© Pint of Science, 2023. All rights reserved.
Over the past few years, viruses have hit the headlines, whether this be due to them causing widespread disruption through global pandemics or being developed into vaccines to help protect against some of the most devastating illnesses. Join us on a journey through the nanoscale world of viruses to explore how they make us feel unwell, but also may be harnessed as a force for good through development into tomorrow's therapies for cancer and infectious disease!
The life of a virologist during COVID
Most of us have had COVID over the last few years, but what was it like being a virologist and working on SARS-CoV-2 during the pandemic? I'll explain what we had to do to get the lab set up to work with the virus in Cardiff, the UK-wide research efforts we were involved with, as well as some of the non-scientific work we took on relating to advising governments and organisations. I'll also cover the scientific legacy from the huge amounts of research that were carried out during COVID, and how this has opened up exciting new scientific avenues to explore in the future.
Engineering Viruses to Target Cancer
Dr. Emily Bates (Postdoctoral fellow in Virology at Cardiff University)
Viruses are often perceived as nasty little agents that makes us tired, sniffly and feverish just when we don’t want them too. In this talk, we’ll hear about the exciting ways in which viruses may be re-trained for our benefit by preventing them from causing illness, and instead targeting them towards cancer cells. We’ll hear how adenoviruses can be ‘tamed’ from mild infectious agents into exciting novel therapies that can destroy tumours without damaging our healthy body cells.
Tenovus Virus Tinkerers Escape Room
Dr Lisa Whittaker and Exitus Escape Rooms (Patient & Public Engagement Coordinator at Kings College London)
Come and hear about this exciting collaboration between Cardiff researchers, Tenovus Cancer Care and Exitus Escape Rooms which led to the creation of an innovative virus-themed escape room - an electricity failure in the lab cleanroom requires you to solve puzzles and gain access to change the backup battery in just 60 minutes before retrained cancer-fighting viruses start to deteriorate. There’ll even be the opportunity to get hands on and try out some of the activities yourself!
The virus you've never heard of!
Lauren Jones (PhD Student)
Human Cytomegalovirus is a type of Herpes virus (probably not the one you’re thinking of!) that has infected over half of our UK population. It can cause serious health problems for immunocompromised people and is a leading cause of congenital abnormalities, effecting 1-2.5% of all live births. So, if this virus is so widespread, how come you’ve likely never heard of it? In this talk we’ll learn about all things HCMV… from how it spreads, to how it can trick our immune system and stay with us for life!
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Other Metchy's Cafe events
2023-05-23 Music and the Brain: Power Of The Playlist Metchy's Cafe 1 Cathays Terrace, Cardiff, CF24 4HS, United Kingdom
Music and the Brain: Power Of The Playlist
2023-05-24 Mini-brains, rats and stats? Metchy's Cafe 1 Cathays Terrace, Cardiff, CF24 4HS, United Kingdom