Life And Death Of Stars

Monday 9 July 2018
Speaker: Chris Sweetman, Macclesfield Astronomical Society
The evolution of stars and their life span involves many phases, processes and factors that have a bearing on the duration and eventual outcome for them. This talk covers how it is thought stars are born and where, what happens through their varied life spans and the eventual end phases that stars go through.

All welcome, no charge.
Talk starts 6.30pm. Arrive early to be sure of a seat.

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Histopathology and the science behind treating breast cancer

Monday 12 February 2018

If you say you’re a pathologist, people think your job is just all about dealing with dead bodies and autopsies. It isn’t, we help save lives and cure cancer too. In this talk Peter Hunt will explain about his work as a consultant histopathologist in a large NHS path lab, where his team diagnoses over 1000 new breast cancers a year. You will find out that breast cancer has many forms and what his team’s role is in its diagnosis. Peter will explain how the information provided helps determine and drive personalised treatment for everyone (both women and men) with breast cancer and how it has helped the survival rate double over the last 40 years.

Talk by Professor Roger, Consultant Histopathologist, University Hospital of South Manchester

All welcome, no charge. Talk starts at 6.30pm at the Vale Inn, Adlington Rd, Bollington. Arrive early to be sure of a seat.

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What would you do with 180,000 computers?

Monday 8 January 2018

Terry Hewitt – Honorary Professor of Computer Science – Bangor University

As part of my career I have been lucky enough to manage some of the most powerful supercomputers in the UK. Powerful equates with expensive – worth £millions and physically very large. In this talk I will explain what a supercomputer is, what they are used for and why they are so important for the economic and scientific development of the UK. I will also cover some of the important aspects of their operation; you won’t believe the size of the electricity bill! We will cover virtual prototypes, digging holes, climate modelling, operating theatres, jet engines, and Pringles.

Terry has been an honorary professor at Bangor University since 2007, and independent consultant since May 2009. He has previously held a number of posts at the University of Manchester culminating in Director of Research Computing and Deputy Director of the Economics & Social Research Council (ESRC) National e-Social Science Centre. He led the specialist IT services supporting scientists and engineers in their research and provided strategic and technical leadership of the IT services at the University. He has been active in the development of e-Science, locally and nationally, including the establishment of the UK National Grid Service and the UK Access Grid Support Centre.

Talk starts 6.30pm, Arrive early to be sure of a seat.
All welcome,no charge

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From Apollo to the Space Shuttle

Monday 13 November 2017
Rod Woodcock will talk about his visits to Cape Kennedy between 1971 & 1981 when he watched 5 rocket launches and was given rare access to all areas around the Cape.The photos he took will give you a behind the scenes view of all aspects of Cape Kennedy and he also will be giving you a glimpse of possible future space transportation, deep space mining and tourism in space.

He is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, sits on their governing council and is a member of their history committee.

Talk starts 6.30pm, Vale Inn, Adlington Road, Bollington

All welcome, no charge. Early arrival advised to be sure of getting a seat.

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The world of spam

Spam has been a huge part of online life for over 20 years. Now a major source of malicious activity, it’s more likely to try to infect you with ransomware or steal your online identity as it is to advertise unwanted products.
Jon Thompson is a threat intelligence analyst at SE Labs, which performs independent tests of antivirus products in a laboratory environment. He will discuss the threats facing our inboxes, the criminal economy that surrounds them, how samples are captured for study and testing, and how to spot most common scams.

Talk starts 6.30pm, Vale Inn, Adlington Road, Bollington

All welcome, no charge. Early arrival advised to be sure of getting a seat.

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Clouds and Thunderstorms

Monday 12 March 2018
Clive Saunders writes “We live in Mellor, which is a wonderful place for cloud spotting – and a popular location for thunderstorms. Before boundary changes, we were in the wettest place in Cheshire! In the talk we will look at clouds from inside out and see how they develop into thunderstorms. The Atmospheric Physics Research group in Manchester University has been at the heart of thunderstorm research for over 50 years – we think we have solved the question of thunderstorm charging and lightning initiation. Our work
involves thunderstorm simulations in the laboratory together with flying through storms in instrumented aircraft – very addictive once you get used to it.

The future? Lightning has a particular signature that can be detected worldwide, so we can measure global lightning activity and relate it to climate change. So far the results are not clear – more research is needed!”

Dr Clive Saunders is from the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, > Centre for Atmospheric Science, The University of Manchester

Talk starts 6.30 pm, Vale Inn, Adlington Road.
All welcome, no charge. Best to arrive early to be sure of getting a seat.

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DNA and Archaeology

Monday 9 October 2017

The discovery in 1989 that small amounts of ‘ancient’ DNA are sometimes preserved in the bones and teeth of skeletons has led to many new developments in archaeology. These include the ability to identify the family relationships between groups of skeletons that are buried together, as well as new ways of investigating diseases such as tuberculosis and leprosy in the past.
Ancient DNA has also enabled the genomes of Neanderthals and other types of extinct human to be studied. Neanderthals and members of our own species lived side by side in Europe for 15,000 years until Neanderthals died out about 30,000 years ago. During that period there was interbreeding between Neanderthals and humans, which has resulted in us inheriting some Neanderthal genes, with good and bad impacts on our physiology and health.
Professor Terry Brown has worked on ancient DNA since 1990, first at UMIST and then at the University of Manchester. He has recently completed a project showing that two Egyptian mummies in the Manchester Museum collection were half-brothers, and he has also worked at Mycenae and Vergina in Greece. His presentation will cover all aspects of ancient DNA research including the latest results from studies of the Neanderthal genome.

Talk starts at 6.30pm. All welcome, no charge.

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Building a Better Lighttrap: the Square Kilometre Array

Monday 10 July 2017
Astronomy is based on the detection and analysis of light we receive from objects in the sky. It follows that progress in our understanding of the universe comes through advances in light-detection technology: we continue to build bigger and more sensitive telescopes in order to address challenging problems and discover new phenomena.

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) represents the next major advance in radio astronomy. Scheduled for construction in the early 2020s, it will be one of the largest scientific projects in the world. The project is a global partnership of 10 countries, with its international headquarters on the campus at Jodrell Bank.

Professor Gary Davis is an astrophysicist. After a spell in academia at a Canadian university, and many years as Director of the UK’s observatories on Hawaii, he is delighted to be back in the UK and living in Cheshire. In this presentation he will describe the world-wide effort to design and build the SKA. Along the way he may well diverge into other topics, depending on how many pints he is given.

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The lost art of medicine

Monday 8 May, 6.30pm
Talk by Dr Nicholas Fraser, consultant in pain management at Stepping Hill

My talk will briefly cover the history and changing face of Medicine in regards to the management of pain. I will also discuss some of the ongoing difficulties and controversies surrounding prescription opioids.

Talk starts 6.30pm. All welcome. No charge.

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Pint of Science

Pint of science is an event in mid May in central Manchester. The series of talks (not free, unfortunately, but only £4 or so) includes a talk on 15 May given by some of the clinical staff from Jamie Ellingford’s laboratory (The Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine) that may be of interest: Whose genome is it anyway?. This talk says: ‘Throughout the evening, we will take you on the journey of the DNA sample from a test in the lab to a potentially life-changing result. We will then explore some of the ethical dilemmas around genome sequencing, the information it provides and its privacy and safety.’

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