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Brigitte Nerlich

Brigitte Nerlich

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Posts by Brigitte Nerlich

Ripples of rumour and ripples in space: LIGO and gravitational waves

For some days now I have been seeing announcements on twitter that the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) would make an announcement about the detection of gravitational waves today. (The best description of these self-referential announcements can be found on Mark Hannam’s blog!) In 2014 I got a bit excited about an announcement that gravitational …

Precision metaphors in a messy biological world

The promises of nanoscience and nanotechnology have been framed by a variety of future oriented metaphors, such as the those of the fantastic voyage or the master builder. The former metaphor has been especially prominent in early reports on the promises of nanomedicine, but it is still in use today. What happens when real breakthroughs …

‘Pathways’ in science and society

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood; And sorry I could not travel both; And be one traveler, Long I stood, And looked down one as far as I could, To where it bent in the undergrowth.” (Robert Frost, 1916) I have walked along many paths, even pathways, on my journey through life. Recently, I …

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Antibiotic resistant infections in the news

In 2015 issues relating to antibiotic resistance and antimicrobial resistance have been widely discussed in the media, by medical experts and policy makers. 2015 ended with reports that antibiotic resistant gonorrhoea is becoming increasingly difficult to treat and that scientists in China discovered a gene in E. coli that makes it resistant to a class of …

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On books, circuits and life

I have recently been trying to understand CRISPR, gene editing and genome editing. While reading about these new developments in genomics, I noticed that in the avalanche of news reports reference is only rarely made to synthetic biology (on 5 January there were 188 articles on CRISPR in Major World Newspapers on the LexisNexis news …

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Flooding and ‘the Dutch solution’

Some years ago, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, US news media featured Dutch-style flood management as one of the engineering solutions that may prevent future devastating flooding in the regions affected. The same happened after the winter floods in the south of UK at the beginning of 2014 and similar references are …

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Seduced by the Dark Side? Embracing Impact

This is a guest post by Philip Moriarty, PI on a project, just funded by the EPSRC, entitled Mechanochemistry at the single bond limit: Towards deterministic epitaxy. We both hope to bring you more news about work on this project in the future. Some of you who have been reading the Making Science Public blog …

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On the metaphorical origins of gene drives

This morning I woke up to a bit of chat about ‘gene drive‘ – this year’s science breakthrough of the year –, first on twitter, then on the radio. This made me think about the use of terms like gene drive, gene driver, gene driving and where they come from. It also made me think …

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El Niño – the Christ Child

I had an odd exchange of photos with my sister in America this week. I sent her daffodils from Nottingham; she sent me arctic conditions from New Mexico. Both photos can be linked to ‘El Niño’, I believe, a weather phenomenon “named after the birth of Christ because it traditionally occurs in Latin America around …

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