University of Dundee

Magnificent Microbes at Sensation, 10 March 2012

05 Mar 2012

Microbiologists from the College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee are inviting visitors to come along to Sensation, Dundee Science Centre, this week to discover the wondrous world of `Magnificent Microbes’.

Although most microbes are invisible to the naked eye, our bodies contain millions of them, they help shape our environment, and we use them without knowing it everyday.

The two-day Magnificent Microbes event, which takes place on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th March, aims to use fun and interesting activities to make children and adults alike aware of how fascinating microbes really are.

Among the little known facts about these little “creatures” are that:

·         Ants can use the bacteria on that live on their bodies to produce their own antibiotics.

·         Bacteria can be used to fight pollution.

·         Like something from a sci-fi film, microbes can glow in the dark.

·         Lots of commonly consumed food and drink products are made using fungi or bacteria.

Visitors will be able to take part in a range of interactive activities, talk to experts from the University, and view the exhibitions on display.

Dr Nicola Stanley Wall, a lecturer in microbiology at the University of Dundee, said that visitors, both young and old, would learn something new and interesting at Magnificent Microbes.

“Because of their size, people don’t realise just how interesting and important microbes are so we wanted to hold an event where people could come and see how fascinating they really are,” she said.

“People don’t realise how broad the range of functions are that microbes play a role in. Microbes, especially fungi, are used to make a massive range of food and drink products.

“We hope that we’ll be able to give people a better understanding of what microbiology is.  With some of the youngsters, it might even persuade them to pursue a career in science.”

The first day of the event will be for schools only, with around 200 pupils from (Primary 6 and 7 from Dundee), while an open day takes place the following day.

Magnificent Microbes’ open day takes place at Sensation, Dundee’s Science Centre, from 10am-4.00pm on Saturday March 10th. FREE entry to Dundee Science Centre.

For further information, please contact Dr Jon Urch on 01382 386669 or email  magmicro@dundee.ac.uk.

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