GMI celebrates Lange Nacht der Forschung

During the evening, over 170,000 people visited research institutions all over Austria to learn more about science.

At Lange Nacht der Forschung, a biennial celebration of science across Austria, IMBA scientists organized a showcase at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, which received over 3000 visitors.

Visitors learned about the importance of plant-derived products, and how genetic selection has shaped our crops for thousands of years. A matching card game dared visitors to figure out which ancient plants our common fruits and vegetables derived from. Attendees also learned about how CRISPR-based gene editing can provide a safe and effective method to improve our crops. Using an interactive digital board, an explanatory video and an online quiz developed in cooperation with Open Science, visitors could explore how CRISPR searches its target genetic sequences, and how scientists use this tool to perform precise genetic modifications in crops.

In a panel discussion, Timo Küntzle, an agricultural journalist and "Diplombauer", Ortrun Mittelsten Scheid, a molecular biologist at the GMI, and David Spencer, a biologist and author, discussed how modern genetic engineering contributes to more sustainable agriculture. They explained how CRISPR fits into organic plant breeding and enables the development of healthier, higher yielding crops. Lena Yadlapalli, Head of APA-Science, moderated the discussion.

We want to acknowledge the GMI community members who made this event possible, with special thanks to Sina Metzler, Ortrun Mittelsten Scheid, and Open Science:

Open Science: Christoph Stifer

Dolan group: Johannes Rötzer, Hugh Mulvey, Natalie Edelbacher, Sophie Wallner, and Beate Asper.

Ramundo group: Carla Brillada and Julia Kober