Loading

BIODISCOVERY Showcasing the Biosciences as part of British Science Week...

Welcome to the BioDiscovery resources showcasing the Biological and Biomedical Sciences... we hope you enjoy the activities and videos that can be found below which have been created by researchers, lecturers, technical staff and students at the University of Manchester and the Manchester Museum to give you insights into the Biosciences.

Overview of Topics...

  1. Silvia’s Frog at the Museum
  2. How what you eat affects your immune system...
  3. Why Fly? the Fly Facility
  4. Tooth Fairy Diaries...
  5. Brain Inflame Lab
  6. Animal Unit Virtual Tour
  7. Bubble-Papr New forms of PPE to protect against COVID
  8. Firs Botanical Gardens - tour by a Plant Science student
  9. Forensic Psychology
  10. DNA: What makes us unique?
  11. Electron Microscopy in action...
  12. Explore NeuroImaging...
  13. Internal Scars - a pain in the gut!
  14. Secrets of the Mummies (and other dead creatures)
  15. Precision Medicine & Patching a Broken Heart
  16. Cell Factories
  17. Bacteria, Evolution & Antibiotic Resistance
  18. Thinking Cap Workshop (New)
  19. Bioscience Resources with Quizzes...(New)

Please scroll down the page to see each resource. Some resources have their own additional page which you can access with the purple buttons. If you would like to be notified when new resources are available please add your name to our list...

1. SYLVIA’S FROG AT THE MUSEUM

The Vivarium is particularly notable for its large collection of Costa Rican Frogs, and the museum has been responsible for establishing important captive breeding programmes for some of the country’s most Critically Endangered species. Andrew Gray, Curator of Herpetology at Manchester Museum, shows Sylvia's Tree Frog for British Science week 2021.

Sylvia’s leaf frog had been mislabeled for over 90 years—until Andrew Gray figured out it was a species all of its own

Are you missing visiting the Vivarium? Treat yourself to a unique digital experience with a virtual visit from home!

Click the button below to visit the Virtual Vivarium

2. HOW WHAT YOU EAT AFFECTS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

From super foods to supplements – many of us are keen to find ways to boost our immune systems. But what actually works - and what is safe?

Professor Sheena Cruickshank asks the question....is it possible to hack your immune system?

Click the button below to watch...

3. Why fly? Manchester fly facility...

Drosophila melanogaster, more commonly known as the fruit fly or vinegar fly, has been used as a model for biological research for over 100 years... the fruit fly has contributed to countless genes, processes and biological concepts. Many of these findings are evolutionarily conserved and fuel research in higher animals – ultimately to understand how the body works and cure diseases.

Demonstration of flies being transferred from one vial to the next...

A simple experiment illustrating how poisonous alcohol is, and illustrating our body’s defence mechanism...

An experiment showing seizure flies which are used to study mechanisms and treatments of epilepsy...

Fun with flies...

Complete embryonic development of the fruit fly...

A tour of the Manchester Fly Facility...

4. TOOTH FAIRY DIARIES

You can miss up to 35% of the tooth's surface if you miss flossing your teeth! Gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss could be the result!
  • In 2019, Public Health England stated 1 in 4 (23%) of 5-year olds have previously had tooth decay
  • An average of 3 days of school missed due to dental problems
  • 38% of children had sleepless nights because of pain
  • Many days of work lost as 41% of parents/carers were employed

5. BRAIN INFLAME LAB

Understanding brain biology and identifying therapeutic targets is our major research theme. There is a close relationship between the central nervous system and the immune system. Our aim is to understand diseases of the central nervous system with a focus on inflammation in stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

Make your own slime blood clot with video below...

Learn how brain lasers can help research into Alzheimer's Disease

How diet can influence the development of Alzheimer's Disease...

What we know about stroke and how to treat it...

6. VIRTUAL TOUR OF ANIMAL UNIT

Virtual tour of the animal unit...

Have you ever wondered what it’s like inside an animal research unit? Why not pay a visit to our virtual tour, where you can move around in 3D and see mice, rats, fish and sheep. You’ll learn about how our animals are helping scientists find ways to fight disease.

7. BUBBLE-PAPR... PPE TO PROTECT AGAINST COVID

  • Bubble PAPR developed by clinicians at Wythenshawe Hospital (Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust).
  • Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR), to keep healthcare workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This simple and low-cost device consists of a reusable collar that sits around the neck and a single-use plastic hood that can be easily recycled. Collar contains a fan to draw in air through a virus filter and deliver a cooling airflow around the face.

View the design and creation of Bubble-PAPR from CAD drawings...to air flow analysis...to the final product in the video below...

Air Flow Analysis
Development of Bubble-PAPR
Filming days...

8. FIRS BOTANICAL GARDENS - TOUR BY A PLANT SCIENCE STUDENT

The Firs Environmental Research Station at the University houses many different varieties of plants. Christian, an M.Sci. Plant Science student explains some of the work he is doing for his 4th year research project. Many research studies take place at the botanical gardens, with some looking at how plants are damaged when exposed to changing stress conditions.

9. FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY

You will look at eyewitness testimony and the problems associated with it. Explore how the Biological Sciences such as forensic DNA analysis helps to solve crimes and overturn false convictions.

10. DNA: WHAT MAKES US UNIQUE?

DNA is a collection of atoms with important functions in plants and animals. It is made up molecules that contain all the information to make plants and animals unique. Complete the worksheet which involves colouring and drawing to understand the different pieces that make up DNA...

Fun DNA activities...

11. ELECTRON MICROSCOPY IN ACTION...

  • Take a tour of the Electron Microscopy facility at Manchester. The facility is a valuable tool for researchers to see in depth images of tissues.
  • Techniques include specialised sample preparation equipment, digital imaging facilities and a suite of computer workstations for image processing.

12. EXPLORE NEUROIMAGING...

  • Learn about neuroimaging techniques to better understand the brain, from our Ph.D. students.
  • Here at Manchester we use a variety of neuroimaging techniques for investigating brain structure and function in both research and clinical settings.
  • For example, positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are incredibly important in diagnosing disorders such as dementia and cancer.
  • And electroencephalography (EEG) and function MRI (fMRI) are important for researching the brain activity associated with sleep, memory and learning.
  • Find out more in the video and resources below...
Cap used to collect electrical data from the brain
Image of human brain showing midbrain structure essential for memory

13. INTERNAL SCARS - a pain in the gut!

  • Discovering new medical treatments to prevent the formation of internal scars, or 'adhesions'.
  • A common complication after surgery (such as the removal of a tumour or an inflamed appendix) is the development of adhesions which can glue our bowels together.
  • In order to develop new treatments we are growing these scars outside of the body in the laboratory.
  • This will make it easier for us to monitor how well our new therapies are working.
Section of human tissue showing an internal scar known as an adhesion...
Click on the image above to read about our research...
Quiz - Test your knowledge about surgery and adhesions...

14. SECRETS OF THE MUMMIES (and other dead creatures)

Working as ancient biomolecule scientists we analyse DNA, proteins and other biomolecules from really old samples such as mummies and other skeletal remains, animals, plants etc. The DNA from these samples is really old and degraded so we need to wear a forensic suit at all times when we are in the lab, to ensure we don’t contaminate the ancient DNA with our modern DNA...

Who's the daddy?

ONE OF THE ‘TWO BROTHERS’ MUMMIES (KHNUM-NAKHT AND NAKHT-ANKH) 1800BC
It was a long and exhausting journey to the results but we are finally here...
  • Khnum and Nakht have the same mitochondrial DNA and so have the same mother but different fathers...
  • A tooth was extracted from each mummy to allow DNA to be extracted.
  • The mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosomes were then compared to see whether the two men shared a mother, father or both.
  • Dr Drosou explains in the video below the analysis that was carried out...

ITV News - How ground-breaking research in Manchester has solved a riddle from ancient Egypt, click on the button below to view:

15. PRECISION MEDICINE & PATCHING A BROKEN HEART

Precision Medicine... making medicine personal

  • Studying our DNA is becoming a bigger part of everyday medicine.
  • Here we explore how DNA, in combination with other clinical and environmental factors, can be used to predict patients' response to different drugs, while considering the problems with these new types of 'personalised medicine'.
  • Annually the NHS spends £12 billion on drugs with 6.5% of hospital admissions due to drug reactions.
  • Could precision medicine change this?

Patching a broken heart...

Scientists at the University are exploring new ways to treat failing hearts using patches of heart tissue created from stem cells. This is an exciting area of research which you can learn more about...

16. CELL FACTORIES

From DNA TO RNA TO Proteins to People...
  • Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells, which work together to make up all of our different organs. But why do all of these organs look so different from one another?
  • That’s because, despite all of our cells containing the exact same DNA blueprint, they use the blueprint to make different proteins. Proteins are the building blocks made by cells to allow them to carry out different functions and they are why all of our organs look different from one another.
  • Each cell in our body acts as a factory, producing proteins and then distributing them to where they are needed. This allows our organs to do their jobs and keeps us fit and healthy! Learn more about the cell factory below...

17. BACTERIA, EVOLUTION & ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE

  • While carrying on with our daily activities as scientists... studying how bacteria evolve and become resistant to antibiotics, we were visited and filmed by Sir Grizzly Attenboroar. He caught some of us in the lab.
  • We were watching evolution happen in real life, seeing how bacteria evolve and adapt to novel stresses like antibiotics.
  • We also engineer our own genetically modified bacteria that have specific properties, and then study how those genetic and molecular properties affect evolution.
  • But he also caught us on the computer, where we use the lessons learned in the lab to develop new models of evolution.
Combining experiments and computer modelling is a great way to understand biology and evolution. It means you can find a new mechanism in the lab & explore what it means in a wide range of situations with the help of computer modelling.
Our goal is to understand the basic principles that govern how organisms evolve, and then to apply that knowledge to slow down the spread of antibiotic resistance.

18. THINKING CAP WORKSHOP

On Demand Online Workshop for Primary School Children

Learn about the different parts of the brain and what they do...
  • This workshop covers how the brain works, how to protect your brain & mental health, hats and creativity.
  • It can be used by teachers in school or by parents at home.
  • The workshop is aimed at Year 5 pupils, but connects to Science, Numeracy, Art and PSHE KS1 and 2, and can be adapted for a range of ages.
  • It has been created by neuroscientists, museum staff and artists, with videos, quizzes, worksheets and a creative activity.
  • This unique online resource is a collaboration between the Division of Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology (University of Manchester), Hat Works Museum (Stockport) and interference-art.
Click on the button below (and complete our quick form) to access the workshop:

19. BIOSCIENCE RESOURCES WITH QUIZZES...

Please click on the button below to see additional eLearning and Education resources with interactive quizzes....

Let us know what you thought of our resources with this quick survey...

BIODISCOVERY 2021, UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER

These resources were created by all the amazing staff and students at the University of Manchester. We would like to thank all of the following:

  • Andrew Gray, Curator of Herpetology at Manchester Museum - Frogs at the Museum
  • Professor Sheena Cruickshank - How the Immune System Works BBC Production
  • Professor Andreas Prokop and Sanjai Patel - Fly Facility
  • Michael Simonsen-Jackson and Michael Adelman - Tour of Animal Unit
  • Professor Stuart Allan and Sarah Withers Ph.D. researcher - Brain Inflame Lab
  • Dr Peter Alexander, Dr Brendan Mcgrath and Dr Cliff Shelton - Bubble-PAPR
  • Professor Giles Johnson, Dr Pablo Calzadilla and Christian Harrison - Neuroscience & Firs Botanical Gardens
  • Amber Ahmed - 4th year Dental student - Tooth Fairy Diaries
  • Emma Kirkham Ph.D. researcher - Forensic Psychology
  • Professor Sarah Herrick - Regenerative Medicine, Internal Scars
  • Professor Martin Lowe, Maryam Arab, Connor Wallis and John Hellicar Ph.D. researchers - From Proteins to People, The Factory of the Cell
  • Dr Aleksandr Mironov, Professor Clair Baldock, Dr Richard Collins, Samantha Forbes, David Smith, Dr Tobias Starborg - Electron Microscopy Core Facility
  • Lucy Evans and Rowan Lawrence Ph.D. researchers - NeuroImaging
  • Dr Mato Lagator - Bacteria, Evolution & Antibiotic Resistance
  • Lydia Blacklock Stellify Volunteer - DNA: What makes us unique
  • Chloe O'Loughlin Ph.D. researcher - Patching a broken heart
  • Philippa Curry Ph.D. researcher - Precision Medicine
  • Dr Konstantina Drosou, Jack Sharpen and Byron Boggi Ph.D. researcher - KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology - Secrets of the mummies
  • Dr Ellen Poliakoff, Camilla Woodrow-Hill Ph.D. researcher, Hat Works Museum (Stockport) and interference-art - The Thinking Cap... Brains, Hats and Health
  • Kirsten Liggat Ph.D. researcher - 2020 Event Photography and Videography
  • Manchester Museum Curators and Staff
BIODISCOVERY 2020 EVENT - 2 DAYS - 600 SCHOOL PUPILS - 79 RESEARCHERS/LECTURERS/STUDENTS - 30 RESEARCH & TEACHING STANDS - 19 AMBASSADORS - 4 FLOORS OF THE MANCHESTER MUSUEM - MANCHESTER MUSEUM STAFF - 2 BIOSCIENCE TALKS (PROF SHEENA CRUICKSHANK / PROF DAVID BROUGH) - 10 LIGHTNING TALKS - 8 BIOSCIENCE WORKSHOPS - 8 BIOSCIENCE SPEAKERS - 3 ORGANISERS - FURTHER IMAGES AT THE END OF THIS PAGE...
ANy questions ?

We hope you enjoyed the bioscience resources on this page. If you have any questions please get in touch:

  • Dr Shazia Chaudhry (s.chaudhry@manchester.ac.uk)
  • Support from Dr Kath Hinchliffe, Dr Lisa Swanton, Barinur Rashid, Rosalyn Webster, Dee-Ann Johnson, Manchester Museum, Schools, Public Engagement, Social Responsibility, Directorate for Student Experience, Web Development, Media, Marketing and Communications Teams

Division of Molecular & Cellular Function, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PT

BIODISCOVERY 2020 event - further images below...

BIODISCOVERY VIDEO 2020

A FEW MORE IMAGES FROM THE EVENT...

BRITISH SCIENCE WEEK - HOSTED AT THE MANCHESTER MUSEUM
Copyright © The University of Manchester 2021. All rights reserved.