RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (CDB)
2-2-3 Minatojima minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0047, Japan

CDB opens its doors to the public
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June 5, 2006 – The RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology played host to over 1000 visitors at its 4th annual Open House on Saturday May 20. With a range of scientific talks, demonstrations and hands-on activities, the event made it possible for members of the public to gain a first-hand look into the CDB’s research and activities.

This yearly event is aimed at introducing the Center’s investigations into the mechanisms of development and regeneration to visitors of all ages and walks of life. CDB scientists were on hand to introduce their research and techniques, from regeneration in flatworms to vertebrate neurogenesis, in an enjoyable and educational manner.

The day’s two open lectures saw Kiyoji Nishiwaki (Team Leader; Laboratory for Cell Migration) talk about what the simple roundworm C. elegans can teach us about organogenesis, while Teruhiko Wakayama (Team Leader; Laboratory for Genomic Reprogramming) spoke of the possibilities that cloning technology has to offer—an issue of great interest to many of the visitors.

Several research labs allowed visitors to undertake their own research—for a limited time only. Some of the more popular demonstrations included a mock micro-manipulator that demonstrated how researchers transfer nuclei between cells, a hands-on challenge to locate and suction up tiny roundworms under a microscope, and a race against the “circadian clock” to find hidden gene names in an original word search.

As with previous open houses this year’s event also ensured the kids were kept busy with a science-themed game book that contained a host of activities ranging from coloring in cells to completing a scientific “Game of Life” that provided a glimpse of some of the advances and setbacks of a research career.

The same day also saw the CDB’s neighbors, the Institute for Biomedical Research and Innovation (IBRI) and the Translational Research Informatics Center (TRI), hold their own open days, giving local residents the opportunity to enjoy a full day of the wonders of development, regeneration and regenerative medicine.

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