Progress, revived: can evolution change things for the better?

By Giovanni Mussini This article was originally published in The Oxford Scientist Michaelmas Term 2021 edition, Change. In one of the last and most accomplished of his works, Giacomo Leopardi, the 19th century giant of Italian poetry, turns to the natural world to ridicule le magnifiche sorti e progressive–the magnificent and progressive fates–of humanity: as…

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The War Against Cancer – Are Our Bodies Our Own Greatest Weapons?

Over the last few decades, our treatment of cancer has been revolutionised. The field has been transformed by a focus on ‘personalised medicine’ which involves treating patients’ individual cases rather than grouping them together. It is universally recognised that there is no single cure for cancer, and increasing evidence suggests that there is not a…

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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…

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