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The last step of our voyage across the scales of our universe will bring us back to the very essence of life. From the molecules that make up our very bodies, to the composition of cells inside them, all the way to the furthest corners of our universe, join us on a mesmerising trip driven by the latest technologies that allowed us to observe and understand the world surrounding us.
Bucky the Nano Ball and Other Stories
Dr Ljiljana Fruk (Head of BioNano Engineering Group; EPSRC IRC in Targeted Delivery for Hard-to-Treat Cancers)
A search for molecular origin of life led to discovery of the ball-shaped molecule that became a poster child for nanotechnology: beautiful, made of carbon, with an ethereal symmetry. But there are other nano-sized materials out there that are slowly changing the face of technology. Not always symmetrical nor made of carbon, they are used to design smarter drugs, detect diseases, improve efficiency of chemical reactions, harvest energy, and make stimuli-responsive materials. This talk will take you on a trip from stardust to the cell with the help of occasional chemical formula.
Cilia waves in the lungs - Where Physics meets Biology
We can breathe in dusty environments, without being infected by the bacteria that we inhale. This is thanks to a carpet of microscopic and active filaments in our airways, the cilia. Some people have diseases that affect this important function but even in healthy people, it is not clear how the cilia manage to coordinate their beating. This feature is key: imagine the difference a good cox can make to a rowing crew. This talk will take you through the physics of synchronisation to figure out how cilia manage to spontaneously coordinate their dynamics to form long range waves of rowers.
New views of the cosmos
Dr Carolin Crawford (Public Astronomer at the Institute of Astronomy)
Astronomers depend on light for their understanding of the Universe beyond the confines of the Solar System. Many of the most exciting discoveries over the last couple of decades were made possible by new generations of cameras and telescopes, both on the ground and in space. Carolin will discuss some of the innovative new facilities coming online over the next ten years or so - how they’ll not only change our view of the cosmos, but also alter the way we do Astronomy.
As part of the Creative Reactions project, these artists will be presenting their artwork inspired by the research of speakers in this talk series. The artwork will also be on display at our Creative Reactions Exhibition at St Barnabas Church, 24 - 25 May.