Plants are remarkable organisms that we use for a variety of products, from materials, medicines and cleaning products, to food and fuel. But we can also use plants as biofactories to make some interesting and much needed new products. In this session, Professor George Lomonossoff from the John Innes Centre will tell us about his work using plants to produce virus-like particles - tiny non-infectious nanospheres - which can be used as effective vaccines, and potentially for a variety of other purposes. PhD student Roger Castells-Graells will also bring along a variety of models to explain how these nanostructures form, and you will be able to build your own virus-like Christmas bauble for the Christmas tree!
There will be an opportunity to discuss and explore with George and Roger what other purposes we can find for these nanostructures.
Image of a polio virus-like particle - the protein coat of the virus. The image was generated by cryo-electron microscopy in a collaborative project including the Lomonossoff lab.