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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Scibars | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Scibars | Leave a comment

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.’

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Histopathology and the science behind treating breast cancer [title tbd]

Monday 12 February 2018

Talk by Dr Roger Hunt, Consultant Histopathologist at University Hospital of South Manchester
Details to follow

Talk starts 6.30pm. All welcome, no charge.

Posted in Scibars | Leave a comment

Investigating poisoning

Monday 11 September 2017

Details to follow

Talk by Dr Ian Watson, Retired Consultant Clinical Biochemist, formerly Clinical Director at Aintree Hospital for Pathology

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

Posted in Scibars | Leave a comment

Bugs, bites and parasites

Monday 13 March
Infectious diseases transmitted by insects have been in the news recently with the Zika outbreak. It has been evident for some time that new products are needed to control the insect vectors. A 10 year programme to develop and use new insect control products, that are now saving many lives, will be discussed.

Talk by Janet Hemingway, CBE FRS FMedSci FRCP
Talk begins 6.30pm. All welcome – no charge.

Professor Hemingway initially trained as a geneticist and is currently Professor of Insect Molecular Biology and Director of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, with 450 staff based in Liverpool, Malawi and several other tropical locations. She has 38 years’ experience working on the biochemistry and molecular biology of specific enzyme systems associated with xenobiotic resistance. She has been Principal Investigator on projects well in excess of £60 million including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded Innovative Vector Control Consortium.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cheshire RIGS website

As per the talk on Monday 13 February, RIGS are geodiversity sites of special local importance and given added conservation protection by Local Authorities once designated.

Sites near to Bollington include:
Kerridge hill
Windgather rocks
Gawsworth common
Tegg’s nose
Quarry bank mill

Every summer Kate Riddington does a geology walk with the ranger at Tegg’s Nose country park if people are interested.

The Cheshire RIGS website is here.

In their shop you can download a leaflet of geological sites to visit in Cheshire (£1) and a geological trail round Macclesfield (50p).

Posted in News | Leave a comment

DNA in medicine: is complete genome sequencing the answer?

Monday 10 April 2017

Jamie Ellingford will be talking about the latest technology and software available to generate and analyse big DNA datasets, and discuss the promises, challenges and everyday applications of these techniques in a clinical environment.

Jamie recently completed his PhD at the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, which is 1 of 13 Genome Medicine Centres in the UK, and is a joint centre between the University of Manchester and the Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust.
His PhD was focused on the bioinformatics and large-scale analysis of genomic datasets for rare disorders, including visual, cardiac and metabolic diseases. He is one of a team of bioinformaticians who process, analyse and interpret the big genomic datasets that are generated to assist in the diagnosis of genetic disorders. His postdoctoral research is moving towards the challenges presented by sequencing the complete human genome for rare disorders.

Talk starts at 6.30pm at the Vale Inn, Adlington Road, Bollington.
All welcome, no charge.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A 600 million year history of Cheshire and the UK

Monday 13 February 2017

Over the past 600 million years the UK has been in deep and tropical seas, covered in a forest and by ice, and in the middle of a desert. We will take a very quick look at the UK’s journey and life over the past 600 million years, and highlight some of the best places – locally – to see evidence of past environments.

Geologist Dr Kate Riddington worked in the Grosvenor Museum in Chester between 2004 and 2013 before moving to the Lapworth Museum of Geology at the University of Birmingham. She will shortly move to Ipswich Museum. Introduced to geoconservation (the conservation of geodiversity) in Cheshire she is still active locally; every summer she does a geology walk with ranger Martin James at Tegg’s Nose Country Park.

Talk begins promptly at 6.30pm, Vale Inn, Adlington Road, Bollington
All welcome, no charge

Posted in Scibars | Leave a comment