Oxford SciBar News and Events Wed, 31 Dec 2014 10:05:00 EST Wed, 31 Dec 2014 08:37:00 EST http://backend.userland.com/rss RapidFeeds v2.0 -- http://www.rapidfeeds.com Oxfordshire Branch of the British Science Association en-gb http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g342/oxfordscibar/SciBoxLogoGreenAC.jpg Oxford SciBar News and Events 239 129 September SciBar - The Psychology of Romantic Attraction w/ Dr Martin Graff Are there gender differences in attraction? What are we looking for in a potential mate? Can you find someone attractive online? What other features make us more or less attractive? Join us to hear Dr Martin Graff (Reader and Head of Research in Psychology, University of South Wales) examine some of the research on romantic attrraction and why attraction is important to us. Come along to the Blue Room upstairs at St.Aldates Tavern on Wednesday September 16th at 7pm to find out more! Missed it? Don't fret as our podcast will be available for download shortly after the event http://www.oxfordscibar.com/september-2015.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=7502716 Sun, 23 Aug 2015 10:53:00 EST March 2015 Podcast with Prof Alison Woollard is now up! The podcast from our March SciBar, 'Worming around for the meaning of life' with Prof Alison Woollard is now online! Head to our podcast page to download! http://www.oxfordscibar.com/podcast.html http://www.oxfordscibar.com/podcast.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=7493436 Tue, 24 Mar 2015 20:13:00 EST Oxford SciBar - February 2015 Podcast Oxford SciBar's 'An Evening of Science Comedy with Dean Burnett, Alison Woollard and Fran Day' is now online. Thanks to everyone who came out to St. Aldates Tavern on Wednesday evening to help make our first ever comedy event such a success! If you couldn't make it down, the good news is that the podcast from the event is now online, so please head to our website to download to our website to download the episode, or subscribe via iTunes. http://www.oxfordscibar.com/podcast.html http://www.oxfordscibar.com/podcast.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=7491309 Sat, 28 Feb 2015 15:21:00 EST January 2015 SciBar Podcast with Professor Chris Ponting is Online! The Podcast from our January SciBar, In Your DNA - The Evolutionary Journey of our Genome with Professor Chris Ponting is now online. Check the link below to listen online or download. http://www.oxfordscibar.com/podcast.html Enjoy! Thanks, OxfordSciBar Team http://oxfordscibar.jellycast.com/files/audio/Oxford%20SciBar%20Podcast%20Jan%202015%20Prof%20Chris%20Ponting.mp3 http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=7487188 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 21:46:00 EST Oxford SciBar [WHO.IS] Prof Chris Ponting <p>Chris Ponting is the invited speaker for our January SciBar titled: In Your DNA - The Evolutionary Journey Of Your Genome. Here is a brief interview with Chris ahead of his SciBar on Jan 21st @7pm. </p><p>Full details here:&nbsp;http://www.oxfordscibar.com/january-2015.html</p> http://www.oxfordscibar.com/whois-professor-chris-ponting.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=7478372 Tue, 07 Jan 2014 17:00:00 EST January SciBar: Prof Chris Ponting: In Your DNA - The Evolutionary Journey Of Your Genome <p>Hi Everyone! We are pleased to announce details for our first event of 2015, which is also the first on our new day (Wednesday 21st), new time (7pm) and new venue (St Aldates Tavern)! Hope to see you all there! </p><p> Join us to hear Prof Chris Ponting (MRC Functional Genomics Unit, University of Oxford) shine a light on the ‘dark matter’ of our genome, and explain why 90% of our genome serves no consequence. Our evolutionary heritage shared with primates, fish and even bugs is written in our DNA. </p><p>These 3 billion letters of our ‘book of life’ were written by evolution over millions, if not billions, of years and are still revealing many surprises. </p> http://www.oxfordscibar.com/january-2015.html http://www.oxfordscibar.com/january-2015.html Science http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=7474687 Wed, 31 Dec 2014 08:37:00 EST Oxford SciBar is Moving! <p>Hi Everyone! Apologies our feed has been a little neglected in 2014, but we are committed to changing that for 2015! First up is our notice of a change in day/time and venue from January! Hope to see you all in 2015! </p><p>Join us at our new venue, St Aldates Tavern. We appreciate all your support and thanks to your feedback SciBar has a new home. As of January 2015, we will be moving to St Aldates Tavern (The Blue Room upstairs). SciBar is also moving to Wednesdays (normally 3rd Wed of the month) and will start at 7pm. </p><p>We know these changes will make our SciBars even more enjoyable and can&rsquo;t wait to see you all there! </p><p><a href="http://www.oxfordscibar.com/scibar-is-moving.html">http://www.oxfordscibar.com/scibar-is-moving.html</a>&nbsp;</p> http://www.oxfordscibar.com/scibar-is-moving.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=7474684 Wed, 31 Dec 2014 08:34:00 EST December Podcast - Dr Andrew Wilkinson The podcast from our December SciBar, Forensic Science - Facts vs Fiction with Dr Andrew Wilkinson is now online! Check it out! http://oxfordscibar.jellycast.com/files/audio/December%202013%20Podcast%20Dr%20Andrew%20Wilkinson.mp3 http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=7228136 Mon, 13 Jan 2014 12:24:00 EST New SciBox Article: Microbial Dark Matter Microbial Dark Matter - The Uncharted Branches of the Tree of Life by Carina Brehony, 17th August 2013 Microbes inhabit almost every ecological niche known and are the most plentiful cellular life form on the planet. The human body even contains more microbial cells than human cells. In spite of all that is known there are large gaps in our knowledge of microbial diversity partly due to the fact that sampling is skewed towards culturable organisms. http://www.oxfordscibar.com/microbial-dark-matter.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=7111686 Sat, 17 Aug 2013 04:56:00 EST New SciBox Article: Through The Eyes Of A Child by Eloise Aston, July 28th 2013 Can you remember what it was like to be four years old? You may not have to: scientists researching body-ownership and perception have found that using virtual reality to make adults feel their body is like a child’s causes a significant shift in their thoughts and attitudes, as well as their estimation of object sizes. http://www.oxfordscibar.com/through-the-eyes-of-a-child.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=7101338 Sun, 28 Jul 2013 17:05:00 EST New SciBox Article - Access to green space encourages more exercise..........at home! <div>New SciBox article from the Oxfordshire branch of the British Science Association</div><p>Access to green space encourages more exercise..........at home!</p><p>by Sarah Loftus 14th November 2012</p><p>A research team from Oxford University has recently found that the amount of physical activity we do corresponds with the amount of green space we have access to in our local environment, but interestingly, not with the amount of time we spend taking part in green-space-related activities. The research team from the university&rsquo;s Department of Public Health took information from the Health Survey of England, an annual survey containing questions on health and health-related behaviours as well as physiological measurements and compared it to the national land use database, a national survey of environment type. Statistical analysis revealed that those with more access to green space, excluding their own gardens, were generally more physically active, but when they looked at how green space availability related to the amount of sporting activity, walking, and &lsquo;green space leisure&rsquo; physical activity people were involved in, no significant association was found. Interestingly, the association between green space and overall physical activity was stronger in urban areas, suggesting that it cannot be explained by people living in rural areas being more active in general. </p> http://www.oxfordscibar.com/access-to-green-space-encourages-more-exerciseat-home.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6841683 Wed, 14 Nov 2012 06:30:00 EST New SciBox Article - Researchers report rapid re-infection of HCV via sexual transmission at HCV2012 Conference <div>New SciBox article from the Oxfordshire Branch of the British Science Association</div><p>by Rebecca Grey, 14th November 2012</p><p>Researchers report rapid re-infection of HCV via sexual transmission at HCV2012 Conference</p><p>Cautious optimism was the general tone of the recent HCV 2012 meeting, where some recent set-backs for new direct-acting anti-retroviral (DAA) drugs in Phase III trials were discussed along side of promising results for other options. However even as we inch closer to a pharmaceutical cure for all genotypes, epidemiological realities still present significant barriers to the goal of eradication. &nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Even after a successful clearance of the virus following treatment, re-infection with a new virus is a major concern for high-risk individuals. &nbsp;At the meeting, Janke Schinkel&rsquo;s group from the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam reported that among MSM co-infected with HIV, re-infection rates following successful eradication of the virus was &gt;30% over 5 years. Re-infection with a different genotype (typically genotype 4) occurred much more frequently than re-infection with the same genotype (typically genotype 1a, the most common in Amsterdam), suggesting that a partial immunity to re-infection may only be protective against the original genotype.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.oxfordscibar.com/researchers-report-rapid-re-infection-of-hcv-via-sexual-transmission.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6841682 Wed, 14 Nov 2012 06:27:00 EST New SciBox Article - Egging on Heart Disease..and controversy New SciBox article from the Oxfordshire Branch of the British Science Association by Rebecca Gray Media reports this week have been buzzing over the link between egg consumption, smoking and heart disease. The study has already received much criticism, many because causation (egg intake) does not equal causation (plaque build-up), and because, as has been noted by the authors, these results do not take into account saturated fat intake (or indeed dietary measures of any other kind other than eggs), exercise, or alcohol consumption. Furthermore, only one dietary questionnaires was used (upon referral to the clinic). Yes, it was based on the participants’ memory of their food intake, which has been pounced upon, but this is typical of most nutrition studies and very difficult to get around (you can’t keep people in a lab for 2 years and feed them through test tubes, after all). More http://www.oxfordscibar.com/egging-on-heart-diseaseand-controversy.html Science http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6838161 Sat, 10 Nov 2012 09:29:00 EST Reminder! Next SciBar Event - November 15th: Prof Bill McGuire taking about Waking the Giant of climate change The Oxfordshire Branch of the British Science Association is proud to have Prof Bill McGuire speaking at our next Scibar on Thursday Nov 15th. "Waking the Giant - why climate change triggers earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes" In the past, catastrophic periods of geological activity have followed rapid climate change. Professor Bill McGuire will discuss the links between the earth's climate and its geological activity. Will a hotter world also be a more geologically dangerous one? Join us on Nov 15th at the Port Mahon Pub, St Clements Rd Oxford @ 18:30! http://www.oxfordscibar.com/scibar.html Science http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6838160 Wed, 14 Nov 2012 06:37:00 EST SciBox Bits & Bites Summary - Can climate change end a civilisation and Dara O'Briain brings science to prime time Enjoy our summary of interesting science stories via our SciBox Bits and Bites feature from the Oxfordshire Branch of the British Science Association Can climate change cause the collapse of civilisation? by Amanda Coutts, Nov 10th, 2012 There are many theories as to what caused the collapse of the Maya civilisation, but research recently published in Science (nov 9, 2012: 338 pp.788-791) suggests that climate change may have been the culprit. Dara O'Briain to host a new BBC Popular Science Program by Steven Farkas, Nov 9th 2012 Comedian Dara O'Briain is hosting a new popular science program on the BBC and there isn't a panel in sight. Dara O'Briain's Science Club is a six part series which each episode focusing on a particular topic. http://www.oxfordscibar.com/scibox.html Science http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6838157 Sat, 10 Nov 2012 09:30:00 EST New SciBox Article - Vaccines "Dirty Little Secret" New SciBox article from the Oxfordshire Branch of the British Science Association by Gavin Hubbard In some ways, the immune system's like a brain: it can learn, it can adapt and, so it’s ready for the next time, it can remember. This is, perhaps, its single most important feature. The immune system has the chance to learn a unique signature on the surface of an invader every time we’re infected by something, be it virus, bacteria or even a parasite. Once it learns these signatures the body produces antibodies or ’killer cells’ to fight it. When the infection has been defeated, special cells – B-cells – remember it, for as long as a life time. If the invader returns it won’t have such an easy time: the immune system will be ready. Like most things that learn, the immune system can also be taught – in this case, by using vaccines. Depending on what the target disease is, a vaccine might be a weakened, or dead, version of a virus or bacteria or some specific component of them. Vaccines too can provide a life time of immunity. For vaccines it’s not just quantity that counts – it’s also quality. And the quality of a vaccine, in terms of its effectiveness, can be improved by the addition of an adjuvant. Adjuvants act like boosters for vaccines, amplifying the immune system’s response. But not all adjuvants are created equal: some work better with one vaccine, but not others. So the search to find new, improved ones is still on. More.... http://www.oxfordscibar.com/the-dirty-little-secret-of-vaccines.html Science http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6838144 Sat, 10 Nov 2012 09:27:00 EST May SciBar <div><span style="text-align: left">The British Science Association Oxfordshire Branch are proud to present Dr Jan-Emmanual De Neve as speaker at our SciBar tonight, May 17th, 2012 at the Port Mahon Pub in St Clements, Oxford.</span></div><p style="text-align: left">For more information check out:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.oxfordscibar.com/scibar.html">http://www.oxfordscibar.com/scibar.html</a> </p><p>Hope to see you there!</p> http://www.oxfordscibar.com/scibar.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6613263 Thu, 17 May 2012 07:58:00 EST New SciBox Article! Bendy DNA Biosensors By Sarah Loftus, March 26th 2012 A new method for studying the way genes are controlled has been developed by a team at the University of Oxford, potentially dramatically decreasing the amount of time required to carry out experiments. The research team, from the University’s Biological Physics Research Group, exploited the bendy properties of DNA to develop a device which can simply detect when a gene is being switched on and off, potentially cutting experiment times down from several days to just 15 minutes and even allowing the study of gene regulation at a single-cell level (most current techniques require a large number of cells). The study was published recently in the journal ChemPhysChem and demonstrates how a length of DNA was combined with a detector to show the presence of molecules involved in switching on a gene. This combination of biological component with detector is called a biosensor. http://www.oxfordscibar.com/bendy-dna-biosensors.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6550078 Mon, 26 Mar 2012 15:03:00 EST New SciBox Article! Distracted by Placebos by Gavin Hubbard, Feb 18th 2012 Its study can be traced back to World War II and the white lie of a nurse, working with the anaesthetist Henry Beecher, told to a severely injured soldier. With the morphine supplies having run out, and the soldier desperately needing surgery, the nurse assured the soldier that she was injecting him with a strong painkiller, but in reality it was nothing more than salt water (saline), yet, incredibly, it still relieved the soldier’s pain. Pain and the placebo effect – where a sham drug or treatment somehow results in a perceived or actual effect – have long been study partners since that time. Beecher went on to publish one of the earliest papers on the subject of the placebo (‘The Powerful Placebo’) and continued to research it for much of his life. Now new research from Columbia University and the University of Colorado, published in Psychological Science, has used pain to help tease apart how our minds are involved in the weird world of the placebo. http://www.oxfordscibar.com/distracted-by-placebos.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6510941 Sat, 18 Feb 2012 10:24:00 EST Hard drives without Magnets? New research from York University paves the way for faster hard drives in the same form factor By Steven Farkas, February 12th 2012 There's a good chance that you are reading this article with a notebook computer on your lap, feeling some degree of discomfort from the hot air that is being driven out by the cooling fans in order to keep those silicon components inside nice and cool. The cooling of IT hardware, if you'll allow me the pun, has long been a hot topic in the IT world (a quick search for IT cooling white papers brings up a litany of results here). One of the most well known (and amusing) examples of this was in 2002 where a man suffered quite serious burns to his 'private area' after using a notebook computer resting on his lap for approximately one hour (Click here for the full story). This both disturbed and shocked me in equal measures. Let's face it, the man did burn his private parts, and a notebook battery from 2002 lasting for an hour? Really? Putting the foolishness of some computer users to the side for a moment, all this does have a point. A team of scientists from York University have made a discovery that could have heat being used in a positive way inside our personal computers. In a recent paper published in Nature Communications (1) by T.A. Ostler, et. al., it has been demonstrated that magnetisation reversal is possible using heat and without the application of an external magnetic field (which was previously thought to be a necessary ingredient to achieve this). http://www.oxfordscibar.com/hard-drives-without-magnets.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6505018 Sun, 12 Feb 2012 14:33:00 EST New SciBox Article! Bacterial evolution in the lab by Amanda Coutts, 11th February 2012 Antibiotic resistance is a growing global health concern. The spread of which, in part, is due to the widespread use of antibiotics. From MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) to the reports of totally antibiotic resistant tuberculosis (1), the challenge for scientists is to understand how antibiotic resistance develops and to come up with new antibiotics and treatments to combat these bacteria. How do antibiotics work? Well, not all antibiotics work in the same way; antibiotics target different bacterial proteins and can be specific to different types of bacteria, but ultimately they either kill the bacteria or stop them from growing. One reason bacteria develop resistance is because they grow so quickly and can acquire spontaneous genetic mutations that result in the bacteria no longer responding to the antibiotic (fig 1). This can occur, for example, due to a mutation in the bacterial DNA that results in changes to the protein that the antibiotic targets. read more at www.oxfordscibar.com/scibox http://www.oxfordscibar.com/bacterial-evolution-in-the-lab.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6504168 Sat, 11 Feb 2012 09:25:00 EST Human Brain Volume Predicts Social Network Size by Sarah Loftus 6th February 2012 New evidence suggests that the size of a region of the brain known as the orbital prefrontal cortex determines a person’s social ability and, in doing so, determines the size of the social group an individual belongs to. It is already known that primates have the largest brains of all vertebrates. One explanation for this is that maintaining the social group structure characteristic of primates is demanding on the brain. This theory is known as “the social brain hypothesis”. However, it is not brain size in general that determines the social network size in primates, instead it specifically relates to the size of a region of the brain called the neocortex, which forms the outer layers of the brain. In particular it seems to be attributed to the size of the front most regions of the neocortex, the prefrontal cortex (the region towards the back is generally associated with vision). A research team made up of academics from Oxford, Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh universities, decided to see if the social brain hypothesis may be applied at an individual level rather than comparing whole species, examining whether the prefrontal cortex volume of individual humans reflects the size of the social group they belong to. They took a sample of 40 subjects and provided them with a questionnaire asking them to list the initials of everyone the participant had personal contact with or communicated with over the previous 7 days, excluding professional contacts (doctor, shopkeepers and teachers) unless the contact could explicitly be considered a genuine social interaction. They also assessed participants’ “intentionality competence”, a term used to describe the ability of a person to assess the intentions and mental states of others, i.e. their social ability. They also used MRI to scan subjects’ brains so that the volume of their prefrontal cortices could be determined. Statistical analysis was performed to determine whether there was a relationship between prefrontal cortex volume and social network size, also assessing whether any relationship was direct (i.e. prefrontal cortex size alone determines social network size) or that the intentionality competence resulting from prefrontal cortex size determined the relationship. http://www.oxfordscibar.com/human-brain-volume-predicts-social-network-size.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6499724 Mon, 06 Feb 2012 12:37:00 EST New SciBox Blog: Mind Reading .....New Mathematical Model Raises the Possibility by Sophie Douglas, 6th February 2012 Did you ever wonder how Derren Brown does it, demonstrating numerous times that he has the capability to read the minds of complete strangers? Whilst some people get sucked into the illusion others explain it through an ability to manipulate people into thinking something that he wants them to. However what if it became scientifically possible to read the thoughts produced by others and translate them into a full conversation. Ground breaking research by Brian Paisley and colleagues published in the journal PLoS has raised the possibility from idealistic sci-fi talk to reality for the first time, through the development of a mathematical program that seems able to decode brain waves into words. One of the obstacles for brain research is the need to gain access to exposed brain regions of living individuals i.e. accessing the brain without the obstacle of the bony skull so that direct brain signals can be recorded. Researches took use of the opportunity to do just that by recording brains waves from a group of patients of whom were undergoing a rare brain surgery. These epileptic patients had part of their skull removed which allowed scientists to position tiny electrodes to regions in the brain responsible for speech, particularly the superior temporal gyrus (STG). http://www.oxfordscibar.com/mind-reading.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6499719 Mon, 06 Feb 2012 12:36:00 EST An Alternative to Exercise With London hosting the world’s foremost sporting competition, the Olympic Games; sports, health and fitness is on our minds more than ever. However if you’re more couch potato than Linford Christie you might be interested to know the latest news in the research of exercise which suggest an exercise pill maybe on the horizon. The benefits of enduring exercise might be easier to achieve than once thought. by Sophie Douglas, January 30th, 2012 So what’s all the fuss about exercise anyway? During exercise your heart beat increases and your blood flow is redirected. Blood vessels to the skeletal muscle dilate so that more blood can be pumped to provide the much demanded oxygen and nutrients for aerobic respiration, whilst blood vessels to the digestive system constrict. It is well known that exercise is linked to a range of benefits to the body including; increased heart, bone, joint and muscle health together with enhanced mood, wellbeing and reduced risk of chronic disease. http://www.oxfordscibar.com/alternative-exercise.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6492882 Mon, 30 Jan 2012 15:23:00 EST The British Science Association Oxfordshire Branch and Science Oxford are proud to present a night of Stargazing! When: Friday March 16th, 2012. 6:30pm. Where: Science Oxford Starting at Science Oxford there will be a fascinating talk by Scott Marley from Bradford Robotic Telescope & Space Science Outreach, followed by hands on stargazing at South Parks where there will be telescopes set up for use with local experts from the Oxford and Abingdon Astronomy Societies. In the event of poor weather there will be plenty of fun and informative indoor activities and opportunities to 'virtually' explore the universe. Don't miss this exciting opportunity to view our beautiful night skies and learn more about our solar system! Event starts at 6:30pm at Science Oxford. **This is a ticket based event, so please follow this link to book tickets online** This event is part of the Oxfordshire Science Festival. http://www.oxfordscibar.com/ http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6479547 Mon, 16 Jan 2012 12:20:00 EST SciBox: http://www.oxfordscibar.com/new-evidence-suggesting-badger-culling-is-counter-productive.html New SciBox article by Sarah Loftus, Jan 6th 2012 New Evidence Suggesting Badger Culling is Counter-Productive New insights from a study looking at how culling affects the movements of badgers and the spread of bovine tuberculosis amongst them has suggested that culling may in fact help rather than hinder the spread of the disease. The study, led by Dr Philip Riordan from Oxford University’s Department of Zoology studied the behaviour of badgers in South West England, before and after three culls that occurred there between November 2002 and August 2003, comparing data with that obtained from a control study area in which no culling took place. They classified badgers into social groups; “Removed” if they were the target of culling, “Neighbouring” if they lived immediately adjacent to Removed groups, or “Other” if they were adjacent to Neighbouring groups or beyond, and compared the prevalence of disease within the groups as well as their patterns of movement. The study, published last month in the journal PLoS One, found that although rare, the movement of badgers between groups increased significantly following culling, with badgers tending to move into groups subjected to culling. http://www.oxfordscibar.com/new-evidence-suggesting-badger-culling-is-counter-productive.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6471060 Fri, 06 Jan 2012 17:01:00 EST Bugs not Burgers by Gavin Hubbard, 1st December 2011 In the future, instead of coq-au-vin, we may find ourselves eating cockroach-au-vin… In a world where people are increasingly aware of their greenhouse gas emissions and environmental footprint, scientists think it may be in our best interests to switch from beef and pork to witchetty grubs and meal worms. While the western world may react with disgust at the idea of eating insects, recent research has shown that adding insects to the menu, as well as being good for you, would be better for the environment than conventionally farmed beef and pork. In fact, pound for pound, insects are more efficient at converting food into weight and produce less greenhouse gases, such as methane, than cattle or pigs. Methane, per molecule, is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 and ruminants, like cows, produce a lot while fermenting food in their four stomachs; to the tune of about 250-500L a day. With a growing global population and developing countries rapidly adopting a more western style diet, receiving most of their protein from animal products, the number of animals required to feed us all has to grow too. With increasing global demand for meat, and dwindling resources, the price of beef and pork is only likely to go up. http://www.oxfordscibar.com/bug-not-burgers.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6436609 Thu, 01 Dec 2011 12:02:00 EST New Insight into the Social Evolution of Primates by Sarah Loftus, 20th November 2011 Research from the University of Oxford has demonstrated that primates underwent a step-wise pattern of social evolution, progressing from solitary foraging directly to living in large groups, a transition that coincides with a move from nocturnal (night time) to diurnal (daytime) living. The research, carried out at the University’s Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology and published last week in the journal Nature, suggests that the transition from solitary living to large multi-male/multi-female groups happened approximately 52 million years ago and that pair living or single-male harem systems derived from this later (about 16 million years ago). Little research had been done previously on patterns social evolution since we cannot derive such information from fossils (which are used in the study of many other aspects of primate evolution). http://www.oxfordscibar.com/social-evolution-of-primates.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6428183 Tue, 22 Nov 2011 06:59:00 EST A Neat Tug to Move a Gene by Amanda Coutts 15.11.2011 The regulation of gene expression is a complex process and one that is incompletely understood. Precise control of gene expression is crucial for proper development and is required to keep us healthy. Gene expression is regulated on a variety of levels by proteins such as transcription factors that can turn expression of a gene 'on' or 'off' and signalling pathways. Ultimately the cell must decipher all the signals and coordinate the various players to decide whether to turn gene expression on (activation) or off (repression). http://www.oxfordscibar.com/a-neat-tug-to-move-a-gene.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6421281 Tue, 15 Nov 2011 10:48:00 EST November SciBar - Frank Close "Neutrino" Hey Folks! Don't forget, our November SciBar is this Thursday (the 17th)! Its going to be great fun, so really hope to see you at the Port Mahon Pub, Oxford at 6:30! http://www.oxfordscibar.com/november-scibar---frank-close-neutrino.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6420557 Mon, 14 Nov 2011 16:26:00 EST Fruit Fly Work Identifies New Possibility for Drugs to Combat Ageing by Gavin Hubbard 12.11.11 Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have identified a potential new target in the fight against ageing, as well as shedding some light on the role of the digestive system in ageing. http://www.oxfordscibar.com/fruit-fly-work-identifies-new-possibility-for-drugs-to-combat-ageing.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6420112 Mon, 14 Nov 2011 09:54:00 EST The Future of Discovery: A Cancer Biologist’s Perspective by Sarah Loftus 12.11.11 At out most recent SciBar (20th October 2011), Professor Russell Stannard discussed whether there would ever be an end to scientific discovery as we now know it. His argument was that our brain evolved to help us find food and a mate and avoid predators, so why should we think that we can answer all questions using “such an imperfect instrument”. http://www.oxfordscibar.com/the-future-of-discovery-a-cancer-biologistrsquos-perspective.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6420111 Mon, 14 Nov 2011 09:53:00 EST Laughing Away the Pain by Amanda Coutts 06.11.11 It’s been said that laughter is the best medicine and a recent study performed by a group of researchers including a team from the University of Oxford(1), suggests that this may indeed be the case. http://www.oxfordscibar.com/laughing-away-the-pain.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6420110 Mon, 14 Nov 2011 09:52:00 EST Mid-Brain Light Sensor helps birds respond to seasons by Sarah Loftus 30.10.11 Recent research published in Biology Letters by Davies et al. (open access) has identified a light-sensing pigment in the mid-brain of chickens thought to be involved their response to seasons. http://www.oxfordscibar.com/mid-brain-light-sensor-helps-birds-respond-to-seasons.html http://feeds.rapidfeeds.com/?iid4ct=6420106 Mon, 14 Nov 2011 09:52:00 EST