Of Schemes and Memes Blog

Nature Videos from this year’s Lindau meeting

One of the unique aspects of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings is the opportunity for young scientists and Laureates to spend time in dialogue away from the press and attendees. These personal mentoring sessions are at the nucleus of the Lindau experience, where young scientific minds can question the already accomplished.

For the last three years, our Nature video team has made an assortment of short films from the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. This year was no exception, as they were on hand to capture some of these rare conversations between Laureates and students focusing on research topics in Physiology and Medicine.

This year, five such interviews were recorded and the first was published this week, with another one released each week up to 13th October. To get a taster of what this year’s films contain, take a look at the short trailer, which introduces both the Laureates and the five young scientists involved in the films. The early researchers who are followed in these films are working on cancer, viruses, malaria and much more. See what advice the Laureates can offer these young scientists and what questions the Laureates have for them.

Film 1: The virus catchers – with Harald zur Hausen

Young researchers Jan Gralton and Sven-Eric Schelhorn are fascinated by the minute world of viruses. They have plenty of questions for Harald zur Hausen who won a Nobel Prize for proving that human papillomaviruses (HPV) can cause cervical cancer. All three are worried by public distrust of the HPV vaccine, which was made possible by zur Hausen’s work.

Film 2: Combating cancer with Edmond Fischer

Nobel Laureate Eddie Fischer was born in Shanghai in 1920. Since then, China has emerged as an economic superpower. Now it’s becoming a scientific heavyweight too. Tong Qing belongs to the newest generation of Chinese scientists. She decided to study cancer after a family friend became ill with breast cancer. In this film, she tells Fischer about life and research in China today.

Film 3:Bench or bedside? with Ferid Murad

Camelia-Lucia Cimpianu is trying to decide between a career as a researcher or a practising doctor. In this film, she seeks advice from Nobel Laureate Ferid Murad who faced the same dilemma as a medical student in the 1960s. Murad chose the bench, and he subsequently discovered that a gas called nitric oxide (NO) acts as a signalling molecule in the cardiovascular system. It turns out that NO plays a role in many diseases — and possibly in the head trauma cases that Camelia studies.

Film 4: A life in science with Elizabeth Blackburn

Elizabeth Blackburn grew up in Hobart on the Australian island of Tasmania. It was a long journey from there to a Nobel prize and the lab she runs at the University of California in San Francisco. Malaria researcher Clare Smith is also a Hobart girl, and she’s trying to decide whether to follow in Blackburn’s footsteps and move overseas after she finishes her PhD. Karina Zillner is from Germany. Like Clare, she’s in the final stages of a PhD. She’s developed a method for analysing sections of repetitive DNA. Karina hopes her technique might be used in Blackburn’s lab, where they study telomeres — repetitive sections of DNA that protect the ends of chromosomes.

Film 5: Hungry for knowledge with Oliver Smithies

Oliver Smithies is a toolmaker. He shared the Nobel prize for discoveries that led to the development of knockout mice. Diego Bohórquez uses mouse models to understand how our gut regulates appetite. He has wanted to meet Smithies ever since he moved from his native Ecuador to Duke University in the United States. When the two meet in Lindau they have an instant rapport and soon they’re sharing ideas about their research projects and talking about what makes a successful scientific collaboration.

To complement the video coverage, the official Lindau English blog did an exceptional job reporting on all the latest news, views and reflections from this unique meeting. Here on Of Schemes and Memes we also updated readers with the latest news and you can find our coverage here. Or why not read last year’s interview with the Nature Video team to find out more about how the laureates are paired up with researchers and the other preparations that are made for the films.

The 5 films will be published, one a week, from 15 September to 13 October. You can see them all here.

You can also view more Lindau videos, including videos from last year here.

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