Image Credit: Betina Mihalas
Fertility Research: Behind the Scenes
Hands-On Workshop Call Out
*This event is currently postponed to a later date – we will announce the new date in the coming week*
Have you ever wondered what happens with human eggs that get donated for research? And what researchers who work on fertility do on a daily basis? The University of Edinburgh’s Welcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology and ASCUS Art & Science are hosting an afternoon event where you can get some hands-on experience with common techniques used in the lab. Look down a microscope to view animal egg cells, informally meet scientists working on fertility research and get informed about research and ethics.
This event is aimed at individuals/couples who are undergoing IVF treatment, considering IVF treatment, or have gone through IVF treatment and who want to learn more about fertility research or get familiarised with laboratory methods or are just curious. Couples that include a friend or individual support network are also welcome.
What will be covered:
You will learn a very simple process on how to extract DNA from strawberries, a routine procedure used to isolate DNA from the nucleus of cells.
Under the guidance of a biologist, you will use common molecular biology techniques to manipulate DNA and analyse the results.
We will look at various oocytes (egg cells) from animal models and compare them to images of human oocytes.
You will have the opportunity to learn more about DNA and have an informal chat with a researcher while making a DNA keyring as a take-home memento.
Note: the samples being used on the day will be from mice and frogs provided by scientists conducting scientific research into human health, with the samples used being part of ongoing research
About the researchers
Gerard Pieper and Bettina Mihalas are researchers in the lab of Adele Marston at the Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology at the University of Edinburgh. Adele Marston’s lab investigates the biological mechanisms behind how cells divide. Her lab’s research focusses on how cells segregate their chromosomes, which contain the DNA. Specifically, her lab tries to pry apart how “gametes”, the cells that are used for reproduction, such as oocytes (egg cells), end up with the right amount of DNA.