Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Antibiotic resistance roadshow

 Earlier this year, members of Mat Upton's research lab were involved in running a public engagement event showcasing some of the work being carried out on antibiotic discovery. As part of it, we also ran a ‘swab-n-send’ type session, asking the public to swab an environment they found interesting, come back and smear it onto the agar plate ready to be grown in the lab.

We were also recently able to take this event on the road (well to the Barbican, anyway) for the Pirate Weekend, alongside members of Kerry Howell's research group and with some help from the Marine Biological Association. There was lots of interest from both kids and adults alike, was great fun and we were able to chat to members of the public and get the message of antibiotic resistance out there to the masses. We also took pictures of all the plates that were swabbed and posted them to our on-going Facebook page, allowing people to check back and see what grew on their plates, as well as keep up to date with interesting developments in the lab and future events.

As an added bonus we’ve been able to identify a potentially promising antibacterial candidate from one of these plates, and are currently working to characterise it in the lab. So if you’ve ever wondered what kind of horrible (lovely) things might be hiding out there, check out the Facebook and come along to the next event.