Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Layal and Mirjam in the Rehwinkel lab were live on Facebook to talk about their research on viruses.

Earlier this week Layal Liverpool and Mirjam Schilling, a PhD student and postdoc in the Rehwinkel lab at the MRC Human Immunology Unit (MRC HIU) joined Oxford Sparks in a Facebook Live event about their research on viruses. This opportunity arose as part of a University-wide competition that Oxford Sparks, a University portal for public engagement with science, ran across the University.

Facebook LIVE: what is a virus (Layal and Mirjam)The Rehwinkel lab at the MRC HIU, led by Jan Rehwinkel, Associate Professor Innate Immunology at the Radcliffe Department of Medicine, studies how nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA can trigger immune responses, in particular when cells are infected by viruses. During their half an hour broadcast, Layal and Mirjam discussed their research on viruses, and in particular how cells are able to detect the DNA or RNA of viruses using cellular sensors, not unlike the smoke detectors that can detect a fire (you can read a blog post by Layal on this topic here). The recording took place in the lab, providing an opportunity for those tuning in to see what a real research lab looks like, including a demonstration of the health and safety procedures that protect researchers (and the wider community) from contamination. Layal and Mirjam also answered questions sent in by the public during the event, such as ‘how many different cold viruses are there’ and ‘what kind of imaging techniques do you use’.

For Layal and Mirjam this was a new way to engage the public. “This was an exciting opportunity to engage a wider audience (our video already received more than 5000 views at the time of writing!) with our research and provide a picture of what scientific research in a lab actually looks like.” said Layal “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and highly recommend social media as a tool for engaging people with science.” “Additionally, this was an interesting way to not only reach a broader audience, but also to share a more personal side of our day-to-day working experience and start conversations about the aims and methods of our research.” added Mirjam.

If you missed the live broadcast the video is now also available on YouTube:

 

Similar stories

MRC HIU appoints new Director

MRC HIU RDM

We are pleased to announce that Professor Alison Simmons has been appointed as the new Director of the MRC Human Immunology Unit.

Study uncovers how low blood iron diminishes immune response

MRC HIU NDM RDM

The Drakesmith group finds that low blood serum iron levels can inhibit T-cell and B-cell immune responses to vaccines and infections.

Study finds new human blood disorder

MRC MHU RDM

The Patel Group have discovered a new human disease caused by formaldehyde accumulation in cells

Interferon-b trial shows positive results

COVID-19 MRC HIU NDM

A trial of a new inhaled antiviral drug for COVID-19 has shown positive results and the drug is now moving into a larger international phase 3 trial of hospitalised patients. MRC HIU's Professor Ling-Pei Ho is one of the main co-authors on the paper.

Role-playing computer game helps players understand how vaccines work on a global scale

Centre for Computational Biology MRC HIU RDM

A free game launched today allows players to role-play the deployment of a virtual vaccine to help to halt the global spread of a viral pandemic.