Mimicking the Mind

Artificial intelligence has pervaded human imagination since antiquity. The Greeks wrote about statues produced by men who “discovered the true nature of the gods” and mechanical men produced in ancient China that could “walk with rapid strides”. The Renaissance saw an unprecedented explosion of mathematical and scientific ideas fly across Europe in the so-called Age…

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The Quantum in Cancer

Quantum technologies to treat it; quantum physics to create it? An ambitious agreement: Tokyo, December 13th, 2016 The agreement is signed, five organisations join forces. Equipped with accelerating lasers and deflecting, superconducting magnets, they will develop a Quantum Scalpel. Their ambition is zero cancer deaths, says Toshio Hirano, chief of the National Institutes for Quantum…

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Bringing Mental Health Support into the 21st Century

A year ago, I found an advert sent out by the University’s volunteering hub to work on an innovative new app called “Self-Heal”. Having won funding from the Oxford IT innovation challenge, a group of students had recently developed the app, with input from clinicians, as a toolkit for students to manage self-injury. It covers…

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Burgers, Bacon… and Antibiotics?

I love bacon so much. And burgers, and chicken nuggets. So as you can imagine, becoming a vegetarian wasn’t something that I’d previously considered. But I’ve now been veggie for 3 weeks and counting, because it felt like something I should do. Globally, the livestock industry churns out more greenhouse gases than transport1, and as…

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Internship at École Normale Supérieure: Blog 2

Blog 2: A Summer of Science in Paris Coming to the end of my two-month internship, I’ve been reflecting upon what exactly I’ve learnt from it. Of course, there are the laboratory techniques themselves: I can now state on my CV that I have experience with fancy-sounding things like immunohistochemistry and pyrosequencing, which is nice….

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Internship at the Smithsonian: Blog 5

Blog 5: The Taxonomist’s Assistants So far in these posts I have practically maintained a fiction that the entirety of research is done by curators and students—however, this gives a great disservice to a class of scientist just as large, if not larger, than the curators and researchers themselves. At the Smithsonian they are called…

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Internship at the Smithsonian: Blog 4

Blog 4: The Taxonomist’s Psyche You might wonder, with fair justification, just what sort of madness drives someone into systematics, let alone molluscan systematics. After all, it is a field that offers no great financial rewards, nor any chance to enter the history books. Systematics as a field is far too unscientific to merit any…

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