Research Spotlight

18th October 2017

2017/18 Teddy Hall MCR Writing Competition open

The MCR is excited to announce the call for articles for this year’s writing competition. The MCR journal, Ex Aula: Research from the Hall, was founded last year by the MCR and published 14 articles over Hilary and Trinity Term. The inaugural winning article, by Beth Raine, was chosen by the judging panel made up […]

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2nd August 2017

Winner of Inaugural MCR Writing Competition: Ex Aula

The winner of the first Ex Aula prize, for the best article submitted to the Teddy Hall MCR online journal, has been announced as Elizabeth Raine (2014, DPhil in Zoology). Elizabeth receives the £500 prize for her intriguingly-titled article, ‘Dung Beetles: We Should All Talk More About Poo’, in which she discusses the fascinating and often underestimated role played […]

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1st June 2017

The Molecules of Life That Trigger Death

Layal Liverpool, DPhil in Infection, Immunology, and Translational Medicine Nucleic acids –  DNA and RNA – are the molecules of life. Without them we wouldn’t exist but, ironically, they are the very molecules used by viruses to hijack our cells. Viral nucleic acids act like a virus-blueprint, containing all the instructions necessary to make more […]

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24th May 2017

The Death of the Brainstem: Should Each Person be Permitted to Define Death for Themselves?

  Jake White,  Law Established understandings of when death occurs have been critically undermined by technological advancement and medical innovation. Conceptions of what ‘it’ is that is constitutive of human life has been destabilised as medical intervention makes possible the continuation of major organs that would otherwise succumb to failure. Where a patient is in […]

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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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24th January 2017

Lights, Camera, Immuno-action! Research on Cancer Immunotherapy

  Melissa Bedard, DPhil in Medical Science (2015) We all know the classic plot line featured in countless spy and action movies. An intelligence team is defending a country against a foreign enemy or quelling an internal revolution. The team discovers that there is a traitor in their midst, trying to bring the team down […]

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16th January 2017

Extinction: Lessons from the Past

  Ronald Guthrie, DPhil in Environmental Research (2016) Life on Earth has been punctuated sporadically by mass extinctions. Evidence of these events are preserved in the rock record. A change in the environment can result in a sudden and widespread decrease in biodiversity, increasing extinction levels above the background rate, leading to a mass extinction. […]

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20th August 2016

Call for Submissions

How many times have you explained your research to someone not in your field? Had to simplify complex concepts and paradigms? Do you enjoy it? This year the MCR is introducing a new opportunity for students to write about their work for a general audience, in the form of an research journal called Ex Aula: Research […]

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