Collaboration: Reforming Research

Most researchers’ response to the word ‘collaboration’ is overwhelmingly positive. Many of the most influential scientific breakthroughs that have gone on to shape today’s scientific landscape have been the product of collaborations: Gates and Allen, the Wright brothers, and Watson, Crick and Franklin, to name a few. The global value of collaboration can be seen…

Continue reading

Wild Things – a review

‘Wild Things’ is the latest venture from The House of Improv. In this improvised comedy, the team address human interactions with an endangered animal which is conjured out of thin air by the audience. In the Tuesday performance, this animal was the creaky-tailed hippopotamus. Set in Creaky-Tailed Hippopotamus Town, the play followed the stories of…

Continue reading

Ramakrishnan and his ribosome – a review

Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society and 2009 Nobel Prize winner, is already well known in the scientific community for his publications about the ribosome. What I wasn’t expecting however, was that his part-memoir, part-popular science book contained far more about the pace, people and progress of science than could ever be gleaned from…

Continue reading

To GM or not to GM?

It’s not about the science. In 1983, a gene from Agrobacterium (a plant-infecting bacterium) was successfully inserted into a plant cell, marking a ‘coming-of-age’ moment for plant genetic engineering. The resulting possibilities seemed endless; pest-resistant, self-fertilising and nutritionally-fortified crop varieties. But relatively little of this technology has been implemented on a global scale. Casual viewers…

Continue reading

A Global Threat to Humanity: Anti-Microbial Resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is spreading at an alarming rate, yet the antibiotic industry is only shrinking—could a pre-antibiotic era return as our future? Antimicrobials revolutionised medicine. Before antibiotics, the average life expectancy was 47 years. Infections such as pneumonia could easily be fatal, and to put it bluntly, a scratch could kill. There is no…

Continue reading

What would Brexit mean for the future of the scientific community?

After a three year long Brexit limbo, with two leaders, five rejected deals and an increasingly polarised population, Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill was passed on 20th December with a majority of 124, leaving the UK on course to leave the EU by the end of January. The United Kingdom prides itself on the breakthrough contributions…

Continue reading

Dunn School of Pathology Art Competition – a review.

Since 2014, The Sir William Dunn School of Pathology and the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art have run a collaborative competition which aims to draw together the fields of the arts and the sciences. Mihaela Man and Olivia Williamson won the 2019 competition with a two-part piece which has been installed in the…

Continue reading

From Nietzsche to Nissan

Rapid technological development has made self-driving cars a reality. This advancement raises questions about how these cars should make ethical decisions in place of human drivers. While technology can replace, and will undoubtedly supersede humans in actual driving ability, driving a car involves moral decisions. These choices would have to be programmed—for instance whether to…

Continue reading