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Science Week 2013

Watch our videos and read our blogs from past events.

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Wednesday 17 April 2013

  • Professor Michael Thomas: 'The Latest Findings in Autism Research.' This lecture examined the different causal explanations of autism, both genetic and environmental, the value of early screening and proposed a new hyphothesis that linked the condition to a malfunction of 'pruning' connections that occurs in the brain in early and middle childhood.
  • Dr Richard Hayward: 'Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll: Unlocking the Secrets of Chlamydia, a Stealth Pathogen.' Dr Hayward described research at Birkbeck that uses molecular and cellular approaches to investigate how Chlamydia interacts with host cells. He demonstrated how the pathogen manipulates its host at a molecular level and how understanding this mechanism can help with diagnosing and treating infections in the future.

Thursday 18 April 2013

  • Professor Bonnie Wallace: 'Sodium Channel Structures and Cardiovascular and Neurological Diseases: Developing Novel Pharmaceutical Drugs.' Sodium channels are found in brain and peripheral nerves, as well as in cardiac tissue; mutations in them result in diseases called channelopathies such as epilepsy, a range of cardiovascular diseases and chronic pain. Knowledge of the opening and closing of these sodium channels provides a powerful tool for understanding the basis of many diseases and the development of new drugs for their treatment.
  • Professor Jonathan Smith: 'Making Sense of Medical Genetics.' This lecture discussed how people at risk of genetic disorders make decisions about testing, how they responded to test results and how they made sense of personal implications of medical genetics. Case studies from the research looked at Huntington's disease in particular.