IBEC at the 12th Festival de la Ciència

Last weekend IBEC participated in Barcelona’s twelfth Festival de la Ciència with a host of activities.

Kicking off IBEC’s proceedings on Saturday morning were some activities led by the SPECS group, starting with the workshop ‘Biomimetic Robots to Understand Our Behavior’, which offered a glimpse at the way robotics can help us study aspects of brain function, such as learning, and our behaviour. SPECS’ robot, Nao, was one of the volunteers helping to run the workshop.

Attendees could also try out the group’s Rehabilitation Gaming System, a virtual-reality tool that helps restore motor activity and cognition after a brain injury.

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Finally, the volunteers at SPECS presented ‘Studying the brain with virtual-reality and interactive 3D’, where they presented several of the tools that they’ve developed to study the brain. Participants learnt that neuroscience is multidisciplinary, and relies on a combination of disciplines such as engineering, computing and physics.

On Saturday afternoon it was the turn of the ‘Bioengineering Laboratory’, an assortment of workshops and activities presented by of researchers Helena Lozano (Nanoscale Bioelectrical Characterization, Rafael Mestre (Smart Nano-Bio-Devices), Maider Badiola (Nanobioengineering) and Davia Prischich (Nanoprobes and Nanoswitches).

Participants could observe their cells in the microscope and find out about the role of cell mechanics in the body’s various tissues.

In ‘What is DNA?’, visitors were able to build a DNA chain model, and even extract DNA from a banana. Through these activities the researchers explained genetic manipulation and some of its techniques, such as CRISPR.