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Citizen Science Prezi

posted Oct 23, 2017, 11:05 PM by Rachel Aronoff   [ updated Oct 25, 2017, 12:53 AM ]
An amazing few days in Brussels for the #OpenVillage Festival included a workshop on open-sourcing of DNA damage detection for citizen science!  Even though no one managed to count at least 1000 cheek cells for proper micronuclei quantitation, and the incubator wasn't available and so had to be 'hacked' (overnight floating in a box in the bathtub, so we had too many bacterial colonies even from tap water - but at least not E. coli! That, at least, was only found in the 'environmental samples from Leopold park!), it was very enlightening for all.

If you can make a moment to see a bit about what was presented, including some preliminary results from last summer's sampling campaign around Montreux and the current cheek cell micronucleus protocol, your questions and feedback are very welcome!

Here is a pic of a cheek cell with a micronucleus, just for your info. 

Presence of a micronucleus basically indicates that a big piece of chromosome broke away, sometime during a replication of the cell, most likely, and a little nuclear membrane went ahead and tried to form a little 'baby nucleus' around it.
These can happen normally, by the way, maybe a few per 1000 cells. 
So, it is only if there are very many, say 20 or more per 1000 cells, that these would be of concern!  
This is the great challenge of 'open-sourcing' such assays, to get good quantitation without too much 'human reporting bias' or uncontrolled panic!  :)   
For workshops, I thus recommend people working in pairs and scoring each other's slides!  
That helps for the first issue, at least!  :P

Take care!