Ramya Gurunathan shines a light on nanoparticles in Ancient Roman art Nanotechnology, the science of the small, emerged as a hot-button topic around the 1990s. It now has far-reaching impacts in multiple fields of technology, ranging from medicine to transportation, and has been particularly influential in electronics. It is an area of engineering focusing on the design of new materials and devices at the nanometre (nm) scale, one billionth of
Sarah Foster considers the ethical implications of growing human embryos in the lab for longer-term experiments Still reeling from a flurry of discussion and soul-searching in the wake of the first attempts at human genome editing in 2015, the world of human embryo research now faces another controversial breakthrough. Two groups of researchers, including several Cambridge scientists, have grown human embryos in culture for an unprecedented 13 days. The researchers were
Andrew Sellek discusses how astronomers and amateurs alike observe the sky at night Astronomy has been done in Cambridge for centuries – a landmark was when the Cambridge Observatory was built off Madingley road in 1823. This has formed the focal point for astronomical activities, both professional and amateur, to this day: the site now houses the Institute of Astronomy (the university’s main astronomy department) as well as the astrophysics
Martha Dillon discusses why civil engineers should care about the past In architecture, an understanding of ancient buildings and a working knowledge of their history is taken as a given. Norman Foster, master of the then-futuristic glass skyscraper, once commented that “as an architect you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown”. This typifies the attitude of most designers: old
Rebecca Richmond-Smith investigates the new kid on the block in medical research. THE GENERATION of induced pluripotent stem cells is circumnavigating ethical issues normally associated with the production of embryonic stem cells while allowing innovative research. These ethical issues are to do with when the onset of human personhood is. The reprogramming of somatic cells to produce induced pluripotent stem cells avoids the ethical problems specific to embryonic stem cell research.