Scholar to premiere film on DNA origami

  • October 6, 2014
Scholar to premiere film on DNA origami

Kerstin Goepfrich will be showcasing a film on her research on DNA origami at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas this month.

A Gates Cambridge Scholar will be showcasing a film on her research on DNA origami at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas this month.

Kerstin Goepfrich [2013] has written and produced the film, DNA Origami: folding on the smallest scale, which will be premiered at the Arts Picturehouse on 20th October as part of the first Cambridge Shorts event.

Cambridge Shorts brings together early years researchers and professional film makers to produce films that are creative, accessible and engaging. The researchers were selected through a competitive application process and successful applicants received up to £2,000 to commission a film maker to make a short film. Kerstin also received an extra £2,000 from the Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability.

Kerstin's film presents an encounter between an artist and a scientist which leads to a compelling journey through the macroscopic world of paper origami and the microscopic world of folding DNA. Fellow Gates Cambridge Scholar Axel Bangert [2006], who did a PhD in Modern and Medieval Languages, was both editor and director of photography on the film.

Physicists developed DNA origami in 2006 where it is used to create new shapes and structures from short pieces of DNA. While various artistic nano-scale shapes have been created as a proof of principle, DNA origami is now used to build technologies on the smallest scale.

Kerstin's research looks at ways DNA origami can be applied to biomedicine and used in smart drug delivery systems which target certain cell types, for instance, as adaptors that control the function of protein pores in cells.

The Cambridge Shorts event is free to attend, but pre-booking is advised.

The premiere will be followed by a discussion with the researchers and filmmakers. The films will also be made available online through the University’s YouTube channel and the University and Festival websites.

Other events at the Festival of Ideas which involve Gates Cambridge Scholars include a debate on 25th October on Borderlands and boundaries with Dr Berenice Guyot-Rechard [2009]. Her research focuses on nation-building and state formation in south Asia. Berenice did a PhD in History with support from the Gates Cambridge Trust.

Halliki Voolma [2011] will be speaking at the Women of the World Festival on 26th October on how being vigilant on women's rights to freedom from violence is the only way to stop them slipping away in the current political context.

Julianne Pigott [2012] will be leading Creating identity: medieval storytelling for young children on 25th October. This storytelling session will focus on medieval stories featuring animals and saints. The stories will be linked to the student-managed 'Mapping Miracles' research project which aims to develop a taxonomy and online repository of miracles in saints’ lives, written in Latin and the vernaculars, in Britain and Ireland between 500 and 1300.

Afrodita Nikolova [2014] will take part in an event entitled Performing identities, sharing liveness: an ARTographic community on 24th October. Described as a participatory rehearsal-performance, it involves interdisciplinary Artists-Researchers-Teachers showcasing a hybrid performance of improvised poetry, live sound diffusion, visual art, video projection and computer coding.

The Festival of Ideas, now in its seventh year, runs from 20 October to 2 November. This year's Festival aims to explore some of the most essential and thought-provoking ideas of our time, from rising nationalism, gender and racial politics to digital rights and innovation.  It celebrates the very best of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Over 250 events ranging from talks, debates and film screenings to exhibitions and comedy nights are held in lecture halls, theatres, museums and galleries around Cambridge and entry to many is free.

It is sponsored by Cambridge University Press and Anglia Ruskin University who run several of the events. Event partners include Heffers, University of Cambridge Museums, RAND Europe and the Junction. The Festival's media partner is BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

More information: www.festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk

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