Pedaling with Science at the European University Games
The European project FOIE GRAS, coordinated by the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC) at the University of Coimbra (UC) will have its international Early Stage Researchers enlivening a «Pedal Bar» at the European University Games (EUG) Coimbra, where between the 15th and 28th of July, the public will be able to pedal and unveil the biological mechanisms of exercise practice.
The action of communicating science, under the motto of “Healthy living with exercise” is for Paulo Oliveira, coordinator of the project and researcher at CNC, «a unique opportunity for rising awareness on Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)», highlighting that «one in every fourth person in the world can have an excess of fat accumulated in the liver due to a sedentary lifestyle and an excessive consumption of sugar and fat, which is affecting more and more children and adolescents.»
This interdisciplinary approach of the Summer School Marie-Curie «is a good example of Science Communication», underlies João Ramalho-Santos, researcher of the project and president of CNC. The different publics assisting the EUG will be able to interact with scientists performing research on NAFLD at a Pedal Bar containing static bike and paddle machines where «people can practice some exercise whilst engaging in speed-dating with scientists explaining the effects of exercise on the different organs of the human body, particularly regarding metabolism and aging.»
The EUG Coimbra gather over 4000 athletes from more than 400 universities in 40 countries. The general secretary of the Organizing Committee of the EUG Coimbra 2018, Mário Santos, stresses the «importance of science and scientific innovation to understand the role of sports, not only on the athlete’s, but also in people’s lives».
The initiatives have been carried out under the coordination of Anabela Marisa Azul, João Ramalho-Santos, Mireia Alemany i Pagès, Paulo Oliveira and Sara Varela Amaral, CNC researchers.
This initiative will count with the participation of PhD students that will be in Portugal attending the second Summer School of the European project FOIE GRAS, and that pursue their research at the CNC, at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR, Italy), at the Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade de Lisboa (FFUL, Portugal), at the Fyziologicky Ustav Akademie Ved Ceske Republiky Verejna Vyzkumna Instituce (Czech Republic), at the Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen Deutsches Forschungszentrum Fuer Gesundheit Und Umwelt GMBH (HMUG, Germany), at the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas de Barcelona (IIBB-CSIC, Spain), at the Instytut Biologii Doświadczalnej (NENCKI, Poland), at the Institut national de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM, France), at the Faculdade do Desporto da Universidade do Porto (Portugal), at the Università degli studi di Bari Aldo Moro (UNIBA, Italy), and at the non-academic partners, the german companies Mediagnost and microBiolytics, and at the Associação Protetora dos Diabéticos de Portugal (APDP, Portugal).