We are your brain buddies, your cool science friends! We bring you science in an artful, joyful manner, to let you see nature’s bare beauty and make you appreciate it as much as we do. Our gift to the world is as unique as life itself: mindfully designed hand-crafted jewellery and original artworks, coming together into a science-meets-art concept for the community. Our products are particularly inspired from the Life- and Neurosciences, and they come accompanied by labels explaining the scientific concept behind them in simple words. We hope to get you excited in learning more about neurobiological research, life sciences, and technology.

If you are a scientist, we don’t need to tell you just how cool and beautiful science is. Just come grab your superhero talisman and get out into the world doing meaningful research for a better life on Earth. We hope you become one of the greats!

The original concept was developed by Olivia N. Auferkorte, aka your BB Olivus, who is a PhD in Neuroscience and a research professional since many years. After joining forces with childhood friend ElMoni and former colleague Diana T. Karnas-Skrypzak, aka BB Dido, PhD in Neuroscience and representative of Science Products GmbH, the idea of a creative project around science for the greater public was finally brought to life. We have many plans and generally a whole lot more ideas than time and other resources.

We launched Brain Buds during Christmas 2014 at the Holiday Party of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Since then we go live at least one time a year at prestigious Neuroscience conferences – the Annual Meeting of the German Neuroscience Society in Göttingen, Germany, and the Forum of European Neurosciences (rotating locations in Europe).

In between events, we accept orders per e-mail at trinity@brainbuds.de (PayPal payments).

 

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Legacy collection_ NEURODREAMS_

The graceful drawings of BB Dido take you on a fantastic journey into the world of brain cells. While in the lab, Dido spent many long hours at the microscope, analyzing the morphology (shape) and distribution of neurons in two brain areas: the retina (in the back of the eye) and the site of the body’s masterclock (the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus). Different brain regions contain neurons of different shapes and sizes, their cellular architecture reflecting the functions they perform. Hold onto this artistic reminder of nature’s raw beauty and make a pledge to protect it, showing respect to life in all its forms!

Legacy_GOLGI I & II

Our Golgi series are dedicated to the Italian Our Golgi series are dedicated to the Italian physiologist Camillo Golgi, who developed a particularly useful staining method for cells in the nervous system. The brain is a tightly packed collection of cells with very thin, long, tangled ramifications (dendrites and axons), which form an indistinguishable tissue conglomerate. Our understanding of the brain has been highly advanced and indeed made possible in the first place by staining methods revealing individual cells or populations of cells. The Golgi stain is taken up randomly by individual cells which turn dark, thus allowing the characterization of their morphology, position, and brain areas covered. It is still not understood what makes some cell pick up the stain and some others not. Love your new jewelry and stay curious! physiologist Camillo Golgi.

Avant-garde_ASTROVISIONS

BB Dido’s delicate paintings on glass take you on a fantastic joyride through the world of brain cells. While in the lab, Dido spent many long hours at the microscope, analyzing the morphology (shape) and distribution of neurons in different brain areas. Beside neurons, the brain contains lots of glial cells, such as astrocytes. Classically known for their role in structural support and nutrition of neurons – the real brain celebrities, – glial cells are currently re-discovered as true stars themselves. Subtle, essential roles in synaptic transmission and in the regeneration of damaged nervous tissue are among the new roles identified for the “brain’s glue.” Always look behind the scenes and embrace reality’s whole spectrum!

Networks collection_ UNITYOUNITY_

This special piece of jewelry contains a print of the original 3D artwork “UnitYOUnity” by BB Dido. The cell cut out by hand from the coloured field represents one unit, from the many millions that make up the brain. Neurons and glia interconnect in an impressively massive, highly complex network, which allows the brain to function as one entity. Each unit (unitYOU) is the essence of the system as a whole (YOUnity) – a reminder that growth and change start and end with each and every one of us. Enjoy your talisman, do good!

Networks collection_ ELEMENTS : CHEMICAL_

Active transmitters of sensorial, motor, and integrated (processed) signals, neurons communicate to each other and to nonneural target cells (e.g., muscles) through synapses. At a chemical synapse, the “emitting” neuron forms protrusions called synaptic boutons, which contain vesicles of neurotransmitters – chemicals that the active neuron releases upon the target cell. Neurons can release one or several (different) neurotransmitters and modulators: some are excitatory, driving activity in the postsynaptic cell, and some inhibitory – silencing the target. One neuron can release one or more neurotransmitters, at different synapses along its dendrites and axon terminals. A single neuron in the brain receives and makes trillions of synapses! Have fun with your dangling boutons and stay connected!

Networks_ELEMENTS : ELECTRIC

Active transmitters of sensorial, motor, and integrated (processed) signals, neurons communicate to each other and to nonneural target cells (e.g., muscles) through synapses. At an electrical synapse, neurons communicate with each other through connexins and other proteins which form pores (“gap junctions”) through the membranes of two adjacent cells. The neurons are then said to be coupled to each other. Cell coupling is regulated by many factors, including circadian rhythms. Connexins are hexamers made up of six identical subunits, which assemble into a bone-like structure similar in shape to the extra pearl(s) on your necklace. A single neuron in the brain receives and makes trillions of synapses! Have fun with your electric fashion and stay connected!

Read more about THE BB PROJECT

THE BB PROJECT

 

IN BRIEF We are your brain buddies, your cool science friends! We bring you science in an artful, joyful manner, to let you see nature’s bare beauty and make you appreciate it as much as we do.

 

 

VISION Brain Buds is a private, non-profit venture, with the long-term vision of spreading the love for science to the greater public, by demystifying research and making scientific results accessible to all. Exploring what we could do with what we have right now, we started by harnessing our creativity to make things we love: fashion for body and spaces. The short-term vision then is bringing science to the people through art – as a flexible, human medium, and thus also bringing humanity (humanities) back into science.

WHY WE’RE SPECIAL Ours are by no means original ideas and similar efforts have been made – such as jewelry, fashion, and art inspired from the Life- and Neurosciences or uncountable projects for bringing science to communities, such as the world-phenomenon TED (would you like to recommend some other particularly nice ones to be featured here?). In this context, Brain Buds is special because it combines features of all other efforts we’ve encountered so far: (i) it has a round concept, both clear (well-defined) and vast (far-reaching); (ii) it is for everyone, by affordability both in price (non-profit) and approach (didactic, non-elitist); and (iii) it offers a broad range of products (jewelry and other fashion accessories, season/ home decorations, cards, framed art, art objects) and soon services (café scientifique-platform). Generally, we have a whole lot more ideas than time and other resources, but we keep a portfolio of ideas and sketches and have a concrete collaboration with artists planned for the near future.

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NON-PROFIT Brain Buds is not a business, but a community-serving private organisation, dedicated to arise general public interest and provide creative education in science. The project is a labour of love, that we undertake in parallel to our daytime jobs and immediate social responsibilities. Non-profit means that financial gain is not our aim, so the products we create are being offered at prices which cover the used materials and a small part of our R&D costs. Should we reach a point in the future where all our investments had been covered, all surplus revenues will be re-invested back into the project. We act legally as a simple association under civil law (Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts, GbR) and employ an external financial consultant to proof our accounts and represent us to the financial authorities in charge.

SPONSORS Beside our own contributions, Brain Buds has been made possible by the continuous financial support from Dietmar Auferkorte (Germany) and a generous gift of Doina & Mihai Dumitrescu (Romania). We would also like to mention Hediye Genc and Jörg Höll (Germany) for their help in procuring and printing some important materials in the beginning. The Brain Buds are also very thankful for the chance to have launched the project on the inspiring premises of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research (Frankfurt/Main, Germany) and the invaluable opportunity of taking part in their first conference, the 11th Annual Meeting of the German Neuroscience Society – vom Herzen Danke!

MAKING OF The BBs work independently in their own “ateliers” and meet in person or virtually to discuss concepts, implementation, and timelines. A feature we’re looking very much forward to is the Art Camp – getting together for intense sessions of fun creation, with sleepovers and cooking together, in the company of our supportive families. The Art Camps will be central to our creative recesses in between live events and organizational wrap-ups. Below we invite you to take a look behind the scenes and see our own little Big Bang (the emergence of our logo through the talented hands of BB Dido, after an idea by BB Olivus), as well as some impressions from the team and the ateliers. Here we would also like to mention that our poignant slogan “Mind the Art” was the Geistesblitz of our valued friend Marten Höll.

 

 

 

BB COMMUNITY Our theoretical target public includes everyone, but we start with a nucleus in our own communities and first reach out to the people we know – much like a neuron to its direct neighbours. The extended ring includes scientists and students of science, whom we hope we can offer a bridge to connect to their immediate neighbours – to bring that what they are doing into the daily conversation at home and in their own communities. Beyond the beauty of the art itself, our products make meaningful gifts for family, peers, dedicated students and great mentors, or simply souvenirs with significance from scientific business trips. In brief, our work is meant to spark meaningful idea exchange beyond institutional academia and induce genuine public curiosity for science, research, and technology.

Legacy collection_ GOLGI I & II_

HOW YOU CAN HELP Beside the obvious financial support that you can give us by buying our works, we are very grateful for any sort of assistance in marketing and organization. You can support us in marketing by recommending us further or inviting us to be part of your scientific event, from regional scientific symposium to open-door day at your research institution. We can even discuss about the possibility of designing/producing something especially for the occasion. Starting 2017, we can be booked for max. two events per year, with at least six months advance notice. You can support us in organization by donating material (such as high quality paper/cardboard or a graphic software license) or equipment (access to a high-quality printer) and by volunteering to take over some of our awaiting tasks – semi-professional photos of the team and products, homepage maintenance and uploads, help with accounting and advising on legal aspects, and, most urgently, translation of our website’s content, tags and flyers into German, Polish, and Romanian. We will always be happy to provide a recommendation for any task well done! Last, but not least, we are grateful for your ideas, feedback, and constructive criticism.