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Science after dark: gut feelings, art, and CRISPR

For one night only, the Max Delbrück Center in Berlin-Buch and the MDC-BIMSB in Mitte will open their doors to the interested public: On June 17th, 2023, visitors can tour laboratories, perform hands-on experiments, and explore connections between art and science. Here are some of the highlights.

Our gut is home to a universe of tiny organisms. Usually, the intestinal bacteria serve their host’s well-being. But this microcosm, the microbiome, is prone to disruption. If the delicate balance is shifted, there is a risk of infections, obesity, and inflammatory or neurological diseases.

Gut feelings: How our gut communicates with our brain. In this workshop, visitors will learn how our intestines can affect our brain, mind and mental health. Max Delbrück Center & Experimental and Clinical Research Center, Campus Buch, registration at the info point at MDC.C, 6:30 pm (EN) and 4:30, 5:30, 7:30 und 8:30 pm (GER)

A walk-in model of the intestine. How does nutrition affect the microbiome? How can changes in the gut impact our health, for better or worse? Researchers of the Max Delbrück Center will answer these and many more questions using a seven-meter-long model. Max Delbrück Center, Campus Buch, MDC.C, 4-11 pm

The science of forgetting

Shiny Spaghetti in the Brain. Some proteins don’t have a particular shape and look like cooked spaghetti. Melissa Birol’s team will shed a light on how they are related to neurological disease. MDC-BIMSB, Hannoversche Str. 28, Registration at the info point, lab tours at 7:30 pm (EN) and 5:30 pm (GER)

Modeling neurodevelopmental conditions with brain organoids. Learn how Jakob Metzger and colleagues grow mini brains in the lab and use them to find new therapeutic avenues. MDC-BIMSB, Hannoversche Str. 28, Registration at the info point, tours at 6:30 and 9:30 pm (EN) and 5:00 and 8:00 pm (GER)

Seeing is believing. Go for a walk on microscopy lane and discover how protein clumps affect our brain, watch zebra fish larvae grow in a time lapse and put your head in a fly using virtual reality. MDC-BIMSB, Hannoversche Str. 28, lobby on the 2nd floor, 4 pm- 12 am

Naked mole-rats with a sense of tact

They are almost pain-free, social and yet authoritarian. They like to gossip, get super old and survive even with little oxygen: naked mole-rats. Gary Lewin’s lab shares what the unusual rodents can teach us about human health. Max Delbrück Center, Campus Buch, registration at the info point at MDC.C, lab tours at 7:30 and 9:00 pm (EN) and 6:00 pm (GER)

CRISPR/Cas: new applications for the gene scissors

CRISPR/Cas9 - How do the gene scissors work? Klaus Rajewsky’s lab will share some insights on this cutting-edge technology and its profound impact on research and gene therapy. Max Delbrück Center, Campus Buch, registration at the info point at MDC.C, lab tours at 6:30, 8:00 and 9:30 pm (GER)

Genome editing with CRISPR/Cas- a double-edged sword? Genome editing paves the way for new therapies and new avenues in agriculture. How can we harness its power, while mitigating the risks? Presentation by Michael Strehle at Café Scientifique, Max Delbrück Center, Campus Buch, MDC.C, 7 pm (GER)

How to use a CRISPR-based test. In this hands-on workshop, Michael Kaminski and his team will show visitors how this new type of test can be used to detect genetic risk variants for disease. MDC-BIMSB, Hannoversche Str. 28, registration at the info point, 6 pm (GER)

The art of science

Franz Liszt- A visionary trailblazer. Nikolaus Rajewsky will introduce the composer and point out commonalities between artistic and scientific creative processes. The discussion will be followed by a piano concert featuring some of Liszt’s works. MDC-BIMSB, Hannoversche Str. 28, ground floor, 8 pm (GER)

Science is also art, as it transcends boundaries and requires creative thinking. Staff members of the Max Delbrück Center will present their artwork and the science behind it at the “Science Art” exhibition. Max Delbrück Center, Campus Buch, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Haus, 4-11 pm

Grand finale: pub quiz and protein synth

To conclude an exciting day, “Tom and Darren” invite everyone to their Pub Quiz, featuring brain-teasing questions and mind-blowing facts on everyday things, as well as the geekier aspects of life. The game is played in small teams and open to young and old. Max Delbrück Center, Campus Buch, MDC.C, 10-11 pm (GER)

At MDC-BIMSB, visitors can tune into science and life’s building blocks: Bioinformatician and musician Isabella Douzoglou turns data on protein structures into electronic music. The result: protein synth! MDC-BIMSB, Hannoversche Str. 28, terrace 3rd floor, 10 pm

Further information



Jutta Kramm
Head of Communications
Max Delbrück Center
+49 (0)30 9406-2140 or

Max Delbrück Center


The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (Max Delbrück Center) is one of the world’s leading biomedical research centers. Nobel Prize winner Max Delbrück, born in Berlin, was a founding father of molecular biology. At the sites in Berlin-Buch and Mitte, researchers from approximately 70 countries analyze the human as a system - the foundations of life from its smallest building blocks to cross-organ mechanisms. Understanding what controls or disturbs the dynamic equilibrium in a cell, an organ, or the entire body can help prevent diseases, diagnose them early, and stop them with tailored therapies. The findings of basic research should quickly benefit patients. The Max Delbrück Center therefore promotes spin-offs and cooperates in networks. The close partnerships with the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin in the joint Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC) and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) in the Charité as well as the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) are particularly important in this regard. 1800 people work at the Max Delbrück Center. Founded in 1992, the Max Delbrück Center is financed 90 percent by the federal government and 10 percent by the state of Berlin.