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

Fifth annual CDB Open House
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April 23, 2007 – The RIKEN CDB opened its doors to more than 1,000 visitors on Saturday, April 21, hosting its fifth annual Open House with a new variety of seminars, exhibits and fun-with-science activities. This yearly event helps to introduce the Center’s research into such areas as developmental biology, regeneration and stem cells to visitors of all ages and interests.

Visitors enjoying the model animal exhibit

Among the highlights of the day’s events were a science café-style chat session, in which members of the public could enjoy a relaxed and friendly discussion with CDB scientists on questions surrounding brain-machine interfaces; science craft workshops teaching how to make DNA papercraft and clay models of animals used in research; a gallery of fluorescent posters of biological images; and a themed exhibition hosted by four CDB labs on the biological properties and medical promise of stem cells.

This year’s public science lectures included talks by Masayo Takahashi (Team Leader; Laboratory for Retinal Regeneration) on the current realities and future potential of retinal regeneration and, marking the first Open House held by the Molecular Imaging Research Project (MIRP) that recently joined the RIKEN Kobe Institute, by MIRP Director, Yasuyoshi Watanabe.

A number of labs gave visitors the chance to take a peek inside a real research unit, with explanations of experimental equipment and techniques by the scientists, galleries of microscopic images, and even areas where kids could have their photos taken in a real laboratory setting. Also for kids, the day featured the debut of a new interactive program, CDB Lab Panic, that lets players try their hands at scientific methods in a fast-paced and challenging game format.

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