Over 300 Year 10 students from Schools across the North East and members of the public were riveted by the demonstration of how important mitochondria are to our lives.
They were attending the Faculty of Medical Sciences Festive Lecture.
The International Centre for Life was transformed to welcome Professor Sir Doug Turnbull, Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research at Newcastle University, who delivered this year’s lecture and explained the fascinating science highlighting the importance of a tiny piece of DNA present in our bodies - the small circle of life.
Professor Sir Doug Turnbull was joined by members of his research team, who illustrated some of the science in the form of demonstrations that involved screaming jelly babies and DNA extraction from a banana!
The audience heard two very moving accounts from patients who are affected by mitochondrial disease and learnt about the impact that it has on their lives.
Angela Topping, Management Accountant in the Faculty of Medical Sciences and her family were also involved in the lecture, as Professor Turnbull explained the importance of mitochondrial DNA and how it is inherited.
The lecture was fantastic and illustrated the incredible research that is taking place in the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research to improve and transform the lives of patients with mitochondrial disease.
For those who didn't attend the Festive Lecture you can watch it here:
We are continuing the discussion and would like to ask:
How do you feel about the UK being a pioneer of mitochondrial donation?
Join Dr Lyndsey Craven-Butterworth, a Research Associate in the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research, for a discussion on this topic. Your answers will help to contribute to a presentation. Dr Lyndsey Craven-Butterworth will be responding to comments until Friday 3 February 2017. After this date please feel free to add any additional thoughts.