Stem cells and climate change under the spotlight at two free science events

Stem cells and climate change under the spotlight at two free science events

The latest developments in stem cell research, and how what we eat is impacting on the world’s climate, will be the topics up for discussion at two free events in Aberdeen this week.

Professor Cosimo De Bari, Chair in Translational Medicine and Professor David Reid, Head of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, both from the University of Aberdeen, will provide an insight into the stem cell research that has the potential to transform the treatment of arthritis.

Their talk – which takes place at the Suttie Centre on the University’s Foresterhill campus this evening (Monday March 12) beginning at 6pm – is part of the institution’s Café Med series which brings together the public with leading figures in medicine and biosciences.

Professors De Bari and Reid are working with Arthritis Research UK on a new experimental tissue engineering centre which aims to regenerate bone and cartilage by using patients’ own stem cells to repair the joint damage caused by osteoarthritis.

Professor De Bari said: "Osteoarthritis affects around eight million people in the UK and is an increasing problem in our society as people age and want to remain active. However treatment is currently limited to painkillers or, for end-stage disease, joint replacement surgery.

"Stem cell research could revolutionise the way osteoarthritis is treated in future years. Adult stem cells from the patients themselves could be transplanted into the joints to reconstruct damaged bone and cartilage.

"Stem cells are naturally present in the joints and research could lead to new medications that target these stem cells in the joints in order to increase their ability to regenerate damaged joint tissues, thereby treating or even preventing osteoarthritis.

"This strategy underpins a cross-discipline effort in medicine to manipulate, using drugs, stem cells present in the body."

The potential global consequences of our diets will come under the spotlight in another free talk taking place in the city.

Dr Jennie Macdiarmid from the University of Aberdeen’s Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health and Dr Janet Kyle from the University’s Institute of Applied Health Sciences, will discuss what the future of our planet and our diets could look like if we maintain our current eating habits.

Their talk takes place on Wednesday (March 14) at Waterstone’s Union Bridge branch at 7pm and is part of the University’s Café Scientifique series, which provides a public forum for the discussion of scientific topics.

This Café is co-hosted by The Nutrition Society, in advance of its Spring meeting in Aberdeen later in the month, at which nutrition scientists from across the UK will be discussing future food and health.

Dr Macdiarmid: "The talk will explore some of the issues around the impact that our diet and food choices are having on the environment and climate change, and what this means in terms of our future diet to achieve a more healthy and environmentally sustainable diet."

For more information on the full programme of events taking place as part of the Café Scientifique and Café Med series’ visit

The Cafe Scientifique series is organised by the University's Public Engagement and supported by a science engagement grant from the Scottish Government