Past event - 2018
15 May Doors 7pm
Event 7.30pm-9.30pm
Twisted Barrel, Unit 11, FarGo Village,
Coventry CV1 5ED
What happens when you fire a laser at the ingredients in sunscreen? If you take paracetamol before you start drinking will it cure your future hangover? And who would win in a fight – a drunk fruit fly or a sober one? Pressing questions for us all – and rightly so. Our three scientists tonight can answer these questions because they are involved in ground breaking research finding new sunscreen molecules, studying our biological clocks and how they affect drug dosing, and looking at behavioural genetics.

Designing the next generation of sunscreens

Dr Neil Cole-Filipiak (Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick)
Neil and his labmates are studying the ultrafast relaxation of biologically relevant chromophores following absorption of an ultraviolet photon. Or, in other words, shooting lasers at sunscreen molecules to see what happens. By studying existing natural sunscreen molecules, they are gaining a better understanding of how life protects itself from UV radiation, leading to better sunscreens and a reduction in incidents of skin cancer. With help from the audience and some glow-in-the dark stickers, you’ll see some of the cool things you can do with UV light and demonstrating how sunscreens work.

Dosing-time makes the poison

Dr Robert Dallmann (Warwick Medical School)
Robert’s research focuses on understand how biological clocks work and what impact they can have on our bodies. In fact, a biological clocks can be found in each of our cells and modulate most of the cellular processes as well as our behaviour. For example, they determine when we are active and when we rest, but also that we have highest blood pressure just before we wake up. Robert will explain why taking headache tablets before going out for a night about town might make sense, and what biological clocks have to do with it!

The life of fly - alcohol sex and violence!

Professor Kevin Moffat (School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick)
Why do you get drunk? How do you get drunk? What does “drunk” really mean? Importantly at the molecular level how does ethanol work? It’s a dangerous and costly drug, for society arguably the worst. For some individuals, it can be impossible to deal with, causing both immediate and long-term damage to their health.

To study this Kevin uses fruit flies and “behavioural genetics”. He’s finding genes that control how quickly flies get drunk, males that will to readily pick a fight over a female, and females that behave like males and vice versa.