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    Talk Summary

    Laura Pellegrini’s talk: Cerebral Organoids

    Laura Pellegrini, a postdoc at the Lancaster lab at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, grows mini-brains in Petri dishes to study neurodevelopment and brain-related diseases. In her talk, she introduced us to this peculiar model system and its applications in research.  The human brain and its complex neuropsychological disorders can hardly be modelled using animals. Still, most of what we know about the brain comes from experiments with mice. As Laura explained, cerebral organoids provide a fundamentally human yet conveniently simple model system to study brain development, bridging in vitro and in vivo techniques. Brain organoids are grown from embryonic stem cells by the addition of different…

  • Talk Summary

    Kelvin Dempster talk

    This week’s talk saw Kelvin Dempster discuss his research at laboratories across the globe and his plans for the future. Kelvin is now a researcher at Francis Crick after an undergraduate degree at St. Andrews University. After a quick introduction, Kelvin dived into his research during his time in Japan for a summer internship at the University of Tokyo. Based on the research he aided, he discussed with clarity the regulation of locomotion (movement) in fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) larvae. Locomotion involves the movement of the larvae either forwards and backwards through waves of electrical signals along the larvae’s body through specific glutamatergic interneurons. Using imaging techniques, Kelvin showed how…

  • Talks

    Lizzie English and Lydia Kitchen’s Talk

    On the 1st of February, we were joined by two current Masters students, Lizzie English (MBiol) and Lydia Kitchen (MScR), who work in Paul Chazot’s lab at Durham University. As outlined by Lizzie, Despite dissimilar research topics, both students use the model organism Drosophila Melanogaster. As outlined by Lizzie, benefits of Drosophila as a model organism include its few ethical restrictions, short lifespan and easily modifiable genetics. Additionally, structures surrounding the brain (the skull and cerebrospinal fluid in humans) are closely paralleled in flies (the exoskeleton and haemolymph). This makes the fly a good model of neuro trauma. Lizzie was first to discuss her 9-week project, entitled ‘Development of Drosophila…

  • Introductory Posts

    DUNE Welcome Event!

    On Monday 5th October the society was thrilled to host it’s first ever event! We held the meeting on Zoom to be accessible during the pandemic and aimed to make the environment as relaxed as possible. The evening started with a PowerPoint presentation where we outlined the society’s general aims and plans for the year. Each exec member introduced themselves and spoke a little about their role within the society. Next came the main event of the evening – neuroscience bingo! Questions were read out by the President and the bingo cards (auto-generated using an external website) provided a selection of answers. The questions mixed scientific facts with some more…

  • Introductory Posts

    Welcome to the DUNE Website!

    Welcome to Durham University Neuroscience Society! Thank you for your interest; we are particularly grateful as we were founded just this term and are still working hard to set everything up fully. Please sign up through the Durham Student’s Union page to become an official member, after which you are welcome to join our Teams. We also have a Facebook and Instagram for the latest information and updates. I hope to see you at society events in the future!