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Researchers from the MRC Toxicology Unit were involved in the Cambridge Festival 2023 last weekend to engage families with our research.

The Cambridge Festival is an annual event coordinated by the University of Cambridge’s Public Engagement team. It is a multi-disciplinary festival with a mixture of online, on-demand and in-person events covering all aspects of the world-leading research happening in Cambridge.

The Unit ran three activities that enabled visitors to explore the vital science that our researchers are doing and to inspire the next generation of toxicologists. Families were able to get hands-on building their own set of lungs to understand how that organ looks and works, and make their own microscopy slides to mimic analysing the size of tyre and brake particles, as well as see some images and videos of lung cells that had been exposed to tyre pollution.

This year we launched a new project at the Family Weekend: Tattoo my Science. We were part of the University's (temporary!) Tattoo Parlour alongside the Gurdon Institute and CRUK Centre Cambridge. We chatted to lots of visitors about toxicology, DNA damage, the gut microbiome, antibodies and more using our tattoos, designed by our researchers, as conversation starters.

Our final activity was on-demand and is a series of videos that our staff and students have made showing what a typical day in their lives may look like. These are not just for the Festival so you can access them on our YouTube channel anytime.

It was fantastic to be able to meet so many visitors over the two days and share our air pollution research with you.