This is the home page of the Science Discussion Group .We post material here to inform a monthly discussion which we hold on the first Tuesday of every month.If you would like to join us please contact the Group Leader
I have messed up on the March date and depending on your availability and the co-operation of the Hythe Centre I would like to schedule our next meeting for March 10th.
The topics which I hope to cover in this or subsequent meetings are: An update on AI. (how much of the material in this video do you believe ?)
I would also like to plan the way forward for our discussion around genetics and you might like to review the ground covered last year Genetics.
Could you let me know about you availability on the 10th by leaving a comment below or if you prefer email me.
Alternatively someone could lead the meeting in my absence,I would endeavour to put up enough preparatory material to ensure a lively discussion.
Please feel free to comment on items in the news or to make suggestions about future topics.
Last Good Friday I did what I usually do on any Good Friday and loaded up the car and headed for the recycling centre at Lyne. It was closed ,it is every Friday and Thursday.”Lack of demand” was what I was subsequently told by my local counsellor.On Good Friday the demand was so lacking that there was a bit of jam in the in the lay-by at the entrance as cars tried to turn round .Next day there was a thirty five minute wait to get into the recycling centre (nothing wrong with the demand on a Saturday !) .I had a good natured dialogue with my counsellors about all this,I think we all know that not much will change as a consequence because that is just how things are. For the next few days I had the sense of “deja vu” .At my age I think it is a good policy to make yourself remember things (brain exercise to delay dementia) so I couldn’t let it go .Two weeks after Easter I was driving past the entrance when a tune popped into my head.
Tune lasts 20 minutes and will become an “ear worm”.
There are a couple of phrases that might cause offence today.
I am told that you can divide US citizens of about our age into two groups, those that listen to this every Thanks Giving day and those who have always hated it.
Our meeting in February was to do with Cell Biology and this was the preparatory material,we will probably return here from time to time.
Rosalind Franklin co-discoverer with Watson and Crick of the “double helix” structure of DNA
About this page
Jill Jenkins introduced me to this topic.We discussed it at the December meeting and this page is the result.Neither of us has a background in Biology so it will be interesting to see if we can lay the foundation for an informed discussion.
Modifying our Genes
Of all the scientific disciplines, Cell Biology stands poised to have the greatest impact on the lives of the next generation .Things are changing rapidly and in the absence of informed public debate things might happen on the basis of “what can be done” rather than “what should be done”. It seem entirely possible that genetic diseases like Huntington’s disease could be edited out of the genomes of future generations and many might agree that this would be a good thing.But the same techniques could be used to create “designer babies ” and maybe we are not ready for that.
I was surprised to learn that recent advances in epigenetics throws light on the balance between “nature” and “nurture”
In the news.
Scientists in China claim to have created the first “Gene-Edited Humans”. The news has not been universally well received.
News that has been well received !
The cost of sequencing a human Genome has fallen from greater than £1Billion to about £1000 and a UK team has just sequenced its 100,000th genome. Genome UK .
It would seem that the UK has always been good at this sort of thing. This is someone whose is not much in the public eye but who is a Nobel Prize winner for his work back in the 1950’s .
I understand that anyone who has studied Biology at school knows all about Cells, Genes ,Chromosomes and DNA. I didn’t study biology and found the following helpful.
This video talks about the the effects of our environment on our Genes.
For anyone interested, this video describes the technique used for Gene editing
Some of you may remember my attempt to explain Emmy Noether’s contribution to modern physics. I caught this discussion on the radio and it probably does a better job ,although Melvyn does seem a bit bemused at times.
We will be discussing the risks and opportunities associated with these developments in cell biology at the next meeting of the Science Discussion Group to be held on Feb 5th,2019.If you would like to attend the discussion or if you would like to register on the site so that you can leave a comment please email me.
Anything coloured blue on the page is either a link to somewhere ,usually on the main site, or will bring up an email so that you can send us a message .To get back to the News page you will need to use the browser “back button” which is located top left of the page and looks like < . Or if I have produced the page there will be link back.
The News Feed
If you hover on the News Feed it will pause so that you can read it or click on a link
Playing Podcasts and Video’s
To play a podcast click the arrow underneath the image and them adjust the volume to suit .( You might need to turn up the volume on the sound settings on your computer)
To view a video, click on the arrow at the centre of the image,to go to full screen click the [ ] symbol bottom right of video when it is playing, to return to normal size press “esc” key on your keyboard.( again adjust volume to suit )