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QED Ask a Scientist – Susie Maidment
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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.  Dr Susie Maidment Question - Will the new Jurassic World movie help people get interested in dinosaurs, or is it more damaging because...

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QED Ask a Scientist – Francisco Diego
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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.  Dr Francisco Diego Question - Hi, my name’s Tom [@Askwho on Twitter] and my question is: which, as a percentage, is more empty,...

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Improv in an MRI
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Improv in an MRI

Apr 20, 2015

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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Memes
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Memes

Apr 20, 2015

What's not so obvious is they also behave as the basis for a Darwinian process I had occasion to look up the number of books that had been published recently containing the word meme in the title and it's more than 20.  I originally, in the last chapter of the first edition of 'The Selfish Gene’, coined the word meme really as a kind...

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Perceptions of Time
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Perceptions of Time

Apr 20, 2015

We look at time in two different ways. On writing on the perception of time Time Warped is a book about the subjective perception of time; I’m not talking about the physics of time here but about how we feel time passing and why it is that not all minutes feel the same as others.  So if you've got 20 minutes, say, to grab...

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A Quantum Misunderstanding
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Back in 2014, self-help guru Deepak Chopra made claims on social media along the lines that science could not explain the Big Bang or what happened before it.  He was quickly corrected by many people who disagreed.  One of them was Professor Brian Cox.  There was a short brouhaha over the whole thing and it now seems Deepak might owe Brian a million dollars. ...

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Citizen Science
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Citizen Science

Mar 2, 2015

It brings real meaning and it’s better than just sitting in front of the telly. If you’re looking at how we get information from birds in nature, well, it can’t be done just by the scientists because there aren’t enough scientists and there’s not enough money to do that science.  So it’s done through volunteer organizations - The Audubon Society in the United States,...

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Compendium of Reason Physics Q & A
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One of the many highlights of 2014’s Brian Cox and Robin Ince’s Christmas Compendium of Reason shows that took place at the Hammersmith Apollo was the live Question and Answer sessions that opened the second act.  Audience members tweeted in questions for the panel during the interval and then a select few were answered on stage.  This recording is taken from the second night...

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Being a Doctor
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Being a Doctor

Jan 9, 2015

You don’t get up to be average, you get up to be the best you can be, learn as much as you can. I learnt lots of very hard lessons along the way but I feel it’s a privilege to be able to help people when their life is going awry, and to be able to do something about that I’ve always felt, and...

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The Ebola Virus
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The Ebola Virus

Nov 25, 2014

Ebola’s an absolutely hideous disease. Look, Ebola’s an absolutely hideous disease, it’s what we call a hemorrhagic fever.  It’s caused by a filovirus.  It’s like a…sort of like long strings when you look at it down an electron microscope.  It’s, fortunately, rather sensitive to environmental degradation.  So it doesn’t survive for a long time on tabletops or door handles or that sort of thing,...

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Barry Marshall’s Lab Tour
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    Nobel Laureate Barry Marshall takes us on a quick tour of his labs. Barry - This is The Marshall Centre and in here we’ve got the refurbished lab.  So this is an old building but the labs are all very, very new.  It’s very noisy because of the refrigerators.  This is the Ondek Laboratory which is housed inside the Universtiy of Western...

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Spray On Skin
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Spray On Skin

Nov 25, 2014

 The drive was really around trying to understand how we could cover really bad burns which were large surface areas. Spray-on skin cells is a fascinating story for me because it’s now coming up to 20 years of my life and I can probably encompass it in a few minutes!  The drive was really around trying to understand how we could cover really bad...

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Darwin vs Wallace?
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Darwin vs Wallace?

Oct 8, 2014

  Both were very decent gentlemen. There is no doubt at all that Wallace got it and he got it independently of Darwin. There’s also no doubt at all that Darwin got it more than a decade earlier, just didn’t publish it. He privately wrote it out and the manuscripts exist, there’s no question that Darwin was well on top of the idea a...

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Brain Myths
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Brain Myths

Aug 18, 2014

  We only use 10% of our brain, utter nonsense. Can I dispel a myth about the human brain? Well, there are several that I’d like to dispel: we only use 10% of our brain, utter nonsense, I’ve done several blogs about this.  If…you genuinely believe that it may be true in your case but…it’s not the case at all, it’s something that, like...

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Cloning and Extinction
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Cloning and Extinction

Aug 18, 2014

  We will bring species back from the dead, and do it remarkably soon. Advances in trying to use cloning for conversation are wonderful.  So, for a start, we’re going off into the world and we’re gathering species and we’re taking samples of their blood and their skin and we’re creating a kind of genetic ark, because we’re accepting that this is a cheap...

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Trowelblazers
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Trowelblazers

Jun 22, 2014

Petrie would get a documentary on BBC4, but nobody ever talks about Hilda Petrie. Dr Alice Stevenson Well I think it’s to enrich our…the kind of stories that we tell, so for example when we’re working in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, it’s named after Flinders Petrie, a man, but his work was built on the labour of others, you know, he couldn’t...

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Cancer Research
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Cancer Research

Jun 22, 2014

So we haven’t beat cancer yet, but I think we’re getting there.  A lot of the time we get asked, will we beat cancer, or why haven’t we beaten it yet; well, for a start, cancer isn’t just one disease, it’s hundreds of diseases and it probably looks like now it’s as unique a disease as each one of us, we all have our...

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Health in Space
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Health in Space

May 19, 2014

I don’t know of any job in the world that has a higher medical requirement than to go be a space station crew member. I don’t know of any job in the world that has a higher medical requirement than to go be a space station crew member.  Almost every person that applies to go be a space station crew member is eliminated medically. ...

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New Species
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New Species

May 19, 2014

They found a whole new slug which has got a attachable, regrowable penis I like animals, I like species, I’m an evolutionary biologist so, although there’s always new leaps being taken in science, we’re always discovering new things, I think neuroscience is probably the best and most interesting thing there will be for about maybe the next twenty years, because we used to sort...

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Pain Sensitivity in Twins
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There’s a real need for these new type of drugs and epigenetics Well, there are hundreds of examples, but pick a trait like pain sensitivity.  All of us say we’ve got different pain thresholds, different people are super macho, others a bit wimpy.  Ten years ago no one really knew whether this was maybe the way you’re brought up or cultural, you know, your...

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Tackling Abstract Physics
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  So ideas like the Higgs Boson, dark matter, they’re very kind of abstract concepts. So ideas like the Higgs Boson, dark matter, they’re very kind of abstract concepts; we can’t see a Higgs boson…well, we don’t even know if dark matter exists, right? Well, we’re pretty sure, but I haven’t seen it.  But in many ways, yeah, how do you get a hook...

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