Ever since the impact of COVID-19 became widespread, "isolation" has become an everyday term. However, apart from controlling the spread of disease, isolation can also be used when conducting scientific research. NARLabs' National Laboratory Animal Center (NLAC) and the National Library of Public Information (NLPI) have collaborated to organize a special exhibition titled "The Magic Spaces of Isolation Bubbles," which will be on display from March 8 to June 26, 2022 at the Digital Art Center on the second floor of NLPI's Main Library. In the exhibition, the concept of isolation is broken down into easy-to-understand illustrations, accompanied by video explanations, real-life isolation cabinets on display, and even a hands-on experience. The public will be offered a glimpse of the magic spaces that "isolation bubbles" create as well as their scientific applications in the sterile environments in which laboratory rats are kept.
The "isolation cabinets" mentioned above are what researchers use to create independent micro-worlds within the same animal breeding space. These small worlds housing the lab animals function as individual "bubbles" which have no effect on each other, as each has its own air circulation system. At first glance, it seems like there is no difference between each isolation cabinet, but the microbial conditions within, invisible to the naked eye, actually differ greatly. Using isolation cabinets and microbiota transplantation, scientists can produce rats that are completely sterile, exposed to a single bacterium, or have known microbiota. This makes gut microbial ecology, which is very complex in natural conditions, controllable, pROViding researchers with tools to explore the roles of microorganisms in the most basic conditions and further understand how different microorganisms affect human health.
Using isolation cabinet technology first requires a long period of training. Besides the strict process required to set up the spaces and maintain their microbial levels, it is not a simple task to breed animals, change cages, or perform experiments, all while wearing gloves which are attached to the cabinets. In addition to viewing the isolation cabinets used for special bacteriological animal testing, visitors young and old are welcome to experience the magic of donning work gloves and exploring these magic spaces themselves at the exhibition.
"The Magic Spaces of Isolation Bubbles" Special Exhibition
Dates: 2022/03/08 (Tue.) - 06/26 (Sun.)
Venue: National Library of Public Information, Digital Art Center (2F)
100 Wuquan South Road, South District, Taichung City, Taiwan