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The Physics of Wotsits
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The Physics of Wotsits

Nov 13, 2015

What I discovered when I did that was actually people didn’t really understand starch. Why do I like this?  I think because it’s one way of making sense of things.  So as a microscopist I look at the packing: how molecules and larger structures pack together.  And then you want to know how that impacts on the end products, and that might also include...

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Predicting Climate Change – Pt 2
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  To some degree, we lost our link to nature On people’s responses to climate When we look at past and modern society, in the past everybody that was working was a farmer, and that was before industrialisation kicked in, people were extremely dependent on grain yields or agricultural output. Also, transport means were quite different, so if there was a drought in some...

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Truth is Stranger Than Fiction
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  Truth is stranger than fiction is that real sense of Victorian modernity So quite often in these books we see the phrase, truth is stranger than fiction; this is fairly new, it comes in at the beginning of the century I think and it really taps into quite a lot of people writing these books are trying to say; you like your monster...

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Extended Backstage Interviews at Science is Vital Rally
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  It’s no surprise that here at Cosmic Genome we know that science is incredibly vital to our every day lives. The British government is sadly, yet again, threatening science research with cuts, and that’s after no increase in funding in the past five years. The Science is Vital campaign is trying to do something about this.  From their site: Over the last five years,...

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Anna Ziegler
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Anna Ziegler

Sep 19, 2015

Anna Ziegler is a multiple award-winning American playwright.  Her plays have been produced across the world, from New York to Berlin to London, and include Boy, Another Way Home, Dov and Ali and Photograph 51.  Photograph 51 was a critically acclaimed success in the States and transfers to the West End of London in 2015.  The play focuses on the work of Rosalind Franklin,...

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Dr Sebastian Breitenbach
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Dr Sebastian Breitenback is a German research associate at the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge University.  His work focuses on climate change, paleoclimate systems and Earth-Ocean-Atmosphere systems, with a particular interest in clumped isotope paleothermometry and carbonates.  His most recent paper created a great deal of buzz as he and his colleagues uncovered ancient Chinese cave drawings linked to climate change. We have...

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Melanie Keene
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Melanie Keene

Sep 19, 2015

Melanie Keene is the Director of Studies for History and Philosophy of Science at Homerton College, Cambridge.  Her research focuses primarily on the history of science for children in the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly in Britain.  In 2015 her first book was published, ‘Science in Wonderland: The Scientific Fairytales of Victorian Britain’. That really sprouted this whole interest in how children began to...

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Understanding the Atom with Prof Brian Cox
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The answer lies in quantum theory Well, the modern atom, the map of the atom as an atomic nucleus with electrons going around it, that was only discovered at the start of the 20th century in Manchester amongst other places: Ernest Rutherford famously discovered the atomic nucleus.  So this idea of the atom as a solar system is a 20th century idea.  If you...

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Science Book Club – Episode 20
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So the Victorian period is notable for this real flourishing of interest in folklore and fairies So some of this came out of my post graduate work, my PhD, which was on how 19th century children learned about science using everyday objects, so some of the early kitchen chemistry, using every day objects like candles and the famous Michael Faraday lectures, pieces of chalk...

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Predicting Climate Change
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With these kinds of tiny things you can contribute a lot. Our work helps modelling approaches or modellers that actually try to understand how current climate change is going to affect our society in the near future, or does already affect us.  For example, when we look to paleoclimate records, and it’s very well dated, we pretty much know when things happened, you can...

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Professor Carlos Frenk
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Professor Carlos Frenk is a cosmologist who won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2014.  His research is in the fields of cosmology, galaxy formation and computer simulations of cosmic structure formation.  he is the current Director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University in the UK, where he builds model universes in state of the art computers.  I...

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Tom Morton-Smith
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Tom Morton-Smith

Aug 1, 2015

Tom Morton-Smith is an English playwright.  A former writer in residence for Paine’s Plough, Tom has written a number of acclaimed plays, most recently the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of ‘Oppenheimer’.  The play, about physicist Robert J Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project, was a huge commercial and critical success, playing at the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon before transferring for a sell-out run in The West...

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Restarting Civilisation – Episode 17
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Richard Feynman once said: ‘If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generation of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is the atomic hypothesis that all things are made of atoms-little particles that that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other...

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Improv in a MRI – Pt 2
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Earlier this year, Cosmic Genome host Robin Ince went along to take part in an experiment on brain activity being conducted at University College London.  The UCL team have been monitoring the brain’s activity during improvisation and playing a version of the BBC show ‘Just a Minute’ with a number of people, particularly comedians, to see how their brains work compared to ‘normal’ people. ...

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Science Book Club – Episode 19
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I so often get the question, do you at them yourself, and I say yes, sure. OK, so we produced the Insect Cookbook and in this book…it’s not just a cookbook but it has everything you want to know about sustainable food in terms of insects. And so we have in the book recipes and the description of how you prepare things and what...

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The Expanding Universe
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Professor Carlos Frenk asks the age old brain bender: If the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into? So that’s the same question as what was there before the Big Bang.  So let me tell you a story.  When I was about 13 years old, I don’t understand why I was there, I went to a lecture…I must have been a precocious child…I...

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Future Cancer Research
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I think that thats just a brilliant field of work My phD came under the umbrella of cancer research.   I was looking at it on a molecular level, I was looking at the pathways and at the genes that can go wrong and can cause cells to over divide, to not be able to regulate their cell division pathway. People often ask me,...

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Ben Miller
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Ben Miller

Jun 12, 2015

Ben Miller is an actor, writer and director probably best known for being one half of the comedy duo Armstrong and Miller.  He has starred in the TV series of the same name as well as a huge variety of television shows, films and plays, including most recently the film What We Did on Our Holiday and the West End hit The Duck House. ...

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Dr Sheena Cruickshank
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Dr Sheena Cruickshank

Jun 12, 2015

Dr Sheena Cruickshank is the academic lead for the public engagement of science at Manchester University.  As part of the Manchester Immunology Group, much of her work focuses on immunology and specifically infection and parasitology.  Her current research focuses on defining and developing biomarkers to help manage gut inflammation found in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. So basically we evolved to have parasitic diseases On earliest...

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Professor Marcel Dicke
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Professor Marcel Dicke

Jun 12, 2015

Professor Marcel Dicke investigates the ecology of insect-plant interactions.  He is a winner of the Dutch Nobel Prize and is the world’s leading advocate of using insects as a sustainable source of protein for human consumption.  He has met with leading politicians to discuss the future of food security on earth and published the best-selling ‘The Insect Cookbook’.  Marcel is based at Wageningen University...

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QED Ask a Scientist – Jon Butterworth
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During this year’s QED Conference in Manchester the Cosmic Genome team gave attendees the chance to tweet in, ask us at The CG desk, or even ask on camera, a question to a select few scientists from the Cosmic Genome App.  Professor Jon Butterworth Question - Hi, my name’s James Lennox-Gordon [@JLennoxG on Twitter], and my question is: at school we’re taught that a...

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