Two of our Scottish PCD Families visited the Centre for Integrative Physiology at the University of Edinburgh and had a very warm welcome by senior lecturing staff and some of their research teams (Dr. Thomas Theil investigating the molecular mechanisms that control cortical patterning and Professor Andrew Jarman studying the relatively simple nervous system of the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) to understand the molecular, genetic and cellular mechanisms involved in neuron generation during development.
We first got to know each other a bit better while chatting and enjoying some biscuits and drinks, then we went off with Andrew to look at fruit flies with and without PCD-gene and the differences when put into a glass jar – how many flies make it to the top in 10 seconds? We were all amazed how much you could see under the microscope, then moved on to a different lab to look at fly-larvae with hearing difficulties and their response to sound (they all got named by the kids). After the lunch break Thomas explained different types of cilia and showed us research with mice embryos suffering from Jouberts Syndrome. This was the chance to ask lots of questions and trying to get our heads around some of the tricky bits explained earlier and then we went to another part of the laboratory to see different embryos under the microscope.
Many thanks for inviting us!