Category Archives: Presentation

Dr Catherine Mercer and Dr Frank Ratcliff – The 100,000 Genome Project

Dr Catherine Mercer gave a background into how she came to genetics over ten years ago – and how much testing has changed over that time. It used to take three months to get the sequence of a single gene back, now the whole Human genome can be sequenced in 48 hours.

Dr Frank Ratcliff and Dr Catherine Mercer - The 100,000 Genome ProjectCatherine explained how the 100,000 Genome Project came about and how the structure of the UK’s NHS is uniquely placed to do a project like this.

There are two types of patients involved, those with Rare diseases (defined as less than 1 in 2,000 of the population having it – totalling 6-8,000 Rare diseases in total) and separately, those with cancer.

The process
Using the skills of an observant doctor combined with the analysis of the patient’s genomes, patterns are detected with the aim of identifying the genes that are responsible for the Rare diseases – or cancer.

Further detail was gone into, then Dr Frank Ratcliff ran through a number of case studies of people in the programme, including interviews with their family members.

Genome 21 printed in a bookDuring his presentation, two not inconsiderable bound books were passed around the audience. Each contained the sequencing of the single Genome 21 – the most simple we were told. As you can see from the photo, the pages were filled with a stream of the four characters that make up DNA, tightly printed four point font.

All round a very interesting insight into this important project.

Unsurprisingly, after the break, many questions were raised by the audience.

Dr Catherine Mercer & Dr Frank Ratcliff: Presentation

Dr Frank Ratcliff and Dr Catherine Mercer: Presentation slides

Q&A with the audience

Dr. Jon Whitehurst: Bats, Maths and Maps presentation and Q&A

Dr. Jon Whitehurst is quite a whiz during the day building technology to keep the country safe.

In his spare time he’s built up an amazing knowledge about bats (his passion since his youth) and utilises his data analysis skills to accurate prediction of bat habitat suitability using non-invasive survey methods. He’s carried this out extensively at the Isle of Wight’s Parkhurst Forest.

The talk he gave on 14th November 2016 was well attended and detailed. The way he described it was:

“The intent of this lecture is to show the extent to which cross discipline working is exploited within modern day ecology and to demonstrate that the ecology research in the 21st century is not just about fieldwork, recording and subjective assessment.

The specific example presented is bat habitat suitability modelling and the lecture will cover the end-to-end process of mapping predictive bat habitat use and describe the contributions to this process from across a wide range of scientific disciplines that enable field observations and digitised habitat features into fully quantifiable predictions of bat habitat use.”

Dr. Jon Whitehurst: Presentation

Dr. Jon Whitehurst: Presentation slides

Q&A with the audience

Dr Jeremy Lockwood: Dinosaurs and Sex

Dr Jeremy Lockwood, Chairman of the Friends of Dinosaur Isle and research associate with Southampton University, presented his talk on ‘Dinosaurs and Sex’ to the Isle of Wight branch of Cafe Scientifique on 11 Jan 2016.

Subtitled ‘A romp through the fossil beds of the Cretaceous’, the talk covered all areas of the subject.

The history of discovery of dinosaurs; the difficulty of how these huge animals could actually carry out the physical act and a lot on the challenges of actually sexing the animals, given there’s no flesh left on the animals.

Dr Jeremy Lockwood: Presentation

Dr Jeremy Lockwood: Presentation slides
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Q&A with the audience

Prof John Coleman: Voices from the Past

Professor John Coleman from the Phonetics Department at Oxford University presenting his talk “Voices from the Past” to the Isle of Wight Cafe Scientifique.

John ColemanHe discusses, how do present day languages sound compared to those spoken by our ancestors? An audio journey into the spoken words of the past.

Discover the deep cultural connections we share with our linguistic cousins across Europe and Asia and hear reconstructions of ancient words, last spoken over 6,000 years ago.

Professor John Coleman: Presentation

Professor John Coleman: Presentation slides
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Q&A with the audience