discovering the 'smell' of Parkinson's. Pint of Science Edinburgh is supported by an Innovation Initiative Grant from the Edinburgh Fund at the University of Edinburgh.
Stem cells and sniffing out parkinson's disease
What is so special about stem cells? What is all the hype about? And how on earth did research into stem cells lead to investigations into whether Parkinson’s has a unique odour? Dr Tilo Kunath from the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine will answer these questions. He will describe the different kinds of stem cells: human embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and explore how they are being used for research and as a treatment. He will also describe how serendipity led him to discover Joy Milne, and her amazing ability to sniff out Parkinson’s.
MyeLinguini: the similarities between your nervous system and pasta
Myelin insulates nerves (like stuffed cannelloni), allowing them to signal quickly and survive. The ‘pasta-maker’ is the oligodendrocyte, a cell that puts out 40 arms to wrap around nerves. We start making myelin in the womb, continue into adulthood and start again when learning a new skill (e.g. juggling). When myelin doesn’t form properly or is damaged, we experience problems with sensation, movement and intellect. In this talk we’ll discuss how myelin is made and regenerated and why this is important for health.