A new app has been created by scientists in Scotland to help children learn more about respiratory viruses.

The University of Glasgow, the Glasgow School of Art, and primary school pupils came together to design the new Co-Immunicate app, which teaches children how their immune cells protect the body against viruses.

The app uses augmented reality, quizzes and games to mirror the research conducted by scientists at the University of Glasgow.

The research from the university’s Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation seeks to understand how respiratory infections change cells and how immune cells protect our lungs from future attack.

Dr Megan Macleod, senior lecturer in immunology at the University of Glasgow, said: “We wanted to create a fun and informative tool to help the pupils and the broader community understand what happens after a respiratory virus infection.

“So far the app has helped us engage and inform each year of new pupils at Anderston primary, to attract people when we deliver activities at the Glasgow Science Festival, and share our project with people across the globe."

The National:

Scientists at the University of Glasgow collaborated with experts from the School of Simulation and Visualisation at Glasgow School of Art and pupils and teachers from Anderston Primary School in Glasgow who helped test the app.

Dr Matthieu Poyade, a research fellow at the School of Simulation and Visualisation, helped design the app.

He said: “It was really exciting being able to engage pupils in the design of the app. With this approach we expect to be able to make immunology more accessible to kids, using augmented reality on widely available mobile devices”

Drawings provided by the P6/7 class at Anderston primary were also used to illustrate what happens to the human body after a viral respiratory infection.

The National:

Elizabeth Hendry, head teacher at Anderston Primary School, added: “This project has been particularly relevant under the current circumstances and it has been an excellent opportunity for the children to be part of this.

“It has definitely inspired many of our young people.”