Organ on a chip

Thursday September 14th

19:45 live music
20:15 speakers
Café Loburg

The development of new medicines is a costly and time consuming process. But suppose that the time could be shortened, and the techniques would be cheap, therewith making medication available much more rapidly? That sounds futuristic, but could be just round the corner.

Currently, a lot of effort is put into so-called Organ-on-a-chip technology. With these small devices that consist of small chambers filled with cells from specific human organs, connected through small channels, the regular organ physiology can be emulated, even with several organs on one chip. It is clear that this way of medicine development could change everyone’s life drastically, but how far is science, and what can we expect?

With great pride we announce that we found prof. Albert van den Berg (2009 Spinoza price laureate) willing to tell us about his specialty. He will talk about technical developments that have taken place, give us a preview on the future we can expect, and of course take part in a discussion with the Wageningen audience.

PREVIOUS SESSION: The Journey to Mars

Thursday June 1st

19:45 live music by Sun Inside
20:15 speakers
Café Loburg

The stars in our night’s sky have always intrigued us, but none has captured our imagination as much as the ‘wandering star’ we call Mars. Its red color – coming from oxidized iron – already inspired the Babylonians to name it Nergal, after their god of fire and destruction. Now we know that, instead of fire, Mars harbors liquid water. This, together with its “mild” temperature and comparable gravity, makes the planet to the most hospitable planet for humans in our solar system, after Earth. Nevertheless, Mars is on average 140 million km away from Earth making the journey of approximately six months extremely challenging in terms of technological, but also societal aspects. In our next Science café, we are therefore excited to host Arno Wielders from Mars One and Agata Kołodziejczyk from ESA and Wieger Wamelink from Wageningen University & Research, who will talk about the most intriguing questions concerning the journey to, but also living on the planet of fire and destruction.

Arno Wielders is the co-founder and chief technical officer of Mars One. Mars One aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars within the next fifteen years.

Agata Kołodziejczyk holds a PhD in neuroscience from Stockholm University and is currently a research fellow at the Advanced Concepts Team of ESTEC.

Wieger Wamelink is a (senior) researcher at Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra), where his research focusses on the possibility to grow food crops on Mars by using soil simulants. The results of his research have seen extensive media coverage. Furthermore, he is part of the Mars One advisory board.

Exploring and discussing science with professionals, funky music and a drink.