Scientist’s festival date

Dr Steve Tucker, former Portlethen Academy pupil, will host an event at Europe’s biggest science festival when it returns to Aberdeen for the first time in almost 50 years.

Dr Tucker, a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Aberdeen will showcase his research into the way in which DNA acts as an instruction manual for the building blocks that make up the average adult at the 2012 British Science Festival.

The British Science festival is the largest and most high profile public science event in Europe and takes place in Aberdeen and the surrounding area from September 4-9.

Dr Tucker’s free event will allow the public to see how certain genes can be used to make proteins, the building blocks of cells in the body, which are used on a daily basis by scientists throughout the world to gain a greater understanding of biology and disease. 

He will present the workshop with colleague Dr John Barrow, also a Teaching Fellow at the Institute of Medical Sciences, and the pair will create fluorescent versions of these proteins so the inner workings of human cells will be visualised in bright and beautiful colours.

The event includes a hands-on sections were the audience can make DNA models and also extract their own DNA.

Dr Tucker said: “This event will allow the public to see a glimpse of real science in action with DNA extractions and using high-end microscopes to look at fluorescent cells and samples. “It will also allow them to see the fascinating hidden world of DNA and proteins, which are present in each and every cell in our bodies but for the most part go unnoticed by us all.

“It is always an honour and a privilege to share scientific discoveries with the public and to be part of such a huge festival like this is a real bonus.

“We both are very enthusiastic about science and having an opportunity to engage the public with science and the University is a very unique and exciting opportunity”

The event, entitled DNA to Protein: Can you glow the flow, will take place on Saturday September 8 between 10am and 5pm at the Zoology Building on Machar Drive, room G9. No booking is necessary, just drop in.

The British Science Festival has an illustrious history spanning 178 years, and has developed into the largest public access celebration of science in Europe. Organised by the British Science Association, the University of Aberdeen and Techfest-Setpoint, the Festival will bring more than 350 of the UK’s top scientists, engineers and commentators together to discuss the latest developments in science and technology .