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Drawing on nature

The poster image for this year’s EMBL PhD symposium, created by Mariia Burdyniuk, a PhD student in the Lénárt group at EMBL Heidelberg, beautifully encompasses the event’s theme: ‘Inspired by biology – exploring nature’s toolbox.’

Mariia's illustration reveals how a cell’s inner workings can serve as both inspiration and toolkit. IMAGE: MARIIA BURDYNIUK, EDITED BY PETRA RIEDINGER

From biologically-inspired medical applications to ‘pushing the limits of life’, the 2014 symposium invites young scientists from around the world to convene in Heidelberg in October, to explore how the cell’s inner workings can serve as both inspiration and toolkit.

The symposium is organised by students in the first year of their PhD at EMBL, and will feature a mix of lectures by leading scientists, short talks by participating students, poster sessions, a ‘science and society’ session, and a workshop on science communication, as well as social activities like a party and an evening in Heidelberg’s old town.

Zoom in…

Like a growing cell expanding into the surrounding area, interest in manipulating and drawing inspiration from cellular processes is taking biology out into wider realms, from materials science to sociology
Like a growing cell expanding into the surrounding area, interest in manipulating and drawing inspiration from cellular processes is taking biology out into wider realms, from materials science to sociology
Like adding screws to a toolbox, cells can take up material they need from the environment
Like adding screws to a toolbox, cells can take up material they need from the environment
Shedding light on life: viruses can be used to insert fluorescent markers and other genes into cells
Shedding light on life: viruses can be used to insert fluorescent markers and other genes into cells
Manipulating the cell’s protein processing plant and other machinery could convert common organisms into chemical factories
Manipulating the cell’s protein processing plant and other machinery could convert common organisms into chemical factories
Life’s blueprint, DNA, is being explored as a building block, for example to create nano-robots whose very fabric is programmable
Life’s blueprint, DNA, is being explored as a building block, for example to create nano-robots whose very fabric is programmable

Tags: Cell biology, events, Heidelberg, PhD

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