Research Spotlight

18th May 2017

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Developing Antibiotics.

Hannah Behrens, DPhil Infection, Immunology and Translational Medicine (m.2015) Although first discovered in 1928, it was only during the Second World War that Penicillin was developed into a drug that could cure people of bacterial diseases. This started the “antibiotic era” and is considered to be one of the most important medical discoveries of the […]

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3rd May 2017

The Paradox of Reality

Linde Wester, a fourth year DPhil in Computer Science Reality cannot exist. At least not any reasonable reality. A reasonable reality must satisfy some basic assumptions such as causality: the idea that the past can influence events in the future, but not the other way around. We’ve known this since 2005, when research groups from The […]

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26th April 2017

Manuscript to Meme: Medieval Books and Modern Reading

Thomas Kittel, a second year DPhil in English Political events in 2016 gave new currency to the terms ‘post-truth’ and ‘fake news’. They were selected by the Oxford English Dictionary and the Macquarie Dictionary, respectively, as Words of the Year, defining a climate characterised by unexpected shifts and divisions in public opinion. These terms describe […]

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10th March 2017

Not All Engineers Build Buildings: Working with Proteins on a Nanoscale

  Theodora Bruun Doing research in a protein lab, the most common question I get asked is ‘Are you doing it for the gains?’ (Gains is a colloquial term for building muscle through going to the gym and often by consuming large amounts of protein). If you’re like most people, on a day-to-day basis you […]

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2nd March 2017

Megafloods on Mars: New Perspectives on an Old Mystery

  Lucy Kissick, a first year DPhil in Earth Sciences When the team behind NASA’s Mariner 9 mission first glimpsed the surface of Mars forty-five years ago, they were shocked to discover an entirely different planet to their predecessors’ observations. Mariners 4, 6, and 7 all by chance observed the same crater-scarred, moonlike highlands during […]

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24th February 2017

Inflamed Hearts and Clogged Brains

Modh Karim, a first year DPhil in Population Health Heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes – it is difficult to find someone who has not had a friend, relative, or family member afflicted by one of these scourges. With the recent advent of an array of diagnostic tests and novel drugs, we have made remarkable […]

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14th February 2017

Dung Beetles: We Should All Talk More About Poo

Elizabeth Raine, DPhil in Zoology (2014) When meeting new people and asked to explain what I study for my DPhil I am ashamed to say I often try to steer clear of mentioning dung beetles. It’s not generally seen as socially acceptable to immediately start talking to a complete stranger about poo – especially over […]

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8th February 2017

Takeaway the Lab: Data Analysis To-Go

  Neal Thomas Barsch, MSc in Economics for Development (2016) The digital universe by 2013 had grown to an estimated 4.4 zetabytes of total stored data [1]. This is 4.4×1012 gigabytes, or about 660 million years’ worth of HD video. In the lab, or connected to the Internet, collected data makes predictions about my human behaviour […]

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30th January 2017

Lollipop, Cupcake, and Viagra: Gender in Trolling and Hacktivism

Siân J.M. Brooke, DPhil student at the Oxford Internet Institute (2016) You use social media. Be it Facebook, Twitter, or even a MySpace you haven’t visited since the early ‘00s, the clear majority of us now have an online presence. The most widespread social media sites will often display your profile with your real name, […]

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