From researchers for mouse fans

Doors open for microcosm and virtual reality

Observing things that are invisible to the naked eye is a big challenge. Yet, seeing tissues and cells at a very small scale is essential to understand all living processes. Observing structures at the microscope is part of a daily routine to most scientists, but this microscopic world is usually not accessible to most people outside the science world.

That changed on October 3rd. This day was dedicated to kids and families, with the WDR TV show “Sendung mit der Maus” inviting places that are usually closed to the public to open their doors for the „Türöffner-Tag“. The Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) and in the neighbouring Center for Systems Biology (CSBD) opened their doors as well: More than 70 kids took a journey into the microcosm and discovered the fun of virtual reality applied to biology.

The "Biopolis Dresden Imaging Platform - BioDIP“, in co-operation with six other centers of the "German BioImaging Society for Microscopy and Image Analysis“ (GerBI-GMB), hosted the “Türöffner- Tag” at the MPI-CBG. At the microscopy set-ups, kids and their parents explored the staggering beauty of cells, tissues, plants and animals under light and fluorescent microscopes. Our visitors were also amazed by all the hidden details that plants, animals, and even rocks conceal. 

At the CSBD, our small guests “walked” into a virtual mouse liver, "touched" the chromosomes of a cell, and saw a 3D reconstruction of a developing fruit fly embryo. 

After seeing the faces of kids overwhelmed with nature's hidden details, we finished the day certain that we inspired the kids that might very well be the next generation of life scientists. 

Thanks to all MPI-CBG, CSBD, and BioDIP experts for successfully organizing this event, and thanks to all visitors for making it a great day!