You can touch this!

Maus-Türöffnertag in the Virtual Reality CAVE

Robert Haase, our small guests, and "Die Maus" © CSBD

October 3rd is not only a major public holiday, but also an important date for children and families all over Germany: for the 9th time, the famous TV show "Die Sendung mit der Maus" had called for the nationwide "Türöffner-Tag", a day when doors open that normally remain closed to kids. The CSBD was one of over 900 institutions participating. We took 33 junior scientists on an exciting trip into cells and organs of our model organisms.

In our 3D Virtual Reality CAVE, our curious guests “walked” into a computer simulation of a mouse liver, "touched" the chromosomes of a cell while division, and were "inside" a fruit fly embryo during development. With our special 3D glasses the kids delved deep into virtual reality - just like in a 3D cinema! Stunned faces, curious questions, and many excited "oh's" and "ah's" convinced us, that the kids had a lot of fun. Just like us...

The software to transfer microscopy images into 3D visualizations is a prototype developed at the CSBD. Usually, our scientists use the CAVE to better analyze biological samples in order to understand how cells form tissues and organs.

The Türöffnertag was organized in cooperation with six other microscopy centres of the "German BioImaging Society for Microscopy and Image Analysis" (GerBI-GMB), which were simultaneously opening their doors to over 200 children. The microscopy infrastructure at the CSBD is part of the Dresden Microscopy Centre, the "Biopolis Dresden Imaging Platform - BioDIP".

Many thanks to the organizers, our visitors and their families, and “Die Maus” for making it an great day!