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Middle School Students Build ‘Human Tissue’ in Conjunction With National DNA Day

Dr. John A. Pollock, associate professor of biology at Duquesne’s Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, and his team will deliver two 90-minute presentations on tissue engineering to sixth-through eighth-graders from 12 area middle schools. This Monday, April 21 presentation at Dorseyville Middle School has been planned by a local consortium in conjunction with National DNA Day on April 25.

Pollock’s presentations will include a screening of The Tissue Engineering Show and then students will break into small groups as tissue engineering scientists. Together, they will make artificial tissue for bones or for hearts by using magnetic building blocks, which represent protein outside the cell, and balloons, which will represent the cells.

The project is a collaborative activity with partners including the Duquesne Bayer School of Science, the Department of Journalism and Interactive Media, and the University’s School of Education. Other partners include The Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative and The Center for Translational Science Institute—UPMC.

Funding for Pollock’s work is provided by The National Center for Research Resources, a component of the National Institutes of Health. For more information on Pollock’s work, including teacher workbooks based on his projects, visit www.sepa.duq.edu.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.