Tag Archives: Nature

Can plants think? They could one day force us to change our definition of intelligence

Stuart Thompson is a Senior Lecturer in Plant Biochemistry, University of Westminster. His main interest is in the relationships between plant cell wall biochemistry, plant cell wall mechanical behaviour and plant physiology. His main research interest is how plants manipulate the chemical components of their cell walls in order to control their structural properties allowing cell expansion to occur in a controlled and regulated fashion.

Plants can tell time even without a brain – here’s how

Mark Greenwood is a PhD researcher in cellular biology at Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge. He is interested in how cells work together to create useful systems. In his PhD in James Locke’s group, he is using a mixture of experiments and theory to understand how cells interact to keep track of the time of day. They found that the circadian clock in individual cells of Arabidopsis thaliana can use local cell-to-cell signalling to agree on the time. He now hopes to further this work towards an understanding that may inform growth strategies in the field.

James Locke is Research Group Leader in Systems Biology, University of Cambridge. During his PhD James used an iterative process of experiment and theory to propose a new feedback loop in the plant circadian (24-hour) clock. For this work he was awarded the Promega Young Geneticist of the Year award (2007). Since 2012 he has been a group leader at the Sainsbury laboratory investigating gene expression dynamics in microbial and plant systems. He was awarded the Merrimack-CSB2 Prize in Systems Biology in 2013.

We may just have solved the great mystery of why drops splash

“I am interested in the flow of liquids and gases at very small scales (so-called microfluidics) where experimental analysis is often impossible. Using mathematical modelling and computational simulation can then provides unique insight into such flows.
Much of my research has concerned the dynamics of liquid drops – how they merge, form and interact with solid surfaces (do they splash?).”

James Sprittles is Assistant Professor in Mathematics, University of Warwick.

The Maths of Life and Death

Dr Kit Yates is a Senior Lecturer in mathematical biology at the University of Bath. His job consists of taking real-world phenomena and uncovering the mathematical truths that lie behind them. He extracts the common patterns that underlie these processes and communicates them. He works in applications as diverse as embryonic disease, the patterns on eggshells and the devastating swarming of locust plagues – teasing out the mathematical connections in the process.

95% of the Universe is missing

Professor Malcolm Fairbairn is a member of the Theoretical Particle Physics and Cosmology Research Group, Kings College London. His research lies at the boundary between cosmology, particle physics and astrophysics. In particular, he is interested in dark matter, dark energy, cosmological inflation and particle astrophysics. He has been awarded an ERC consolidator grant running from 2015-2020 to study dark matter and particle physics in the early Universe.

On Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Brian Clegg is an English science writer. He is the author of popular science books on topics including light, infinity, quantum entanglement and surviving the impact of climate change, and biographies of Roger Bacon and Eadweard Muybridge. In this exclusive interview he discusses ideas relating to his latest book, ‘Dark Matter & Dark Energy: The Hidden 95% of the Universe’.

We talk about artistic inspiration all the time – but scientific inspiration is a thing too

Tom McLeish is Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Department of Physics at the University of York specialising in soft matter, rheology and biological physics. He maintains a broad interdisciplinary research interests, and is a co-investigator in projects on medieval science, philosophy of emergence, social framing of science and technology, and theology of science. His book on the cultural position of science, “Faith and Wisdom in Science”, was published by OUP in 2014.

Between the urban world and the wilderness

Juliette Losq is an artist known for photo-realistic pieces which seem like a portal to another world. Her oil paintings and drawings, which include the intricate and intimate as well as large-scale works and installations, incorporate imagery from a range of diverse interests, which she fuses with her own photographs taken during explorations of overgrown and forgotten places, The result are drawings, composed of fragments from all these realities, that transport the viewer to the border between the urban world and the wilderness.

Listening to nature: How sound can help us understand environmental change

Garth Paine is a composer, scholar and acoustic ecologist. He is an associate professor in interactive sound and digital media in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering and associate professor of composition in the School of Music at Arizona State University. He crosses art-science boundaries with his community embedded work on environmental listening and creative place-making in addition to his environmental musical works and performances. In 2018 he was researcher/artist in residence in Europe at IRCAM (Centre Pompideau) and Center for Arts and Media (ZKM).

BioBAT: Spontaneous Emergence of Order

BioBAT Art Space is the first exhibition space in New York City that is entirely dedicated to the intersection of Art and Science. Their inaugural art exhibit, ‘Spontaneous Emergence of Order’ features four interdisciplinary artists who create works based in science and technology.

Spontaneous emergence of order is a form of self-organization out of seeming chaos, the organic forming of systems mastered by no one person or thing, but the unfolding, natural order of a collective of events and actions. The four artists in this exhibit are sifting through this ordered chaos and creating their own new order based on their findings. Whether their interest is in the biological or the technological their artworks are all connected through the messiness of life itself and our connections to the natural world.