Microbes Week Banner

Explore A Virtual Laboratory

Part of Microbes Week

We do lots of world-leading research at the University of Dundee. In our laboratories, we can grow different cells, test chemicals, and explore how molecules work.

One thing we can’t do very easily, sadly, is let people freely explore our labs. There’s lots of equipment in there, and some of the chemicals and cells can be dangerous. If we want to research the deadly disease malaria, for example, we must keep it in our labs. Safety is incredibly important, so only people who have been fully trained can come in.

Fear not! There are a couple of ways you can discover our labs from the comfort of your own home.

We’ve set our labs up on Google Street View so that you can tour them from the comfort and safety of your own home. Take a look at our worksheet to find out how.

Challenge: Where’s Ally?

One of our team seems to pop up a lot. He may be the result of a hideous cloning experiment gone wrong, or perhaps he’s just enthusiastic. He has a beard, red sneakers and a fabulous manbun. How many of him can you find?

Use a pen and paper to make a tally chart to count how many times you see him. To do this, draw a line each time you see Ali. When you get to the fifth line, draw it through the first four. Then repeat this until you have found all the Ail’s. This makes it easier to count at the end.

While searching for Ali and exploring our labs, see if you can also answer these questions:

  • What safety equipment are people wearing?
  • Is the safety equipment the same in all areas? What’s different (look at lab coat colours…)?
  • Can you see any robots? (almost all our robots are big grey boxes!)
  • Can you see any interesting glassware in the labs? The chemistry side of the laboratory might be good for that search.
  • We use a lot of the same cleaning products as at home. Can you find any?

You can find out much more about our labs at

This page is part of the Microbes Week information.

If you have enjoyed these activities please share them with your friends and family.