Armitage lab work features in Oxford museum exhibition
Oxford's Museum of Natural History will showcase work from Professor Judy Armitage's lab in the first of a series of exhibitions highlighting contemporary science at the University.
Colonies of bioluminescent bacteria light up in the lab (Mark Roberts) (Click to enlarge)
How biofilms form and spread on a surface (Kathryn Scott) (Click to enlarge)
The exhibition, Biosense, features three areas of research in the University: circadian rhythms (Stuart Peirson and Russell Foster), hypoxia and oxygen sensing (Chris Pugh, Peter Ratcliffe and Chris Schofield) and environment sensing by bacteria (Judy Armitage). It runs from 8 May to 24 August ( http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/visiting/whatson.htm#EX)
Celebrating cutting-edge scientific research, it combines scientific stories with incredible images and previously unseen museum specimens. Science writer Georgina Ferry has worked with researchers and a designer to put the stunning displays together.
Judy Armitage and her colleagues Mark Roberts, Kathryn Scott and Nick Delalez, provided material for their display: 'Navigating in a Chemical World'.
Beginning with Leeuwenhoek, considered to be the first microbiologist, the panels move on to describe examples of the group's research that illustrate how bacteria sense and respond to changes in the environment: swimming chemotaxis, quorum sensing, and biofilm formation. The story finishes with potential applications of the work.
Colonies of Porphyromonas gingivalis - a bacterium that causes gum disease - growing on a plate. Tooth plaque is a biofilm which contains this and other bacteria (Mark Roberts) (Click to enlarge)
Accompanying the exhibition are talks and other activities. Judy Armitage, Chris Pugh, Peter Ratcliffe, Chris Schofield and Stuart Peirson will be participating in a public symposium on 4 June. Researchers including Judy and lab members will also be available on selected Saturday afternoons for interactive 'Meet the Scientist' sessions. A Biosense trail will encourage visitors to discover other specimens in the displays that are relevant to the exhibition.
Professor Paul Smith, Director of the Museum of Natural History, said: 'This is the first exhibition in the Museum's ambitious new Contemporary Science & Society series that will look at current multi-disciplinary research into organisms and the natural environment, all within the splendour of the Museum's Victorian building.'