13. Description of the core message of your event and key topics to be covered (c.100 words):
We aim to promote the public knowledge of Structural Biology and Protein Crystallography in particular as an essential tool to understand the mechanisms of life. The final outcome will be for participants to be aware of the essential steps involved in our research and how it can be used to not only understand the mechanisms of life but to the range of different applications it can have.
Activities will start with the display of videos explaining the several steps involved in our research and the basic concepts that allow us to determine protein structural models. The videos will be accompanied by our explanations and narration. A 3D video of some of our models will be prepared and a 3D screen and goggles will be available for people to view it.
The larger group will then be separated into smaller groups that will have a more interactive experience.
One group will use the 3D screen and specialised software that allows 3D visualisation of protein models ready to interact with our protein models.
Another group will interact with 3-dimensional models of the proteins we currently work on in order to get a better sense of shape-function relationship. As we work on proteins associated with pathogenic organisms, we will also have “Giant Microbes” (http://www.giantmicrobes.com/uk/) toys to familiarise participants with the different shapes and forms pathogens can have.
Finally, we will have a basic set up to allow participants in the third group to prepare and visualise their own protein crystals.
During the workshop, the groups will move across the three activities, so all participants will be able to enjoy the full experience.