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June 23, 2007
RIKEN Yokohama Open Campus

The RIKEN Yokohama Institute Open Campus took place on June 23, 2007. The fine weather brought a record high number of visitors (1,820) including 468 children, more than 10 % increase from last year. At RCAI, 14 research laboratories exhibited posters, and researchers explained their projects to the visitors. Among the displays, a new handmade model of immune receptors was especially popular with the children. While enjoying the 3-D puzzle representing immune receptors and ligands (photo), the children learned why immune cells only react to specific antigens, a sometimes difficult concept to convey. RCAI also provided two other handson learning opportunities. The Laboratory for Immunogenetics prepared stained samples of fetal mice. The visitors, ranging in age from kindergarten to retirees, observed the samples through microscopes and asked questions. The Laboratory for Lymphocyte Development arranged a sophisticated cell-sorting experiment for those in high school or above. After hearing a lecture on lymphocyte development and the concept of the fluorescent activated cell sorter, participants were divided into groups and isolated CD4+CD8+ cells from mice, a remarkable experience. In addition to these lectures and hands on activities, two original RCAI videos "Ushering in a New Era for Medical Care; Therapies Using Immunologically Humanized Mice" and "Unlocking the Mysteries of the Immune System; RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology" were shown in the conference room.