How University of Cambridge Earned Millions of Views on YouTube

Last week, we held a webinar on higher education and social media and heard some fantastic social media strategies from The University of Cambridge and City University London. If you work in higher education, you can watch the webinar on-demand. On the webinar, Barney Brown, head of digital communications at The University of Cambridge, told the story of how their Under the M ...Read the full article

Killer T cell attacking cancer

Cambridge University's Under the Microscope is a collection of videos that show glimpses of the natural and man-made world in stunning close-up. Check out the rest of the series here: In this video we see a killer T cell of the immune system attacking a cancer cell. Professor Gillian Griffiths: "Cells of the immune system protect the body against pathogens. If cells in our bodies are infected by viruses, or become cancerous, then killer cells of the immune system identify and destroy the affected cells. Cytotoxic T cells are very precise and efficient killers. They are able to destroy infected or cancerous cells, without destroying healthy cells surrounding them. The Wellcome Trust funded laboratory of Professor Gillian Griffiths, at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, investigates just how this is accomplished. By understanding how this works, we can develop ways to control killer cells. This will allow us to find ways to improve cancer therapies, and ameliorate autoimmune diseases caused when killer cells run amok and attack healthy cells in our bodies." Cytotoxic T cells are just 10 microns in length: approximately one-tenth the width of a human hair. These movies are 92 times real time. The original footage shown was made by Alex Ritter, a PhD student on the NIH-OxCam programme, in the laboratory of Professor Gillian Griffiths at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research and the Department of Medicine of the Clinical School of the University of Cambridge. The images were acquired using an Andor Revolution spinning disk system with an Olympus microscope. Professor Griffiths is a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow. Links for more information: Music by Intercontinental Music Lab Find more Cambridge University research here:

Mouse embryo developing over time

In this video from, we see a mouse embryo developing. Erica Watson, Cambridge University, tells us that studying this process helps us better understand human pregnancy. Under the Microscope is a collection of videos produced by Cambridge University that show glimpses of the natural and man-made world in stunning close-up. You can see the whole series here: Erica Watson: "The development of a fetus is elegant yet complex. Amazingly, most fetuses undergo a highly orchestrated sequence of events during development to produce a healthy baby. This suggests that a baby can adapt to changes in the womb, such as to the availability of nutrients from its mother. But how do these environmental changes affect the baby's health in later life? And is it possible that these adverse changes will alter the development of generations to follow? In other words, does the environment that a baby develops in affect its grandchildren's growth and development? Our research aims to understand these questions using a mouse model with a genetic mutation that prevents the normal breakdown folic acid (a vitamin). This mutation alters the metabolism of a mouse and causes long-lasting effects on the generations to come. Our hope is to find out how environmental changes caused by a genetic mutation are perpetuated into subsequent generations, even when these generations do not carry the mutation. Since humans and mice use similar genes during development, we can get valuable information from a mouse model about how an embryo and its placenta develop over time. Compared to a human pregnancy that lasts nine months, a mouse fetus develops quickly, taking only three weeks to get from a one-cell embryo to a fully-grown mouse pup. Using a light microscope, we generated this image showing the growth and development of a mouse embryo during the second week of pregnancy. The first embryo is nine days old and has few recognizable features whereas the last embryos is fourteen days old and more closely resembles a mouse pup as birth. Understanding the progression of normal developmental processes will ultimately help us explain the events that cause fetal development to go awry resulting in miscarriage or stillbirth." The smallest fetus in the video is the thickness of a penny and the largest one is the size of a blueberry. More information: Department of Physiology, Development and Neurosciences: School of Biological Sciences: Music by Peter Nickalls: Find more Cambridge research here:

Under the Microscope - A serenade

In celebration of over a million views of our Under the Microscope videos we have put together this ambient audio visual montage. Thank you for sharing the videos, discussing the science behind them and for your ongoing curiosity. This is a tribute to the many researchers at the University who helped with the creation of the series, but more importantly their ongoing pursuit to unravel the mysteries of our Universe. Music by Intercontinental Music Lab