University of Dundee

Cosmic research from compost worm goes on display

28 Nov 2016

A new winter season at Mills Observatory will begin with an interactive project demonstrating how the ‘C. elegans’, a minuscule worm that lives in your compost, helps world-leading research carried out at the University of Dundee.

A massive interactive video wall will allow visitors to get up close and personal with the inner world of the 1mm long roundworm, some of whom have been used by NASA and other space agencies to test the effects of space on aging and the effects of weightlessness.

On Earth the ‘Giant Worm’ is used by biomedical researchers in the School of Life Sciences at the University to investigate human development, genetics, aging as well as diseases such as Parkinson’s and cancer.

The installation is the next project from Outer Space | Inner Space, an interdisciplinary collaboration using research technology to make scientific research accessible to everyone.

Outer Space | Inner Space is a science communication venture funded by the Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression (GRE) at the University by a Strategic Grant from the Wellcome Trust and hosted by Leisure & Culture Dundee at Mills Observatory.

Professor Tom Owen-Hughes, Head of GRE, said, “The Mills Observatory provides a unique opportunity to contrast the scale of the cosmos with our own work studying the molecular basis for life on earth. We hope visitors to the observatory will enjoy the opportunity to explore the microscopic world we share with all living creatures.”

Christine Millar, Section Leader for Learning & Engagement at Leisure & Culture Dundee, said, “We are delighted to be working with the University of Dundee to introduce this research as part of our Winter Events Programme  The interactive video wall that has been installed for this project is also used for our planetarium shows and really enhances the visitor experience at the observatory.

A special launch event taking place on Sunday, 4th December from 2 – 4pm will allow visitors to see the ‘Giant Worm’ but also meet with scientists, take part in some Christmas science themed craft activities and see the actual worms. The Giant Worm will be available to view in the Observatory’s Planetarium during public opening hours from this Sunday until Friday, 31st March 2017, except when the space is in use for Planetarium Shows or Workshops.

Admission is free and there is no need to book in advance.

 

About the Mills Observatory

Britain’s first purpose-built public observatory enjoys a magnificent woodland setting on the summit of Balgay Hill. Watch stars and planets through our telescopes, or admire the scenery with some spectacular treetop vistas across the silvery Tay.

With fascinating space exploration and astronomical displays, planetarium shows and a fully computerised telescope that can detect 30,000 objects in the sky, there’s so much to see, do and learn! Our friendly staff are on hand to help and advise.

Contact Details:

Address: Mills Observatory, Glamis Road, Balgay Park, Dundee DD2 2UB
For group visits please email mills.observatory@leisureandculturedundee.com or call 01382 435967

£25 per group. Booking essential

Website: http://www.leisureandculturedundee.com/mills-home

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MillsObservatory, Twitter: @millsobs

 

About Outer Space | Inner Space

Outer Space | Inner Space is a science communication venture, creating an adaptable immersive space at the iconic Mills Observatory, supported by an interactive, science outreach programme to promote cutting-edge research from the University of Dundee in Life Sciences, Computing, Physics, Mathematics, Medicine and Astronomy.

The Mills Observatory in the heart of Dundee provides a unique location to develop, trial and offer public engagement activity that is immersive, uses multimodal-presentation techniques through a room-filling visual presentation screen, allowing visitors of all ages and abilities to engage with and explore the wonders of our micro and macro cosmos.

This ambitious project is funded by the Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression at the University of Dundee in partnership with Leisure and Culture Dundee and Dundee City Council. This project is being developed in collaboration with the School of Science and Engineering’s Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Research Group and with input from Life Scientists, Physicists, Mathematicians and Astronomers from across the University.

The facilities allow accessible, interactive exploration of University research. The technology used will also ensure that all audiences, especially people with disabilities, can experience and interact with the presentations.

If you would like to find out more about the project, organise a school visit or meet with one of our scientists, please contact Schools Outreach Officer on e.hardee@dundee.ac.uk or +44 (0)1382 386 460.

For special events please check our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/outerspaceinnerspace

Share