Outreach in Entebbe, Uganda

Our outreach team used their spare time before the SONA Conference in Entebbe last month to inspire students from six secondary schools about science. They got the students to learn first hand, through experiments, about fractionating and estimating protein concentration in house flies; learned how to investigate learning and memory in fruit fly larvae; couple the DNA and some students even got to simulate brain signal speed and how it goes aberrant in cases of dementia. At the end, students made a presentation on their experiments, for which many won prizes and reagent leftovers were donated to all the schools that participated. Many thanks to Mahmoud, Yunusa and Sadiq for organising the outreach. We thank the Serpell lab, University of Sussex UK and the Galizia lab, University of Konstanz, Germany,  for donating some reagents used for the outreach.  See some pictures for impression.

3D printing open day!

The ongoing Open Labware workshop held at Ibadan, Nigeria had for the first time an “Open Door Day”. On this day, the university community, high school students, the general population as well as representatives from the local industry were invited to visit our lecture hall and talk about 3D printing, open source technologies and the projects participants have been developing! Our aim was to expose people to new ideas and technologies as well as create a welcoming environment to foster local collaborations. We had a very rewarding day, with many visitors and interesting discussions!

3D printing and electronics course, Ibadan, Nigeria

After two weeks of intensive hands on training, the 2nd Open Labware workshop is close to conclusion. Here, at the Department of Physiology in the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, participants from seven different countries are learning about open source technologies, 3D printing and electronics in order to build laboratory equipment. Each group is going to leave with a fully functional 3D printer, Arduino kits and one piece of equipment developed by them during the course, including centrifuges, microscopes, orbital shaker, 3 axes micro manipulator and PCR machines.

Many thanks to the Volkswagenstiftung for their continued support in making this possible!

Call for speakers: TReND-SRI webinar series

We are excited to launch a new webinar initiative in collaboration with the Sudanese Researchers Foundation (SRF). This online speaker series will be launched with inagural lecture by Nobel Laureate Martin Chalfie, and we are now looking for academics in any discipline to deliver one-off webinars in their field of expertise. More information below. Sign up now!


ot least following travel bans and restrictions lead by the United States, researchers in this part of the world are at a striking disadvantage not just economically, but by their enforced disconnect with world’s scientific powerhouses. However, the region is bustling with Universities and Institutes of Higher education, filled with enthusiastic students and staff eager to engage in the global production of knowledge.

SRF provide access to their existing substantial online following (>170,000 members, March 2017) and experience in organizing and hosting webinars . Through TReND’s global academic network we aim to identify and invite suitable speakers who are prepared to spend one hour in front of a webcam to give an online presentation on their field of expertise.

Each session will be organized and moderated by a bilingual SRF volunteer with the relevant academic background. The webcast will be held in English and broadcast live, and SRF members will submit comments and questions through the moderator to form an interactive session. Afterwards, the video will be uploaded to YouTube to form a growing archive of research talks. Over time, selected popular talks will in addition be translated into Arabic to further increase their reach in the region.

Find out more, and sign up to speak here.


Bioinformatics Ghana 2016 – course report

In July 2016 the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana hosted a four day workshop on whole exome sequencing data analysis. The workshop was delivered by Aled Jones and was heavily based on the workshop delivered at the University of Khartoum a few months earlier (see report)

Course Design

The workshop was designed to be as hands on as possible with a talk each morning providing the theory which is then applied during the practical session in the afternoon. The course opened with with an introduction to Next Generation Sequencing and Whole Exome Sequencing followed by a hands on introduction to the Linux command line using fellow TReND instructor Richard Smith Unna’s excellent Command Line Bootcamp.

Over the following three days participants learned the theory behind the steps required to process raw sequencing data through to a list of variants, including quality control and exploring the file formats created along the way. The newly found command line skills were utilised to put this theory into practice, with each participant applying bioinformatic tools to process raw sequencing data through to a list of variants.

furosemide online