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Tissues and issues

Please note this event takes place in the gazebo and has no step-free access.
Past event - 2019
20 May Doors 6:30 pm
Event 7:00 - 9:30 pm
Granta, 14 Newnham Road,
Cambridge CB3 9EX
Sold Out!
Join us as we delve into cell mechanics and tissue morphogenesis, and the factors affecting it. Moving from single cells to more complex structures, we explore the so-called 'mini-organs', focussing on mini-lungs as an example of this breakthrough in cell biology. We'll end the evening with a closer look at our body. What are our tissues are made of? What happens with age and disease?

How do our lungs develop? Studying developmental biology by human foetal lung organoids

Dr Shuyu Liu (Postdoctoral researcher, Rawlins Lab, Gurdon Institute)
Lungs are delicate structures built as a result of a sequence of multiple events, controlled by complicated signals and factors yet to be fully understood. Until now, developmental biology has relied on model animals. In order to develop substitutes more closely reproducing human processes, human tissues of embryonic and foetal origin are currently being explored. I will introduce how we use human tissues to set up ‘organoids’ as models for in vitro studies. We will see how important they are for basic research and show that human foetal tissues are valuable resources for science.
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The shape and dynamics of cells and tissues

Dr Alexandre J Kabla (Reader in Mechanics of Biological Materials)
To form an organism, cells divide and eventually differentiate to perform the right function at the right place. But to get there, cells move around and generate forces able to shape tissues. Mechanics is an important aspect of biology. I will introduce some of the key principles involved in cell mechanics and tissue morphogenesis, and present a few techniques recently developed to study the dynamic behaviour of living systems. We will then explore how these observations can shed light on selected processes occurring during embryo development or involved in disease progression.
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Why do tissues age?

Professor Melinda Duer (Professor of Biological and Biomedical Chemistry)
It is a fundamental fact of life that tissues age, but why? And how? Tissues are made up of cells and the material around cells, the so-called extracellular matrix (ECM). Ageing of the ECM in tissues underlies most of the detrimental effects of getting older – stiffer blood vessels, more fragile bones and less elastic skin. I will discuss the molecules that make up the ECM in our structural tissues and the mechanical structure of the ECM, and then go on to consider what happens to those molecules as we age to formulate an understanding of why our structural tissues lose their youthfulness.
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Creative Reactions

Abigail Stevens (Illustrator)
Elena Arevalo Melville (Illustrator/cartography/writing )
Sherry Rea (Printmaking)
As part of the Creative Reactions project, these artists will be presenting their artwork inspired by the research of speakers in this talk series. The artwork will also be on display at our Creative Reactions Exhibition at St Barnabas Church, 24 - 25 May.
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