Time really flies here – we are already at the end of the first week! Days have been intense but very productive: lectures in the morning and practicals in the afternoon, with questions and discussions regularly carrying on well into the evening (we are averaging 11-12h days). Students have learnt about electrophysiology, molecular biology, bioinformatics and genetics.
They now know how to do a fly cross, how to build a home-made amplifier, how to find a homologue gene and how to do a DNA gel. They want to learn and we want to teach. Perfect match!
It is beautiful to see our students get to understand the new concepts and explain them to each other to make sure that everyone is learning.
The students come from different parts of Africa – this year we have participants from 6 different African countries. All of them are are already doing their own research. A number of people’s research projects here use extracts from traditional herbal medicines already used to treat different diseases present in Africa, and test these in standardised lab conditions. Many of them use rats for their research and are here to learn new model system that could help give them new results and research possibilities.
It has been a pleasure teaching our students the basics of molecular biology, electrophysiology, Drosophila genetics and bioinformatics, and we look forward to the next few weeks of the course!