Cambridge Science Festival 2017

Up close and personal with fluorescent fruit flies

Mitochondria can be tracked in animals using a fluorescent protein. At the Cambridge Science Festival, on 26 March 2017, scientists from the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit showcased their research into neurodegenerative diseases through a demonstration showing the behaviour of fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster). Using a fluorescent protein, we explained how mitochondria can be tracked in animals, showing fluorescent markers under a microscope.  We also demonstrated how mutations in mitochondria might lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and motor neuron disease, using fruit flies sensitive to temperature.

Games, posters and movies

Our visitors also played a game of elimination, based on fruit fly phenotypes, and spent time colouring in the MRC Cambridge Colouring Book.
Members of the Unit also explained their research on mitochondria using movies and posters to show the causes and effects of mitochondrial diseases.

Thank You

Our event was well attended and we have lots of positive feedback from our visitors - thank you.