James Brown, Education and Public Engagement Officer, Biochemical Society
The dominating spectacle of dinosaurs and dodos seemed to spark the imagination of guests at the British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy’s annual Public Engagement Day, this year held at the Museum of Natural History in Oxford.
Biochemical Society members Evita Hartmane, Heba Ismail and James Tomkins joined me for the first outing of our new public engagement activity: Scientific Scissors. The activity is all about Genome Editing – What is it? How does it work? What can we do with it? What should we do with it? Why is it important? The aim is to start conversations about new technologies and give people the opportunity to ask questions whilst engaging with the ethical issues involved.
By Dr Andrew Quigley, Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Oxford
“Voice of the Future is a very unusual event” says Dr Stephen Benn, Director of Parliamentary Affairs at the Royal Society of Biology. There is no event quite like it anywhere else in Parliament, possibly the world. How often do young representatives of professional bodies get the opportunity to sit in for a Parliamentary Committee and question MPs about science policy issues that matter to them? But that is exactly the chance that I and 50 other young scientists and engineers were given. Continue reading →
On a cold winter day in London on January 2017, Native Scientist celebrated a warm science outreach event for children in partnership with the Embassy of Ecuador in London. The meeting took place in the Ecuadorian Consulate located near King’s Cross St. Pancras in the very heart of the city of London. The event brought together 25 Ecuadorian pupils and 5 Spanish-speaking scientists from different disciplines.
Scientists used their mother tongue to explain to the children in an engaging and fun way the work they are currently performing in the United Kingdom. The workshop allowed the scientists to improve their communication skills and increase the impact of their research in a welcome environment. Continue reading →
By Helen Thompson, Daphne Jackson Fellow, Durham University
A friend and ex-lab mate has just started volunteering in a lab to update her CV and commented to me “it’s like coming home isn’t it?”, I couldn’t agree more. With my borrowed lab coat on, agar media bottle rattling on the plate in the microwave while it melts and the hum of the flow hood in the background, after 12 years away from the lab it really does feel like a homecoming. I’m very grateful for my former career, as a secondary school teacher which provided me with a stable income and let me raise my son but it just wasn’t the bee’s knees for me. So now that my son towers above me the Biochemical Society and Daphne Jackson Trust have sponsored me to return to plant biology research at Durham University Department of Biosciences working in Professor Keith Lindsey’s group. Continue reading →
By Sayan Chakraborty, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A-STAR, Singapore
In our hectic modern lifestyle, we are constantly subjected to stress of many kinds including the stress experienced by our body from weight-gain. From the physiological perspective, these symptoms are managed by signalling molecules present in the body that control energy expenditure and form new blood vessels (angiogenesis) to cope with increased ‘cellular stress’ levels. These physiological consequences can be precursors to conditions such as type 2 diabetes, one symptom of which is increased angiogenesis.
Proliferative retinopathy, an advanced form of diabetic retinopathy, occurs when abnormal new blood vessels and scar tissue form on the surface of the retina. (Credit: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, USA)Continue reading →