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!

Background

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.

Wellcome Trust sponsored project completed

In early 2016 we were delighted to receive funding from the Wellcome Trust, UK to run two projects over the course of the year. One project was to run a series of outreach events in Nigeria, while the other was to establish a sustainable collaboration with the University of Khartoum, Sudan. We are delighted that all goal have now been achieved. See the below link for some pictures and a short report.

See the full report here!

Nigeria outreach spree continues!

Our outreach coordinator Mahmoud has been on an outreach spree the pass few weeks, from Lagos to Yobe State, Nigeria. He and his team are inspiring future generation of African Scientists through hands-on activities ranging from protein assays, fly fractionation,  DNA modelling to cell modelling. During these events, students from nine (9) secondary schools learned to conduct experiments and present their findings, with quiz competition at the end, for which, the top schools received microscopes as prizes. More to follow soon!