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Exciting Art/Science collaboration…

May 8, 2013

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Whitworth Art Gallery

Art/Science Exchange with Cell Matrix Research Centre

Wednesday 10 July, 6pm – 8pm. Free

Whitworth Art Gallery and The Welcome Trust Centre for Cell Matrix Research are pleased to announce an exciting new art/science exchange. Join us for this initial network meeting and take part in creating a new discourse between artists and scientists. From this exchange event, we’ll invite and support proposals for art/science collaboration ideas as interventions in Whitworth Art Gallery’s public programme.

Spaces are limited. Please contact Ed Watts with expressions of interest and examples of your work. Email: ed.watts@manchester.ac.uk

At the Welcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research, we are all researching how cells interact with their local microenvironment. These interactions are necessary both to control how cells behave and to build tissues, which are complex collections of many cell types.

 Our discoveries are illuminating new principles about how multicellular life is organised. The extracellular matrix is the material outside of cells that creates the three dimensional structure of tissues and gives tissues their solidity. This matrix, comprising a remarkable 70% of proteins and complex carbohydrates in the body, is crucial for nearly every aspect of the way that cells behave. For example, it is essential for cell survival, cell division, cell movements and determining the exact functions that are carried out by almost all cells in the body. Chemical and mechanical interactions between the matrix proteins and cells determine cell behaviour, and the matrix also controls our immune systems.

Because of its central role in tissue biology, defects in the extracellular matrix and the way that it interacts with cells underlie many of the disorders of mankind,  for example, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, inflammatory disorders, and many skeletal abnormalities. This means that understanding the basic biological principles by which cells and the matrix work together to form functional tissues is a key requirement for explaining many of the health problems in modern society.

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