Science in the City brings health and genetics to the capital

A dedicated area on health, genetics and rare diseases will be set up in Ordinance Street, between the new Parliament building and Teatru Rjal in Valletta, as part of Science in the City

16 September 2015, 10:10am
Dental students will be creating lots of activities for children while giving advice on oral health
Dental students will be creating lots of activities for children while giving advice on oral health
Would you like to know how to prevent a kidney failure? How genetics is being used to battle a host of uncommon diseases? About breast cancer research programmes at the University of Malta? Or have a dental check up and take part in research? 

A dedicated area on health, genetics and rare diseases will be set up in Ordinance Street, between the new Parliament building and Teatru Rjal in Valletta, as part of Science in the City on Friday 25th September from 6pm onwards.  A collaboration between the University of Malta, Mater Dei Hospital and the University’s Research Trust (RIDT), this area is all about health and the researchers pushing the boundaries of new knowledge and treatment.

Researchers and science students will show how a kidney works through a functioning kidney model. There will also be a dialysis machine, and live dissections to raise health awareness while celebrating the launch of the new Kidney Research Programme being funded by the LifeCycle Malta Foundation.

Thalassemia and blood disease researchers will have microscopes with slides showing a number of conditions and talking about the importance of blood transfusion.  

At the DNA for life stand, individuals will be able to extract DNA and see how it is separated and studied. Researchers and students will be in the area for a chat in the hands-on station and for career advice.

Visitors shall be introduced to the Malta BioBank. It forms part of the Research Infrastructure of BioBanks from across the EU.   It makes possible important research on rare disease and population genetics studies.   Shortly it shall be possible to participate in this vital health research by donating samples and health data. 

Nearby, there will be a spot where one can play with 3D printed molecules. One can even build their own DNA strand—the fundamental building block of life. A 3D printer and molecular models will be at the stand.

A research programme in breast cancer has been running at the University of Malta, generously supported by EU funding and local NGOs, namely: ALIVE Charity Foundation, Action for Breast Cancer Foundation and Europa Donna. The cyclists who raised these funds will be at the festival. 

The recently launched new mobile dental clinic will be on site as part of its national survey on oral health while providing advice and free dental check ups. Alongside the clinic, MADS (Malta Association of Dental Students) will be bringing activities, experiments, games and advice on oral healthcare. There will also be a kids’ section with tooth fairies handing out balloons, playing various games, colouring pictures and so on.

Science in the City – European Researchers Night is funded by the EU’s Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Action of the Horizon 2020 (H2020) Programme, and organised by the University of Malta, the University’s Research Trust (RIDT), and the Malta Chamber of Scientists. It is recognised as a Festival by Europe for Festivals and Festivals for Europe (EFFE).

The festival is also supported by the European Commission Representation in Malta, the Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sports, Karl Borg Events, Central Bank of Malta, MCAST, MCST, Studio 7, Spazju Kreattiv, MEUSAC, PBS, Levo Laboratories, Valletta Local Council, Notte Bianca, Arts Council Malta, Thought 3D, and General Soft drinks with Coca Cola.

Full programme can be viewed on www.scienceinthecity.org.mt or follow the festival on Facebook for regular updates: www.facebook.com/ScienceInTheCityMalta