This blog shows all our events, both future and past.
Our next meeting will be on Monday 5th February 2018 at our usual venue, when Professor Matthew Cobb, professor of Zoology at the University of Manchester will lead a discussion entitled The Brave New World of CRISPR Gene Editing. CRISPR is an acronym, and to save you the trouble, I have researched what it stands for:
Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats
So now you all know – hopefully Professor Cobb will flesh that out a bit! You can see the details here.
Please note that the start time will be 19.30 until announced otherwise. The entrance fee is £2 (free to students and under 21s).
Professor Nigel Scrutton, Director, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, School of Chemistry, Man University, will lead this discussion. Details to follow.
Professor Sarah Bridle returns to talk about food – a far cry from her “day job” investigating dark energy and dark matter as Professor in the Manchester University School of Physics and Astronomy! Motivated by the need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, she has diversified her research interests to applying her cosmology experience to agriculture and food research. In addition to her research applying astronomy image analysis techniques to earth observation data she leads the STFC Food Network+, which brings together STFC capabilities and food challenges. You can read about what STFC does here:
In her own words: “When my kids started school I started to think about the next 20 years and beyond. What will the world be like for them? What will I say when they ask me what I did about climate change? Would I be comfortable saying that I used my physics training to just carry on looking at the sky? I have buried myself in the research literature and will summarise the most recent results on food and climate change. I’ll explain the main ways food contributes to climate change, bust some myths about local and organic food, and suggest some ways food could be different in the future”.
What can Ancient Egyptian Mummies do for Modern Medicine?
Professor Rosalie David will lead this discussion – this is her resumé of what she will be saying:
“In 1973, the Manchester Egyptian Mummy Project was inaugurated at The University of Manchester with the aim of developing a multidisciplinary methodology to study disease in ancient Egyptian mummified remains; this utilises historical/archaeological data plus evidence provided by a range of medical and scientific techniques, to enhance our knowledge of disease, diet and medical treatment in antiquity. This research now forms the basis of the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology at the university, a unique facility for teaching and research in this specialisation. The talk will refer to studies at the Centre which compare evidence from the mummies with modern-day disease patterns – in parasitic infestations, atherosclerosis, and cancer – and will consider how effectively evidence from ancient bodies can provide a historical context for contemporary medicine. It will also consider ancient Egyptian pharmacy: did it produce any effective treatments, and how has it contributed to the modern world? “
Observing the Dark Side of the Universe
Professor Sarah Bridle (Professor of Astrophysics, Manchester University, School of Physics and Astronomy) will talk about dark matter and dark energy. These appear to form the vast bulk of the universe, but we know little about them; Professor Bridle will tell us what experiments are being carried out to increase our knowledge of these strange elusive entities.
Prof Bridle obtained her PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK in 2000 and has been a Professor at the University of Manchester, UK since 2013, after research in France, Cambridge (UK) and University College London.
She has had prestigious awards in the UK and Europe including a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, the Royal Astronomical Society’s Fowler Award and European Research Council Starting and Consolidator Grants.
She is author of over 70 refereed publications which have over 3500 citations.
Most of her work has focussed on trying to uncover the nature of dark energy using data from the biggest ongoing cosmological imaging survey, the Dark Energy Survey, which is imaging one eighth of the sky and measuring shapes and approximate distances to 300 million objects.
Details to follow. This is the talk postponed from October.
The Brave New World of CRISPR Gene Editing
The session will be led by Professor Matthew Cobb, professor of Zoology at the University of Manchester.
Over the last five years, biology and medicine have been shaken by the discovery of a new way of easily and quickly editing genes, which goes by the acronym CRISPR. In this talk Matthew explains the science behind this new technology and describes the conflict between research groups in their quest for fame and money. The key part of the talk focuses on the huge ethical challenges posed by CRISPR. This technology enables us to change the genes of human beings for both good and ill, above all it gives us the possibility of changing the entire ecosystem.