28 January 2019

An interactive tour to DanStem

outreach

Horsens Gymnasium visited DanStem for an afternoon’s interactive tour. The 3rd year biotech class delved deeper into understanding the potential of stem cells. 

With the start of a New Year, fresh from a hyggelige Jul, Danstem has kicked off its’ 2019 outreach activities by welcoming back Horsens Gymnasium to the institute. Through the afternoon’s interactive tour the 3rd year biotech class delved deeper into understanding the potential of stem cells.  Associate professor Agnete Kirkby demonstrated why stem cells are so important for scientific research and debated the prospect of their use in medical treatments. The theoretical session was followed up by a tour around some of the labs in Danstem. 

PhD student Helle Gam-Hadberg from the Sedzinski Group demonstrated how scientists isolate eggs from the model organism Xenopus laevis.  The non-invasive ‘squeezing’ process emphasizes the positives of using the frog as an animal model – as the embryos develop outside of the womb.  After missing out on a visit to Illumina during their recent trip to UCSF, San Francisco, the students were impressed to see the RNA sequencing machine in action as part of the demonstration by our core facility manager, Helen Neil (PhD).  In the last activity the students got a taster of how it is to work as a stem cell scientist.

Donning all the safety equipment required the students worked ‘aseptically’ to avoid contamination when changing media on a dish of stem cells.  Whilst viewing the cells ‘close up’ under the microscope PhD student Florian Hermann from the Semb group answered all their stem cell related questions –including how and where we place transplanted cells into patients.  The afternoon was a great success for us and we hope that it motivated and inspired those students considering a career in natural sciences.

In addition to the 3rd year biotech class were three 8th graders from Tåstrup Statsskole who used the tour as part of their assignment to ‘interview a scientist’, see the movie: