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CVS Staff and Students demonstrate hands-on science at Edinburgh Science Festival

Do whales get stressed? Can we fix diseased heart valves? What is mass spectrometry?

On the 19th and 20th of April, Centre for Cardiovascular Science staff and students answered these questions and more at the Edinburgh Science Festival. Based at the National Museum of Scotland, two teams from CVS took part in the University of Edinburgh's "Medical Frontiers: From Science to Future Medicine” event, organised and coordinated by Sari Pennings, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Cardiovascular Science. 

Phil Coan, Mhairi Doris, Linda Feng, Rongling Wang, and Grace Bailey delivered drop-in activities exploring heart valve disease. Museum visitors got to see real animal hearts, play a game in which they created and tested their own hypothetic heart valves, and learn about cutting-edge medical technology and procedures.

The second group from CVS, including Marisa Magennis, Tom Grove, and Allende Miguelez, delivered “Stress Busters,” a chromatography activity exploring stress hormones in different animals. Their research uses advanced mass spectrometry techniques to study the stress levels of whales and horses.

Demonstrating interactive activities alongside other University teams, the CVS groups engaged with over 550 museum visitors over the course of two days. Visitors enjoyed the range of free drop-in activities offered to them and appreciated "the chance to speak to the people who are actually doing the research." The CVS staff and students welcomed the rewarding experience of engaging with the public, gaining new useful perspectives on their research.

Phil Coan, Mhairi Doris, Linda Feng, Rongling Wang, and Grace Bailey at the Science Festival at the National Museum
Phil Coan, Mhairi Doris, Linda Feng, Rongling Wang, and Grace Bailey at the 2019 Science Festival at the National Museum of Scotland. Photos courtesy of Sari Pennings and Douglas Robertson Photography.
Marisa Magennis and Tom Grove at the Science Festival in the National Museum. Photos courtesy of Douglas Robertson Photography.
Marisa Magennis and Tom Grove at the Science Festival in the National Museum. Photos courtesy of Douglas Robertson Photography.

Related Links

Edinburgh Science Festival

CVS Aortic Stenosis Heart Valve Research Project - Saltire 2 Trial

CVS Aortic Stenosis Heart Valve Research Project - EVOLVED Trial

Mass Spectrometry Core Facility