Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Weeknote #21 (w/e/ 10/10/10)

I've been a little remiss in terms of weeknote updates. Last week was mainly spent getting into a reasonably high teaching gear for the new term. I have a few good project students this year, so I'm hopeful that we can continue the trend of working on papers together.

Last Monday I spent an enjoyable evening at the Wilmslow Guild, giving a lecture on synthetic biology as part of their Science Matters series. The turnout was good (over fifty people), and I was asked some incisive questions. I was rather flustered on arrival, however, as I only just made it, due to the "navigation" software on my new phone insisting that I was actually driving around Wimbledon (London!), instead of getting increasingly worried in Cheshire. Do not trust the navigation software on the Samsung Galaxy Europa (it's an absolutely lovely little phone otherwise).

Speaking of all things to do with public engagement, we've finalised the line-up for our forthcoming event at the Manchester Science Festival, and it's absolutely cracking. We have Ron Weiss, one of the leaders in the field of synthetic biology coming from MIT in the US, Maureen O'Malley from Exeter, who works at the intersection of the humanities and life sciences, and Steve Yearley from Edinburgh, who's the Director of the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum.

The event is titled Artificial Life: Promises and Pitfalls, and full details are available on the website.

The Novel Computation Group lab is now full to capacity, with the arrival of the final Ph.D. student in the current "batch". We also have a new post-doc working on our NIB DNA hash-pooling project, are interviewing this week for a BACTOCOM post-doc, and have two new undergraduate students joining us for the duration of their projects.

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