World-famous artworks reimagined to get Glasgow to donate ‘samples for science’British Science Week provides catalyst for call to action

This British Science Week (5th-14th March), some of the world’s most famous pieces of art have been redesigned, all in the name of getting Glaswegians to share tissue samples and bodily fluids with scientists.

Glasgow-based, human tissue biobank Tissue Solutions has reimagined iconic works from Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ to Michelangelo’s ‘Mona Lisa’, to bring a sense of humour and connection to a more serious call to action.

The artworks have been recreated to encourage the public in and around Glasgow to donate their poo, saliva, tears, skin – and other bits they don’t need – to help progress vital scientific research and drug development around the world.

Tissue Solutions is a trusted specialist in providing tissue material to scientists and researchers to enable them to test and experiment on real human samples as they work to find treatments and cures for wide ranging diseases and conditions. Using human tissue or fluids also reduces the need for animals to be used in research.

The company relies upon having a large bank of willing ‘donors’ to call upon so that samples can be collected from its base in the West of Scotland Science Park when scientists need them. Donors are reimbursed for their time.

Nicola, a housing association Maintenance Officer from Dennistoun, Glasgow, is one of Tissue Solutions’ donors. She said: “I gave blood regularly anyway, so when I learned about Tissue Solutions it seemed like another easy way for me to help others. I’ve donated a small test tube of blood so far, as well as some saliva.

“I’m not involved in science at all in my career, so it feels great knowing that I can play an important part in helping to develop new treatments, and potentially even find cures, to illnesses and conditions that can affect my friends and family. I’ve encouraged my fiancé to sign-up, too. I was also surprised to learn about the inconvenience payment. It helped pay for my bus ticket to the facility and I treated myself to a takeaway at the weekend.”

“I’d encourage others to get involved. It’s a really professional, friendly and straightforward process and there’s no easier way of making such a potentially huge difference with a such a small gesture.”

Morag McFarlane, CEO at Tissue Solutions, said:

“The past 12 months have reminded the world just how much our health, freedom and happiness is intertwined with scientific development. As the UK’s attention turns to science this week, we hope that this reimagined art collection to raise awareness about the role that the Glasgow public can play in championing research.

“Donating a sample can take very little time out of your day but, just like these portraits, the effects are long-lasting and can benefit others for generations to come.”

Nicola added:

“I respond to sample requests when I can – it just depends how busy the week is. There’s no obligation to take part even if you’ve signed up but I definitely feel like I’m making a valuable contribution when I do.”

To become a Tissue Solutions donor, volunteers simply need to complete a registration form to allow the company to contact them when they are sourcing samples. It is a donor’s choice which sample requests they choose to respond to, and they can decide to opt-out at any point.

Click here for more information about what the simple process entails and how samples could be used, or sign up here to become a donor.

Donate samples

Register for our donor database and donate samples.

We can help in all areas of your drug discovery and development