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Cambridge Science Festival 2020

On Sunday, 22 March 2020, the MBU will be showcasing its science at the Cambridge Science Festival event on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Activities will include games, movies, hands-on activities and our scientists will be available to talk to visitors about life in the laboratory.

This event was subsequently cancelled due to COVID-19

 

Visit by Sixth Form Students

We recently hosted a visit by sixth form students from Cambridgeshire.

Martin gave his excellent Biology Masterclass, Ana hosted a visit to the fly laboratory and Professor Sir John Walker explained the stucture of ATP synthase with the help of our Lego model!

The students met with a number of MBU members, including early career and senior scientists, for discussions about life at university, in the laboratory and career options.

Mitochondrial Gene Therapy - with The Lily Foundation

The Lily Foundation is sponsoring a full PhD fellowship allowing further research into the delivery of therapeutic proteins into muscle and brain tissues in a murine model of mitochondrial disease, which will serve as vital information in pre-clinical trials.

Big Biology Day 2019

Great fun was had on Saturday, 5 October when members of the MBU took various activities to Hills Road Sixth Form College for Big Biology Day 2019.

The event was attended by visitors of all ages, who tried out our new Mito-gami activity, along with our "Destroying Mutant Mitochondrial DNA" game and mtDNA sequencing puzzles.

There was much conversation about the science and career options ... and a quiet corner for colouring.

 

 

 

Reaching out to Lowestoft and Beccles

On 18 and 19 September 2019, Dr Martin King visited three schools and a sixth form college in Suffolk, giving a 'masterclass' on mitochondrial biology, an overview of life at university (and Cambridge!) and helping with university interview techniques.

This tour was arranged in collaboration with Kathryn Singleton, School Liaison Officer at St Catharine's College, Cambridge - the College that Martin joined when he arrived in Cambridge.

The feedback questionnaires are currently under analysis - at first glance it looks as though Martin did a great job!

 

Global Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week

This week, 15-21 September 2019, is Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week.

Around the world Global Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week (GMDAW) will be marked with educational, fundraising and advocacy efforts designed to raise awareness about mitochondrial disease (mito).

The MBU's website will follow a green theme for the duration of this week.

We have also been "baking it green"! ...with a small prize - this year's winner is Jennifer.

Development of an alternative mtDNA mutator model for APOBEC1

Stochastic mutations in the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) have been linked to many diseases, and their accumulation has been proposed to act as a driving force in the ageing process itself. For the past 15 years the main animal model used to study this phenomenon has been the ‘mutator’ mouse, harbouring a proofreading defective mtDNA polymerase (POLG). These models accumulate high levels of mtDNA point mutations, but also large and small deletions and mtDNA depletion, causing progeroid (accelerated ageing) phenotypes.

Structure of F1-ATPase from the obligate anaerobe Fusobacterium nucleatum

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the fuel of life, is produced by a molecular machine consisting of two motors linked by a rotor. One generates rotation by consuming energy derived from oxidative metabolism or photosynthesis; the other uses energy transmitted by the rotor to make ATP from adenosine diphosphate and phosphate. In many species, the machine is reversible, and various mechanisms regulate reversal.

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