8P were fortunate enough to visit the Bateson Centre at the University of Sheffield recently. Throughout the day they toured the aquariums which house 30000 zebrafish and in doing so they learnt how the fish were managed. They had presentations from PhD students and Research Associates covering the use of zebrafish in the development of ground-breaking medical research and treatments for numerous diseases. Following this, all students harvested zebrafish embryos which were later observed through state-of-the-art microscopes. They also viewed embryos where neutrophils had been highlighted with fluorescent markers. Later, they were able to view neutrophil and macrophage response to tissue damage.
This was a unique experience that was hugely interesting and informative for all involved. It was an opportunity and privilege, particularly for children of this age, to learn more about translational biology from one of the UK’s leading research universities. After such a stimulating day, some of the pupils might well end up at Sheffield University in years to come, perhaps in the research labs themselves.