Scientists from the Centre delighted over 100 visitors at our Science Saturday public engagement event at the Mills Observatory last Saturday. Guardians of the Genome was a free, drop-in event for all the family.

Our genome or DNA is a complete set of instructions to make all living things. If a mistake occurs in this set of coded instructions it can cause diseases. Visitors met our scientists who used various hands on activities to explain how the code works and how it is taken care of.

The activities were:

  • Guardians of the Genome virtual reality headset game where participants took a dive into the core of a cell to repair faulty DNA using rocket gloves and a molecular toolbox
  • DNA extraction from strawberries
  • Scratch computer game
  • Make your own DNA bracelet
  • See your own cheek cells
  • Identify the worms – different genetic strains of c.elegans worms
  • Snakes and ladders type game related to intellectual disability

The visitors clearly enjoyed the event with people asking questions such as “Why do we have DNA?” and “What’s the difference between mutation and variation?” Comments on the event included, “Fascinating, outstanding, excellent. Thank you”, “Everyone was so kind and welcoming” and that the event was “Too much fun!”

The event was part of a longstanding collaboration project, Outer Space | Inner Space between Leisure and Culture Dundee, the Centre of Gene Regulation and Expression and Computing in the School of Science and Engineering.