Posted on 4 July 2012
The CII took part in the 'Science out of the Lab: Chronic Diseases and Disorders' outreach event held in the centre of York on Friday 22 June as part of the 2012 York Festival of Ideas. Alongside researchers from other departments, members of the CII led a variety of hands-on activities for visiting members of the public in a marquee specially erected in St Sampon's Square. Visitors looked at the human blood from a malaria-infected individual and tried their hand at fishing for bad bugs and playing the good bug/bad bug game. There was also an impressively-sized cow's spleen on display.
The neighbouring stand by the British Society of Immunology (BSI) continued the theme with a giant fibre-glass model of the human nose with volunteers from the University on hand to explain the nose's role in the body's immune system and to supervise the associated 'snot-making' activity. .
Another popular CII-led attraction was extracting the DNA of volunteers using methods similar to those deployed in the lab but which could also be tried out at home. Using common household items, including salt, water, washing up liquid and alcohol, a crude DNA extract was produced that appeared as white clumps/threads.
Radio York broadcast live from the tent during the morning and interviewed several of the stall holders, including CII senior lecturer, Dr Mark Coles. The York Press also included a report on the day.
The event received a steady stream of interested visitors throughout the day who, from their comments, both enjoyed the activities and learnt something new.