TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2019

Author Archives: Laurence

About Laurence


Site developer,used to be a physicist then a software engineer ,now a dabbler


Do you Rember

Cell Biology

    Science Discussion Group

Our meeting in February was to do with Cell Biology and this was the preparatory material,we will probably return her 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 .


Some Background

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


Something Different

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.

About this page.

Getting Around

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 )

Runnymede Online

News from Runnymede Area U3A


Welcome to the Runnymede News Feed
At our next monthly meeting, on April 1st, the talk will be “Exciting Wildlife from Around the world” given by Tom Way

There will be no treasurers desk(again) at our monthly meeting on April 1st with normal service being resumed in May.

The February edition of the vu3a newsletter is now available to read or subscribe to follow link
There are walks on 11th,18th and 25th April for more information follow the link

Is there is anyone interested in forming a German Group please leave us a message

How to use this page
    Notice Board
    Science Discussion
    Art Discussion

Notice Board

This site complements our main site which remains the primary source of information about our U3A.These pages provide a more interactive environment for those wishing to contribute to online discussions.
Our main site is regularly updated and can be accessed at
Runnymede Area U3A

Sign up for our “alerts” facility

If you would like to receive an email alert when the news feed is updated or there are important changes to the site please email us with “alerts” as the subject.We would routinely expect to update the feed once every ten days so we will not be clogging up your inbox.

Study Days

The schedule for the study days in 2019 has been published The Surrey Link

A Diversion

Sometimes the views expressed in this programme  are quite controversial.This one is by Howard Jacobson and is a gentle talk about parks.

If anyone is interested we could arrange an online discussion of recent podcasts.Contact me

News from the Groups


The Group will visiting Frensham Great Pond on April 16th. Membership is full but the group regularly publishes reports of its trips along with photographs on its webpage.If you want to be added to the waiting list for this very popular group please contact the   Group Leader

Walking Groups

Walks in April include St Ann’s Hill,The Runnymede Memorials.A boat trip from Canary Wharf to Greenwich

If you are not a member of the Group and would like to participate use the Contacts Page to get in touch with the Group Leader

Science Discussion 

At our meeting in April we will be discussing “What is Life” .This is about how a Nobel Prize winning Physicist ,Erwin Schroedinger ,laid the foundations of cell biology.

Art Discussion

I first became explicitly aware of Edmund Hopper when I went to an exhibition at the Tate modern, there I learnt about his influence on film makers.Now I enjoy spotting the “Hopper moment in films.

Looking for a Sponsor Group

CD2 002 (2)

Nostalgia is not what it used to be

Many of us posses old photographs which evoke personal memories ,a broader collection often stirs collective memories which if recorded can contribute to a richer social history


Not Just Books wiki

Not Just Books

This post is the place to suggest books or other media which have changed the way you think about things.
The first contribution is Being Mortal: Medicine & What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande 2014.

Jo Corke

The second contribution is The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan 2015


This book, Fall down 7 times, get up 8, by Naoki Higashida who is a 24-year-old man with severe, largely non-verbal autism.

Jo Corke

This book, Do no harm, by Henry Marsh , covers material which is important to us all. It is written in somewhat paternalistic style which often grates with this reviewer.

Jo Corke

iPad users, try Tap and Hold on the link to Open in a New Tab


Author and Moderator:Jo


Sticky Sidebar