Mussels Inspire Self-Healing Plastics

They’re strong, flexible and tough – mussels have proved they’ve got muscle. Recently they’ve inspired researchers to create a new plastic which could potentially heal itself. Plastics are made of polymers – long, repetitive chains of atoms which can stretch and then relax back to their original shape. Designing a polymer is a trade-off between…

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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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