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Centre for

Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology

From the shoreline to the deep ocean, tackling issues from pure ecology
and physiology to aquaculture, marine spatial planning and conservation.


Interdisciplinary research of CMBB & IB3 showcased in public exhibition


Members of CMBB along with colleagues from the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering (IB3) in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences took part in a public exhibition showcasing synthetic biology, biotechnology and interdisciplinary research on Saturday 10 November.

The event entitled "The revolution will be bio-based" was organised by the Economic and Social Research Council and aimed to inform the public about the economic and societal opportunities offered by biotechnology research.

The Heriot-Watt exhibits showcased the advantages of inter-disciplinarity; a 'star of the show' was a bright green fluorescent sea anemone found near the shore in East Lothian by CMBB researchers.

The IB3 team are at the forefront in developing novel applications in cell biology using genes from fluorescent marine organisms to track protein molecules inside living cells. Leica Microsystems provided a fluorescence microscope, allowing members of the public to look at fluorescently labelled cancer cells, which proved to be very popular. Together with custom-made exhibits explaining bio-fluorescence and the physics behind 3-dimensional imaging techniques being developed in IB3, these displays took members of the public from marine biology to optical physics in three short steps.

Professor Rory Duncan, head of IB3 said: "This type of public outreach activity is essential so that scientists can get out of the lab and explain what they do to the public, who in many cases fund this type of research. This event in particular was attended by people of all ages and backgrounds, and was a great forum for Heriot-Watt researchers to explain the value and impact of inter-disciplinary science."

The IB3 exhibition was funded by the Medical Research Council with the assistance of Leica Microsystems