Alpha & Omega exhibit heads to Great British Bioscience Festival

7th Nov 2014

Rothamsted Research is exhibiting at the Great British Bioscience Festival in the Museum Gardens, Bethnal Green, London, 14th - 16thNovember 2014.

A team of researchers from Rothamsted Research will be heading to east London to bring you the best of British Bioscience. The Great British Bioscience Festival is the culmination of a yearlong tour, enabling visitors to explore the fascinating world of biology through interactive science exhibits from scientists. 

Prof. Johnathan Napier, Rothamsted Research and Prof. Douglas Tocher, Institute of Aquaculture University of Stirling and their teams will be showcasing their exhibit Alpha & Omega: making omge-3 fish oils in GM Camelina plants at the festival between 14 – 16 November in Museum Gardens, Bethnal Green, London.

Omega-3 fish oils are beneficial for our health and can help reduce our risk of heart attacks. However, they are a finite and limited resource. There are not enough beneficial omega-3 fish oils to satisfy our dietary requirements. Rothamsted Research scientists have developed GM Camelina plants that produce omega-3 fish oils when grown in glass houses. Currently they are testing the performance of these plants in the field. Parts of the research are undertaken in collaboration with expert fish nutrition scientists at the Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling. 

On 14-16 November, our exhibit will be showcased at BBSRC’sGreat British Bioscience Festival. Visitors will be able to get informed about the current sources of omega-3 fish oils and the challenges that this poses for nutritious, healthy, sustainable food production including aquaculture; explore and discuss plant biotechnology as a tool for alternative sustainable terrestrial sources of omega-3 fish oils; learn about the principles of genetics and GM plants. Wild type Camelina plants, Camelina seeds, fish feeds of different compositions as well as videos describing laboratory procedures will be on display.

As part of the exhibit a new video Game has been developed, in association with Game The News. Camelina Caper, a fast paced, light-hearted adventure that puts the player in control of a fish frantically searching for plankton and dodging jellyfish. Challenge your friends to beat your high score! Camelina Caper is available oniOS and Android devices.

Professor Johnathan Napier, lead scientist at Rothamsted Research said:  “We are delighted our work has been selected to be part of this celebration of British bioscience research. Our participation in the Great British Bioscience Festival in London gives us a unique opportunity to reach people across the UK and discuss with the British public about our work.”

This free festival is suitable for all the family, with over 20 exciting and interactive displays on offer.

Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC Chief Executive: “The Great British Bioscience Festival will be a unique chance for BBSRC and our scientists to bring awe-inspiring bioscience research to east London. A variety of entertaining and engaging exhibitions will be on offer, highlighting the best of BBSRC-sponsored world-leading bioscience. “

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