In September 2018, I spent the afternoon recording a podcast about gene editing with Year 8 students from Abingdon School and Fitzharrys School. Read more on the Abingdon School website here. Stay tuned for the podcast soon!
In August 2018, I joined a crew of six from the Oxford University Yacht Club to complete the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, finishing 11th out of 28 boats. The 3500km race, in which yachts circumnavigate the entire UK including Ireland and the Shetlands without stopping or coming onto land, is one of the toughest challenges in ocean racing. We were the first ever university team to complete the race, crossing the finish line after more than 13 days at sea.
Race report and press below:
Our paper on CRISPR-Cas9 guide RNA expression is up on BioRxiv.
I won a nationwide school outreach competition called I’m a Scientist, get me out of here. Participating school students voted for their favourite scientist. More soon!
The article was first published on BioByDesign, a student blog for synthetic biology.
In the corner of a cavernous convention hall, the FBI hands out business cards. Nearby, someone is tested for Zika virus and a six-foot praying mantis weaves between the tables. High-school students are explaining genome editing to college graduates and Australians are teaching Austrians about a tiny robot powered by E. coli.
It could only be iGEM.
Toni Baumler, a DPhil student in the Fulga Lab, has published a new article on synthetic Cas9-coupled receptors. Read it in in Cell Reports here.
In June, I chaired an event co-organised by the Synthetic Biology CDT and Oxfordshire Science Festival. Four distinguished panellists discussed the ethical and scientific dilemma, “Should we synthesise human genomes?”
It was the hottest day of the year but everyone stayed awake and, aided by an excellent discussion with the audience, the panellists each crafted a fascinating argument. The motion was passed – but not without caveats!
I’ll be chairing an exciting panel discussion this month at the Oxfordshire Science Festival. Join us to discuss the ethics of genome synthesis and hear the opinions of some of the leading figures in Synthetic Biology. The debate is on Tuesday 20th June at 6pm in the Oxford Town Hall. See below for tickets!
Marianne Talbot is a bioethicist and Director of Studies in Philosophy at the University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education.
Piers Millett is a Senior Research Fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute, where he focuses on pandemic and deliberate disease and the implications of biotechnology.
Justina Robson is a science fiction author. Her novel Natural History, was reviewed by The Guardian: “clarity of vision now demonstrates itself as her major asset, making her one of thevery best of the new British hard SF writers.”
Robert Smith is a sociologist of science and technology. His work explores the social and ethical dimensions of the biosciences, primarily in relation to science policy, research funding and laboratory science.
You can find tickets at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/should-we-synthesise-human-genomes-tickets-34274791825.
Quentin Ferry, a DPhil Student in the Fulga Lab, has published a new article in Nature Communications on inducible CRISPR guide RNAs. Read it here (open access)!