Science In the City of Copenhagen

From June 21 to 26, the Danish Stem Cell Center (DanStem) coordinated an exhibition and outreach event on Stem Cell Research as part of the Science in the City Festival in Copenhagen.

The exhibition was made in collaboration with HumEnEuroStemCell, and the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.The interest from the public in the festival was much higher than anticipated. During the six festival days there has been a constant flow of visitors who wanted to know more about stem cell research.

smartphone microscope in actionTo give the visitors a more tangible idea of the fascinating world of developmental and stem cell biology, the exhibition featured two types of microscopes. The first type was a very simple, homemade microscope made out a lens from an old laser pointer, a bit of wood and plexiglas, some bolts and nuts, a drop of superglue and a SmartPhone. With this very simply set-up, visitors see and even bring home on their own phones pictures and short movies of 2-3 day old Zebrafish up close with the beating heart and the blood cells pumping through the body.

Courtesy of Leica Microsystem, the exhibition also included a Fluorescent Stereo Microscope which made it possible to see into a 3-4 day old transgenic Zebrafish where fluorescent green and red cells indicated the developing pancreas and liver, respectively. The exhibition also included award winning animations and short films on stem cell research, a cell turn-over game, and both a paper and a digital version of the graphic novel Hope beyond Hype, all parts of the EuroStemCell toolkit. As a very good example of interdisciplinary stem cell research one of DanStem’s PhD students with a physicist background had made, especially for this exhibition, a computer simulation with a 3D graphical interface of the development of the pancreas over time and under different growth conditions.

Told by Johanne Keiding of Danstem who co-ordinated the event for Danstem