INSIDE by dandanhuanghuang


									04   NottiNgham ScieNce city NewS, viewS aNd experieNceS

future lab 03
MediPark news latest
baby boom 10
interview with dr siMon Fishel
mad science 14
FroM iraq to the classrooM

 new ‘Green-tech’ technoloGies
 set For BiG BUsiness
Page 02          wavelength issue 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  wavelength issue 4                 Page 03

                                                Liver expert Prof David Adams                   father did. I first came back here about
                                                knew he had some fans in the                    15 years ago right at the end of the Boots
                                                audience when he gave a talk at                 period. I was last here several months
                                                                                                ago when the new BioCity building
                                                one of BioCity’s evening seminar

                                                                                                named after my dad was opened.”
                                                events. For in attendance was his
                                                                                                   The theme of the BioCity seminar

                                                father, Dr Stewart Adams OBE,                   was the liver and it also featured a talk
                                                the co-inventor of Ibuprofen,                   by Dr Brian Thomson, director of R&D
                                                accompanied by wife Mary and                    at the Nottingham University Hospitals
                                                several other family members.                   NHS Trust.

 a FaMily GatherinG                             Indeed, Dr Adams junior began his talk
                                                                                                   In his talk, Dr Adams pointed out
                                                                                                that liver diseases kill more men than
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           ProPosed new state-oF-the-art MediPark set to
 at Biocity sees liver
                                                by recalling that, as a boy, he had been
                                                originally inspired to take an interest in
                                                                                                Parkinson’s Disease and more women
                                                                                                than cervical cancer in the UK. And
                                                                                                                                               above: left to Right: Dr stewart
                                                                                                                                               adams obe, wife Mary and son
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           attract Potential tenants FroM overseas
                                                                                                                                               Prof David adams outside bioCity
 exPert ProF david                              science by accompanying his father on
                                                regular visits to the BioCity building when
                                                                                                the bad news is that causes of death
                                                                                                from liver disease in the UK are rising        (Miranda Knaggs)

 adaMs joined By                                it then housed Boots’ labs.
                                                    “I first came to this place when I was
                                                                                                exponentially, mainly as a result of
                                                                                                obesity and increased

 Father dr stewart                              about 10 or 11 with my father when he
                                                was running the labs here,” he said. “This
                                                                                                alcohol consumption.
                                                                                                   “Alcohol is the biggest single cause of

 adaMs oBe, inventor                            is where my interest in bioscience started
                                                and when I came back years later it
                                                                                                preventative liver disease now,” he said.
                                                                                                “In the future, it will be obesity related.”

 oF iBUProFen.                                  makes me feel a bit nostalgic.”
                                                    Now Professor of Hepatology at
                                                                                                   He explained later: “Around 15 to 20
                                                                                                years ago there was not a state in the
                                                Birmingham University, Dr Adams said            USA where more than 15% of people
                                                later: “In retrospect that was the driver       were obese. Now there is no state where
                                                that got me interested in medicine, and         fewer than 15% of people are obese –
                                                to do research, which was what my               and we’re five years behind the US.”

                                                it’s all in                                                                                     WHAT IS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         above: impression of the MediPark

                                                tHe content
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         (nottingham Regeneration limited)

                                                                                                                                                The Government designated
                                                                                                                                                                                           Clinical research companies from
                                                                                                                                                                                           India and China are among the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         we’re in active consultation about that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         with people from global electronics firms.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         That’s a particularly strong area, I think.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The study also recommended that a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        detailed business plan should be drawn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        up as soon as possible. Dr Thomson
                                                                                                                                                                                           potential tenants in the proposed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            From the Nottingham University                                                              concurs with this view. It is believed that
                                                content ManaGeMent soFtware For
                                                                                                                                                Nottingham as one of the six Science       MediPark development next to
                                                                                                                                                Cities in March 2005. Nottingham           the Queen’s Medical Centre                    Hospitals NHS Trust side, Dr Thomson
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        nottinGhaM MediPark’s                           the organisation responsible for the

                                                healthcare sector Gets ‘Good’                                                                   holds this science status to               in Nottingham.                                said that the three National Institute for                                                     business plan will be selected via a formal
   Keith williams
                                                                                                                                                acknowledge a rich science heritage,
                                                                                                                                                                                           An application for outline planning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Health Research Biomedical Research
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Units (BRUs), which between them
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        iMPact on the econoMy                           tendering process.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Neil Horsley, CEO of Nottingham
 At 41, Keith Williams has started                  In plain English, Good Products’                “There is something like three times
                                                                                                                                                from the invention of ibuprofen and
                                                                                                                                                the MRI scanner, to Nottingham’s
                                                                                                                                                                                           permission for the 3.7 Ha science park        receive £11m funding to carry out              oF the city stands to Be                        Development Enterprise, said: “The
 up no less than five businesses in
 the last 25 years. His first was a
                                                documentation management software
                                                allows companies in the pharmaceutical
                                                                                                more red tape now then there was when
                                                                                                I started my first business in 1994. This
                                                                                                                                                present strengths, including two of the
                                                                                                                                                country’s leading research universities.
                                                                                                                                                                                           was submitted to Nottingham City
                                                                                                                                                                                           Council in early June this year, following
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         world-class research into areas including
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         hearing devices, lung disease, cystic          iMMense. it’s a hUGely                          scheme has emerged from work
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        undertaken for Nottingham Science City

 landscape gardening firm he set
 up between school and university.
                                                and biotech sectors to cost-effectively
                                                comply with a complex regulatory
                                                                                                means that if you are starting your first
                                                                                                business without the advantage and              Nottingham Science City is supported
                                                                                                                                                                                           public consultation with local people and
                                                                                                                                                                                           businesses affected by the proposal.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         fibrosis and stomach, liver and bowel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         diseases, would provide a strong set of        excitinG Project.                               and forms the major flagship project for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the initiative, building on the success of
                                                environment. Local customers have               shortcuts provided by experience, you           by a number of organisations and they          If permission is granted as planned       anchor activities.                             john long, development director, Blueprint      other investments such as BioCity. “
 But the fifth, and most ambitious,                                                                                                                                                        this summer, it is hoped that a formal           “I see them as the core and we would                                                            In fact, the proposed first stage of
                                                included GlaxoSmithKline, Pharmaceutical        are in danger of focusing too much on           include: Boots, Berryman The University
 is called Good Products and                                                                    complying with regulations and less on                                                     business plan can be drawn up ahead           also link them to imaging, which is very                                                       three building phases at the MediPark is a
                                                Profiles (now Quotient Bioresearch) and                                                         of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent
 creates content management                     ClinPhone (now Perceptive Infomatics).          addressing the growth and ‘safety’ of the                                                  of the first building work in 2011 or 2012.   strong in Nottingham,” Dr Thomson                                                              shared ‘Medicity’ building which would act
                                                                                                                                                University, Nottingham City Council,
 software for the regulated                         Keith trained as a microbiologist and       business. This could make us as a country                                                  Completion of the development could be        added. “Medical Physics are also very                                                          as a business incubator similar to BioCity.
                                                                                                                                                Greater Nottingham Partnership,
 healthcare industry.                           did a Master’s degree in BioChemical            less competitive in the future.”                                                           as early as 2015.                             keen to develop on the site.”                                                                  Each of the nine buildings will provide
                                                                                                                                                East Midlands Development Agency,              As currently envisaged, MediPark will
                                                Engineering (both at Birmingham                      Finally how does he see the future                                                                                                     The University of Nottingham is a                                                           3,000 to 5,000 sq m of floor space.
 Despite being set up two years ago,                                                                                                            Nottinghamshire County Council,            be made up of nine buildings offering         major partner in this project. Professor                                                           Development partner on the project
                                                University). His first job in the biotech       shaping up?
 Good Products has already opened               sector was running Delta Biotechnology’s            “We now have two product offerings
                                                                                                                                                Nottingham Development Enterprises,        high-quality lab and office space.            Saul Tendler, Pro-Vice-Chancellor ,                                                            is Blueprint. John Long, a development
 a sales office in southern California.         manufacturing facility in Nottingham            of our document management software;            Nottingham Regeneration Ltd and                The site, opposite the QMC across         indicated that the development aligned                                                         director at Blueprint, told Wavelength:
 However, you can forget any ideas about        (the facility is now owned by Novozymes         a behind the firewall server for medium         the Learning and Skills Council.           from the River Leen, is intended to be        with the university’s technology transfer                                                      “‘Nottingham MediPark’s impact on
 Keith living a Beach Boys lifestyle; he        Biopharma, in Castle Boulevard). When           sized business and for smaller businesses                                                  developed as a world-class centre for         plans. He said: “We see this as a very                                                         the economy of the city stands to be
 and his UK employees remain based
                                                                                                                                                Nottingham Science City aims to:           clinical research and medical devices.        important development for the delivery                                                         immense. It’s a hugely exciting project.
                                                he set up Good Products in 2007 he was          a hosted version. We are building a
 at the company head office in Lenton           the only employee. The business grew to         pharmaceutical compliant hosting centre         NurturE... Nottingham’s                         But MediPark will also attract new       of our translational agenda. In particular,                                                    Making it happen is already drawing,
 Lane, Nottingham, while also operating a       employ three people in 2008 and now has         in the outstanding BioCity incubator            role as an international leader            investment and employment into                the creation of MediPark will allow                                                            and will continue to draw, on the drive
 satellite office in BioCity.                   10 staff spread between the UK and USA.         facility here in Nottingham which will be       in scientific discovery and                Nottingham from biotech companies             a strong translational pipeline from                                                           and skills of a vast number of people
    Still: Lenton Lane or California – which        Given his entrepreneurial experience,       ready late July, 2009. Not only will local      teaching excellence                        who will benefit from the site’s              basic science and engineering to the                                                           representing multiple organisations.”
 location would most of us prefer for the       how would he compare the current                companies in BioCity have access to a                                                      proximity to University of Nottingham         development of new clinically related                                                              The outline planning application for
                                                                                                                                                StIMuLAtE... community                                                                                                                  below: bird’s eye view of MediPark
 daily commute?                                 business cultures of the USA and the UK?        controlled document environment, but                                                       researchers and one of the UK’s largest       products and services.”                                                                        MediPark was submitted by Nottingham
                                                                                                                                                pride and interest in our                                                                                                               (nottingham Regeneration limited)
    No doubt Keith’s heard it all before; and       “It’s getting better here but we could      there is scope for us to host companies                                                    teaching hospitals.                               Professor Tendler also said that the                                                       Regeneration Limited, which also
                                                                                                                                                scientific heritage
 there were eminently sensible business         do better,” says Keith. “In the US, having a    from around the world in that data centre.                                                     Speaking exclusively to Wavelength,       development would further support the                                                          carried out the public consultation.
 reasons for setting up an office in the        failed business behind you is almost a rite-        “We also have plans to open an East         CONvErt... science into thriving           Dr Brian Thomson, director of R&D at          world-class research and technology                                                            Other organisations involved in the
 Golden State.                                  of-passage. Here, you’re still made to feel     Coast office in New Jersey by the end of        businesses in Nottingham                   the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS       transfer at the university and that                                                            MediPark project are Nottingham City
    “Our target market in the US is really      like a pariah and so people are inclined        the year. Both of these activities should                                                  Trust, said that interest in MediPark had     Medipark complemented ongoing                                                                  Council, Nottingham University
 biotech SMEs,” he says. “We’re based in        to take less risk in the UK. The sources of     ensure that Good Products continues               If you have any relevant news items      already been shown by clinical research       activity at BioCity and UNIP.                                                                  Hospitals NHS Trust, the University of
 Irvine and within about two and a half                                                                                                           or ‘people stories’ you feel should      companies abroad.                                A feasibility study on MediPark                                                             Nottingham, BioCity and Nottingham
                                                finance take a similar stance so it is easier   to thrive and keeps Nottingham at the
                                                                                                                                                  be included in the next issue of the         “There’s been some interest from
 hours drive there’s a concentration of         to get finance for more ‘leftfield’ or risky    forefront of technological development in                                                                                                commissioned by NDE and published                                                              Development Enterprise. Some funding
                                                                                                                                                  Nottingham Science City newsletter,
 4-6,000 biotech companies, so it makes         ventures in the US.”                            the content management arena. “                   please contact journalist
                                                                                                                                                                                           Britain and Europe and from Asian             in 2008, reported strong interest in                                                           is also being provided by Greater
 sense to be near them. But all product             How would he describe the regulatory                                                          Mark Patterson on 07708 336171 or        companies in India and China,” he said.       the MediPark                                                                                   Nottingham Partnership.
 development and support takes place            environment surrounding private                                                                   email             “We are also keen to develop the site as a    concept and indicated that economic
 here in Nottingham.”                           enterprise?                                                                                                                                National Centre for Medical Devices and       benefits could be substantial.
Page 04   wavelength issue 4                                                                                            wavelength issue 4                     Page 05

   green is tHe
                               new ‘Green-tech’
                                                                                With research excellence in areas             many of these businesses are expecting
                                                                                such as carbon capture, green                 to grow. One expects a “significant”
                                                                                chemistry and efficient buildings,            increase in its employees over the

                               technoloGies set                                 and a promising list of businesses
                                                                                working in renewable energy and
                                                                                                                              next few years; another is physically
                                                                                                                              expanding its operation in one of the
                                                                                                                              city’s newest science parks; a third

                               For BiG BUsiness
                                                                                green technologies, is it time that
                                                                                                                              is working on products for the next
                                                                                Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

   neW blacK
                                                                                                                              generation of Japanese ‘green’ cars,
                                                                                began recognising that its next               and so on. Meanwhile, a report card on
                                                                                major economic strength is the                local academic research would list major
                                                                                green-tech cluster?                           strengths in carbon capture and storage,
                                                                                Mark Patterson reports.                       the built environment, green chemistry
                                                                                                                              and related areas.
                                                                                About the size of a dishwasher detergent          Altogether, the local green-tech sector,
                                                                                tablet, the small pink oblong seems an        allied to world-class academic research,

                               today the Uk’s environMental sector is
                                                                                unlikely construction material for the        is forecast to grow as society inches over
                                                                                next generation of power stations.            to a heralded new “low carbon” model

                               valUed at £106.5Bn, sUPPortinG 881,000
                                                                                    But this small piece of surprisingly      and the economy reacts to the domestic
                                                                                dense carbonate, holding three litres         financial stimuli and international

                               joBs. Projected Growth rates in all
                                                                                of compressed carbon dioxide, is the          legislation brought to bear on climate
                                                                                subject of tests taking place this summer     change mitigation.

                               environMental sectors coUld Generate
                                                                                at the University of Nottingham to find           Today the UK’s environmental sector
                                                                                out whether bricks just like this can be      is valued at £106.5bn, supporting

                               an extra 400,000 joBs – or 45% Growth –
                                                                                used to support large buildings.              881,000 jobs. Projected growth rates in
                                                                                    And this isn’t the only potential         all environmental sectors could generate

                               over the next eiGht years.
                                                                                commercial application currently being        an extra 400,000 jobs – or 45% growth –
                                                                                researched at the university’s £1.1m          over the next eight years.
                                                                                Centre for Innovation in Carbon Capture           However, the biggest growth area lies
                                                                                and Storage (CICCS).                          in renewable energy and the ‘emerging
                                                                                    In a few years, scientists here hope      low carbon’ sector. These already
                                                                                to have completed research on complex         account for 79% of the UK’s market
                                                                                systems using industrial CO2 emissions to     value and both are expected to outstrip
                                                                                create new usable energy. Feed the waste      more established environmental sectors
                                                                                carbon emissions from this energy back        – water treatment and so on – over the
                                                                                into the system and you would have the        next five years. These projections also
                                                                                ideal recycling loop.                         hold true for the East Midlands.
                                                                                    “That would be the Holy Grail of CO2 to       These forecasts seem borne out by
                                                                                some extent,” says Professor Mercedes         some recent big numbers in a sector
                                                                                Maroto-Valer, Professor of Energy             where big numbers are announced thick
                                                                                Technologies and Director of CICCS.           and fast – and are often hedged by ifs
                                                                                    Academic research like this, directed     and buts.
                                                                                towards real world commercial                     For example, in the April 2009 budget
                                                                                applications that will generate benefits      the Government announced an extra £1.4
                                                                                for the economy and the planet, is            billion to support low carbon industries
                                                                                underpinning Nottingham’s growing             and said that ‘carbon abatement
                                                                                reputation as an international centre         technologies’ could support 50,000 jobs
                                                                                of expertise in the related areas of          by 2030. Separately, the Carbon Trust
                                                                                sustainable energy and emissions              estimates that off-shore wind power
                                                                                control. And alongside the academic           alone could create 70,000 new jobs in
                                                                                activity, Nottingham and the surrounding      the UK by 2020.
                                                                                region is home to an emerging business            In Nottingham, the story of green tech
                                                                                sector devoted to renewable energy and        enterprise can’t be separated from the
                                                                                low carbon technologies.                      research credentials of the two universities.
                                                                                    How big is this sector and how big will   Benefits should specifically accrue from
                                                                                it grow?                                      the unique relationship between the
                                                                                    At present, it would be misleading to     University of Nottingham and China.
                                                                                declare that Nottinghamshire and the          The value of China’s green-tech market
                                                                                East Midlands are among the UK’s leading      is estimated to grow from US$186bn in
                                                                                centres for new environmental technology      2010 to US$555 billion in 2020.
                                                                                businesses – or ‘green-tech.’ The latest          Alongside CICCS, which opened in
                               leFt: Professor Mercedes Maroto-valer and her
                                                                                Government figures puts the value of          2007, the university runs the award-
                               team at CiCCs, university of nottingham
                               (Marlowe Photography/nottingham science City)    LCEGS – Low Carbon Environmental              winning Centre for Sustainable Energy
                                                                                Goods and Services – in the region at         Technologies on its Ningbo campus
                               below: Professor Mercedes Maroto-valer at work
                               (Marlowe Photography/nottingham science City)
                                                                                around £8bn. That’s higher than Wales,        in China.
                                                                                Northern Ireland and England’s north east,        Meanwhile, another £5m is being
                                                                                but behind all other English regions.         invested in a new Energy Technologies
                                                                                    But an informal count by Wavelength       Research Institute on the Jubilee Campus.
                                                                                produced a promising list of companies            One of the university’s main research
                                                                                based within the county borders that all      strengths is in Carbon Capture and
                                                                                produce unique products and services          Storage, or CCS. In précis, CCS is
                                                                                which respond in some way to the knotty       technology that aims to find ways
                                                                                related issues of climate change, carbon      of reducing CO2 emissions into the
                                                                                abatement and energy efficiency.              atmosphere by capturing them and
                                                                                    These range from small university         storing them safely, or turning them into
                                                                                spin-outs producing nano-particles            useful products.
                                                                                in labs to a listed company tapping               While most of us are familiar with the
                                                                                methane from former coal mines; and           terminology and arguments surrounding
                                                                                from an international business designing      renewable energy, CCS has – so far, and
                                                                                gears for wind turbines to Britain’s          in public perception at least – been the
                                                                                leading provider of food waste-to-green       least regarded weapon in the scientific
                                                                                energy technology.                            armoury deployed to reduce the industrial
                                                                                    There are both small innovators           emissions that cause global warming.
                                                                                and some big hitters on this list, and        Continued
Page 06      wavelength issue 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               wavelength issue 4                   Page 07

                                                                            uP for tHe

 new ‘Green-tech’               That is set to change. The growing
                             belief in this area was underlined in
                                                                            CO2 as a building material. Prof Maroto-
                                                                            Valer displays the small oblong of pink
                                                                                                                         the same day, E.ON announced that it
                                                                                                                         would be fitting CCS technology to its
                                                                                                                                                                                                          above: exploring wind
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      particles. Delegates at the Nano4Energy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      event included Promethean Particles, a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   global company Romax Technology,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   headquartered on Nottingham Science

 technoloGies set
                             May this year when the University              carbonate that contains three litres of      controversial proposed Kingsnorth                                                leFt: Detail of a wind      small university spin-out based at BioCity   and Technology Park.
                             of Nottingham was awarded a share              compressed CO2 (by way of comparison,        coal-fired power station in Kent, the                                            turbine gear box designed   which manufactures nano-particles using          Promising sounds were also heard in

 For BiG BUsiness
                             of £6.9m to research various CCS               a person emits around 450L of CO2            UK’s first in over two decades, if it gets                                       by Romax (Romax)            a patented hot water process.                a consultants report on Nottingham’s
                             technologies. E.ON, which was one              a day). This summer, engineers at            planning permission to build the plant.                                                                         Two other international areas of          sustainable energy sector published in
                             of the funding bodies, described CCS           the university’s School of the Built            “I wish we could wake up tomorrow                                                                         expertise, shared by Nottingham              2007. The report, by Sustainable Energy
                             as “the most important technology              Environment will be testing pieces of        and say we don’t have to rely on                                                                             Trent University and the University of       Consultants, pointed out that Nottingham
                             we have in the fight against climate           carbonate like this as a building            fossil fuels because we have enough                                                                          Nottingham, are the built environment        is “at the centre of one of the most
                             change.” Meanwhile, down the road in           material in their experimental eco-          renewables,” says Prof Maroto-Valer.                                                                         and green chemistry.                         important regions for low carbon
                             Loughborough, the Energy Technologies          houses and comparing it to conventional      “But that’s not the case. For renewables                                                                        The former is broadly concerned           research within the UK”, with major
                             Institute believes that CCS could reduce       building materials.                          to take over the market share that fossil                                                                    with improving the energy efficiency of      research centres at the Nottingham
                             Britain’s emissions by 20% over the next          “Depending on the outcome of this         fuels currently have, you’re talking may                                                                     buildings; the latter is about chemistry     universities as well De Montfort,
                             50 years and has made this sector one          project we may present this material in      be 40 or 50 years. During that time we                                                                       that uses less energy and without            Loughborough and Leicester.
                             of its main research areas                     the international 2010 Sola Decathalon       cannot continue using fossil fuels the                                                                       producing harmful waste products                 And the report further said: “Possibly
                                At CICCS, alongside more mature CCS         Challenge that’s going to take place in      way we’ve been doing. I do believe we                                                                        such as solvents. “Green chemistry is        the city and region as a whole could
                             technologies, researchers are also looking     Madrid next year,” says Prof Maroto-         will have a significant, higher role for                                                                     driven by industry demand for it,” says      be considered to be one of the most
                             at the feasibility of re-using captured CO2    Valer. “Our engineers are going to tell      renewables in the future, but until we                                                                       Dr Gareth Cave, a senior lecturer in         potentially fertile sources for low carbon
                             as a fuel. This project may not be ready       us the strength of the material and          get to that point the only strategy that is                                                                  inorganic chemistry at Nottingham Trent      innovation ideas along with Cambridge
                             for commercial use for another decade.         whether we can use it as a load-bearing      going to allow us to reduce our emissions                                                                    University, who was at the forefront of      (and the East of England) and Imperial
                             But the target is to turn CO2 captured at a    wall or whether it doesn’t have the          while using fossil fuels is CCS.”                                                                            work developing solvent-free reactions.      College, London.”
                             “point source” – e.g. a power station – into   strength to do that.”                           However, as she notes, emissions                                                                          “Legislation now demands that the                But note the word ‘potentially’. The
                             a useful product, and then re-use that fuel       In the medium-term future, carbonate      are an international problem and even                                                                        chemical industry produces less waste,       report identified that the local high level

                             again in an endless loop of recycling, says    could be used as a building material in      achieving the UK’s very ambitious target                                                                     which it used to have to pay to remove.      of green-tech academic research was
                             Professor Maroto-Valer.                        small to medium sized power stations.        of reducing its CO2 emissions by 80%                                                                         The days when you could just dump stuff      not being translated into a comparable
                                “We are doing something with                   Of course, CCS research is based          by 2050 will have little impact globally.                                                                    down the drain are gone, especially since    amount of commercial success. This
                             the CO2 that is similar to what plants         on the prediction that fossil fuels will     To put this into perspective, a fossil                                                                       a lot of solvents are hazardous.”            was explained by an abundance of ‘blue
                             do – photosynthesis – but we tune              continue to play a major part in Britain’s   fuel power station the size of Ratcliffe-                                                                       It is also worth noting that              sky’ research and the physical distance
                             up the process,” she says. “Plants in          energy mix, at least in the medium term.     on-Soar comes on line in China every                                                                         Nottingham’s green-tech sector is            between venture capital in London.
                             photosynthesis develop products to grow.       This may dismay environmentalists who        fortnight. This is what makes Anglo-                                                                         physically close to both Renewables UK,          But that was then. The question now
                             Instead of developing products to grow         are demanding a much quicker transfer        Chinese co-operation over CCS so                                                                             the Government body that promotes            is whether Nottinghamshire’s burgeoning
                             we are looking at producing a fuel. So it’s    to energy supply based on wind, sun and      important and potentially so fruitful for                                                                    the British renewables industry              green-tech sector should be recognised
                             an interface between a biological and a        wave power. Yet the UK Government            innovations in Nottingham.                                                                                   internationally, in Melton Mowbray, and      as a distinct and promising sector, as
                             chemical engineering process.                  has now accepted that old King Coal,            In April, CICCS hosted a visit by a large                                                                 the Energy Technologies Institute, in        biotech is. And if the city and county can
                                “We are still at the laboratory stage,      or at least Clean King Coal, will remain     delegation of Chinese policy makers as                                                                       Loughborough. The latter is a public         be labelled as a ‘centre of excellence’ in
                             but have been working on this for three        one of the sources of Britain’s energy in    part of the UK-China Near Zero Emissions                                                                     private partnership with funding of over     green-tech innovation, what should be
                             to four years. In ten years we will be         the years ahead, alongside renewables,       Coal project, which is addressing the                                                                        £1bn set up to accelerate the deployment     done to stimulate it further and attract
                             looking at putting business cases around       gas and nuclear. Hence, commercial           carbon dioxide emissions from China’s                                                                        of low carbon technologies.                  investment for growth?
                             the project to tell us exactly where this      applications of CCS are on the verge of      increasing coal energy production.                                                                               In January the ETI announced £20m            Neil Horsley, chief executive of
                             process could be deployed. Something           playing a major role in UK energy policy     Nottingham was the only UK university                                                                        for four large technology projects to        Nottingham Development Enterprise,
                             will probably be done on-site next to a        and the nation’s climate change strategy.    visited by the Chinese, a sign that the city                                                                 develop affordable, renewable electricity.   adds: “Nottingham has the potential
                             point source of CO2 because we’re trying          Following the April budget, energy and    and region are regarded as leaders in CCS                                                                       Three of these projects concern           to become an international centre of
                             to avoid building very large pipelines. Of     climate change secretary Ed Miliband         research leading to practical applications.                                                                  developing new off-shore wind turbine        research excellence in this field but such
                             course when you use the CO2 as a fuel you      announced that in future all new UK             But current promising areas of                                                                            technology; the fourth is to develop a       ‘know how’ is easily exportable and the
                             are releasing it again so we are looking at    coal stations would have to be fitted        research are not all concerned with                                                                          new commercial tidal turbine. The private    challenge to Nottingham and Science City
                             using it again in a loop. That would be the    with CCS technology from day one. Five       physically large projects. In March, the                                                                     sector backers are E.ON, Rolls Royce,        in the coming years is to convert local
                             Holy Grail of CO2 to some extent.”
                                A more immediate commercial
                                                                            ‘CCS clusters’ were also proposed for
                                                                            the Thames, Humberside, Teesside, the
                                                                                                                         East Midlands Conference Centre hosted
                                                                                                                         a conference dedicated to companies
                                                                                                                                                                        the aMoUnt the Uk has set as a tarGet to redUce               BP, Caterpillar, EDF Energy and Shell.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      One of the project consortia involves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   expertise in to local businesses and jobs.”

                             application could the use of captured          Firth of Forth and Merseyside. Then, on      involved in clean energy using nano            its co2 eMissions By the year 2050                            RomaxWIND, a division of the UK based
Page 08   wavelength issue 4                                                                                                                                              wavelength issue 4                 Page 09

                                                                                                                                                                             PaUline aitken
                                                                                                                                                                             takes a closer look

                                                                                                                                                                             at the relationshiP
                                                                                                                                                                             Between Flowers,

                                                                                                                                                                             art, science and

                                                                                                                                                                             Artist Pauline Aitken’s interest in
                                                                                                                                                                             flowers and botanical art go back to her
                                                                                                                                                                             childhood and time spent living with her

                                                                                                                                                                             grandfather, a nurseryman. “He would
                                                                                                                                                                             take me out into the fields every day,
                                                                                                                                                                             send flowers to Covent Garden and grow
                                                                                                                                                                             rose trees like a proper nurseryman. He
                                                                                                                                                                             showed my flowers all the time and I
                                                                                                                                                                             was always struck by plant forms.”
                                                                                                                                                                                This fascination with the myriad
                                                                                                                                                                             varieties of plant form went on to
                                                                                                                                                                             inspire a career in botanical art which
                                                                                                                                                                             has seen Pauline exhibit her work at
                                                                                                                                                                             diverse locations including Cambridge
                                                                                                                                                                             University Botanic Garden, the Science
                                                                                                                                                                             Museum and the Royal Microscopical
                                                                                                                                                                             Society. Her latest work, titled Cardio-

ForGet the csi tv          Notice to burglars: sadly, wearing         experts from the Home Office, forensic        these to gloves in the possession of                     Active, which explores the connections
                                                                      dentistry and the police.                     suspects, the police can add weight to                   between the human heart and the
                           a pair of pink Marigold gloves is no
                                                                                                                                                                             medicinal plant Digitalis purpurea and
ProGraMMe – local          longer an effective method of hiding
                           your fingerprints when stealing from
                                                                          Forensic science as a university study
                                                                      subject is on the rise – and yes, in part
                                                                                                                    their evidence against suspects.
                                                                                                                        Matching glove prints to a potentially               lanata, the Foxglove, went on show in
                                                                                                                                                                             BioCity this summer.
Police Forensics can       people’s homes.                            that is down to the allure of the various     vast pool of suspects is easier than it
                                                                      CSI series on TV. “It gets students           might sound, since an estimated 50%                         Pauline’s prints are digital montages,
                                                                                                                    of all crime is committed by 10% of                      layering and connecting images of

now even Use Glove
                           Why? Because today police forensic         interested but we then spend three
                           scientists can link suspects to minute     years turning them into good scientists,”     offenders. And most of these offenders                   the heart and Foxglove gathered from
                           differences in the patterns of dozens      said David Butler, programme leader           are ‘forensically aware’ – meaning, they                 her own drawings, paintings, print-

Prints to track            of different kinds of gloves. That’s
                           analysis down to the level of air
                                                                      of NTU’s BSc Forensic Science course,
                                                                      which currently has 270 students over
                                                                                                                    wear gloves.
                                                                                                                       But all this begs an obvious question:
                                                                                                                                                                             making and work with a scanning
                                                                                                                                                                             electron micrograph at the Department

down BUrGlars.             bubbles and stitches at the end of
                           yarn in glove material.
                                                                      its three years.
                                                                          Forensic science as a study subject is
                                                                                                                    why would a house burglar or car thief
                                                                                                                    keep the gloves they use when staging
                                                                                                                                                                             of Physiology, Development and
                                                                                                                                                                             Neuroscience at Cambridge University.
                              Such was among the intriguing crime-    a world where students deliver research       a crime? Why not just burn or otherwise                     The electron micrograph images
                           fighting issues raised at the 4th Annual   projects with titles such as ‘The viability   dispose of the incriminating item?                       allowed Pauline to add a new layer of
                           Midland Student Forensic Institute         of DNA from chewing gum when                     “ They seem to like using the same                    artistic interpretation.
                           Research Network, held by Nottingham       exposed to different temperatures over        gloves,” said Ms Marsh. “And some                           “The micrograph has taken my work
                           Trent University. The event, hosted by     a set period of time.’ And ‘An insight into   gloves are quite expensive, so they don’t                in a new direction,” she says. “You place
                           the Clifton Campus, brought together       the factors that control fibre transfer       seem to like to throw them away. For                     a piece of plant in it and it’s like you’re
                           dozens of forensic science students and    onto car seatbelts.’ Or how about ‘ The       some of them a pair of gloves is part of                 looking at the surface of the moon….”
                                                                      process and analysis of natural and           their ‘burgling kit.’ They have a pair to                   But ancient technology has also had
                                                                      artificial mummification’?                    break in and another pair for finer detail               an input too. One of the books Pauline
                                                                          Posters explaining all of these           work. That’s what we’ve found.”                          researched was a large collection of
                                                                      subjects and more were on display                Ms Marsh has built up a library of                    woodcuts portraying human anatomy
                                                                      during the conference, which saw a            around 80 different kinds of gloves so                   from 1543, Andreas Vesalius’ De Humani
                                                                      lecture by Dr Helen Bandey, a forensic        far and she is adding to them all the                    corporis fabrica.
                                                                      scientist from the Home Office Scientific     time. In nine months, glove analysis had                    “There is one woodcut where he has
                                                                      Development Branch, who specialises in        led to 17 convictions in Derbyshire.                     opened up the chest area and there in
                                                                      fingerprints and footwear. A particularly        In the past, common old Marigolds                     the centre is the heart, like the bud of a
                                                                      grisly illustrated lecture was also           were the popular choice for thieves and                  plant inside,” she says.
                                                                      delivered by Nottingham forensic              burglars. Recently, however, criminals                      Such correspondences between heart
                                                                      odontologist Dr Richard Leigh Evans.          have preferred, “very sporty gloves with                 and Foxglove, which has been the source
                                                                          But what about those gloves? The          textured patterns.”                                      of cardio drugs for 250 years, is what
                                                                      detail on that came from Liane Marsh,            Ms Marsh added: “18 months ago we                     underpins the 41 images in the exhibition.
                                                                      a forensic identification officer from        didn’t see many of them but now we’re                    Pauline’s research was funded by the
                                                                      Derbyshire Police who has pioneered           seeing them a lot.”                                      Wellcome Trust while the exhibition has
                                                                      the analysis of gloves used by burglars                                                                been made possible by funding from the
                                                                      and other criminals. The fact is that no                                                               National Lottery through Arts Council
                                                                      two pairs of gloves are identical. Not                                                                 England. The exhibition can be seen until
                                                                      only do different kinds of gloves differ in                                                            October 2009.
                                                                      the patterns of their material – leather is
                                                                      different from rubber, which is different
                                                                      from PVC – but gloves of the same
                                                                      material made in the same factory are
                                                                      also minutely different from each other.                                                               toP: Corrollular valve.
                                                                          By analysing the impressions of glove                                                              FaR leFt: heart stopping no.3
                                                                      patterns left by burglars on windows and                                                               leFt: in the heart of the Flower
                                                                      car doors, for example, and matching                                                                   (Pauline aitken)
Page 10   wavelength issue 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                               wavelength issue 4                    Page 11

                                                                                                                                                                 my letter on headed paper. So my boss          by private patients. Even if the money           not use the words commercialisation and
                                                                                                                                                                 called me in with a big smiley face and        had been there, it was 20 years into IVF         academia in the same sentence. Then
                                                                                                                                                                 said, ‘Simon you’re entitled to your views     before it was considered an acceptable           the landscape changed.
                                                                                                                                                                 but not on headed paper – take this as a       field for research funding. People from
                                                                                                                                                                 learning lesson.’                              within our own organisation, I’m proud           Q) Let’s imagine you’re driving to work
                                                                                                                                                                     In the old days, but less so now, there    to say, have been involved in most of the        in the morning….I don’t know what kind
                                                                                                                                                                 was ‘soft money’ where a patient might         major developments in the field over the         of car you have…
                                                                                                                                                                 donate to your institute. But the ‘real        past 30 years and 95% of it has been             A) A Ford Mondeo
                                                                                                                                                                 scientists’ got their money in grants from     from our own generated funds.
                                                                                                                                                                 the Government. That’s fine so long as                                                          Q) ...and you’re thinking of the day
                                                                                                                                                                 the Government has it, when it doesn’t,        Q) You mention reaping the rewards…              ahead. Do you think of yourself as a
                                                                                                                                                                 science then suffers. So I was trying to       A) I mean the field should have the              scientist or as a businessman?
                                                                                                                                                                 build up this concept that science creates     rewards. Universities these days do              A) Both. I feel myself to be the same
                                                                                                                                                                 wealth and we should see the benefits in       contract a percentage of royalties to the        person who has had the same dream
                                                                                                                                                                 some way. Today, commercialisation of          individual but I don’t think it’s fixed across   for 30 years, which is, how do I help an
                                                                                                                                                                 science is a huge enterprise but still not     the country. But I’ve got nothing against        individual couple or person to produce

                                                                                                                                                                 done as well as it should be. You’ve heard     that – I would encourage it.                     their baby? That’s the goal. Now,
                                                                                                                                                                 of monoclonal antibodies – massive. Did                                                         fortunately or unfortunately most of
                                                                                                                                                                 the scientists receive the reward from         Q) You’ve also said that universities            this is done in the private sector and for
                                                                                                                                                                 developing that? It was industry. It’s not     shouldn’t concentrate on spin-outs and           whatever reason I was driven to create
                                                                                                                                                                 deemed as kosher if you make money             that the culture of universities works           CARE Fertility wholly in the private sector,
                                                                                                                                                                 out of scientific endeavour. That’s where      against those who are entrepreneurial.           although a quarter of our work is NHS. I
                                                                                                                                                                 I was coming from. But, as it transpired,      Given the investment universities make           have absolutely no illusion that unless we
                                                                                                                                                                 it is all very different today with spin out   in business incubation, what makes you           are financially sound that a) we will never
                                                                                                                                                                 companies and science parks – all linked       think they’re wrong and you’re right?            be able to develop and b) the company
                                                                                                                                                                 to future endeavours of wealth creation        A) Academics are not generally                   will not survive. And who will benefit from

                                                                                                                                                                 seeding further research feeding further       commercial gurus! In my limited                  that? Protecting the commercial element
                                                                                                                                                                 wealth creation. Today that’s what it’s all    experience they are quite the opposite,          of the company is vital to my role as MD.
                                                                                                                                                                 about. Not too far off from my crackpot        often with too many competing agendas.           But that’s not who I am; that’s not what
                                                                                                                                                                 suggestions those 30 some years ago!           The spin-outs are products of what               gives me the buzz. Getting an extra £100
                                                                                                                                                                                                                I wanted to see 30 years ago when I              for the company, or my salary, is always
                                                                                                                                                                 Q) Yes, and many people would say              wrote my naïve letter. But there was less        nice, but that pales into insignificance if
                                                                                                                                                                 that you are a good example of an              of an acceptance that industry itself            Mr and Mrs Smith can’t have their baby
                                                                                                                                                                 entrepreneurial scientist.                     could contribute to university life. For         because the technology is not there
                                                                                                                                                                 A) I work in a field where even when we        example, that’s changed in recent years.         or because we’re not successful. When
                                                                                                                                                                 created the first success, we could not        The more traditional universities were           driving, my first thought is ‘where is this
                                                                                                                                                                 get any Government money to fund               against it because, again, it was this           field going?’ I’m not being altruistic about
                                                                                                                                                                 IVF research. They would not give us a         unacceptable mixture of the evil face of         this, because I also know that success will
                                                                                                                                                                 penny. So what people do not realise is        commercialisation versus academia. Now           bring company stability and success.
                                                                                                                                                                 that a lot of the developments in our field    it is a much more accepted mix. Years            But the outcome result is not a widget –
                                                                                                                                                                 have come from the money generated             ago, when I was at Cambridge, you could          it’s a human life.

 Simon FiShel             Dr Simon Fishel is one of the
                          world’s leading experts in
                                                                  every year. As a member of
                                                                  the Human Fertilisation and
 one oF the Pioneers      fertility treatment and human
                          embryo research. At Cambridge
                                                                  Embryo Authority (HFEA), he
                                                                  also has an input into the legal
 oF Modern Fertility      university, he began his work
                          with Prof robert Edwards, who,
                                                                  framework governing use of the
                                                                  fast-changing technology of
 treatMent Faces          with Patrick Steptoe, went on to
                          develop the IvF techniques that
                                                                  reproduction, and the changing
                                                                  moral ramifications this brings.
 the qUestions            led to the birth of the world’s first
                          ‘test-tube’ baby, Louise Brown,
                                                                  But does Dr Fishel remain a
                                                                  scientist at heart - or is he more
                          in 1978. today, as managing             the businessman? In a revealing
                          director of CArE Fertility, near        interview, the father-of-four talks
                          Nottingham, Dr Fishel is also a         to Mark Patterson about this
                          successful entrepreneur whose           and other issues including our
                          business helps hundreds of              decreasing fertility and the future
                          infertile couples have children         for genetic modification in people.

                                                                  Q) You once said that the term
                                                                  ‘entrepreneurial scientist’ was an                                                                                                            below: Dr simon Fishel in
                                                                  oxymoron. What did you mean by that?                                                                                                          the lab (CaRe Fertility)
                                                                  A) That comes from my own
                                                                  experiences. When I was a young lad at                                       PeoPle FroM within oUr own
                                                                                                                                               orGanisation, i’M ProUd to say,
                                                                  Cambridge doing my research, the boss
                                                                  of my boss at the institute I worked at

                                                                                                                                               have Been involved in Most oF
                                                                  called me in because he was cross with
                                                                  me. It was because I’d written to the        above: Fertility treatment in
                                                                  Government science body saying, ‘look,       action at CaRe Fertility
                                                                  I work in the institute that developed the
                                                                  technology for freezing embryos - it’s
                                                                                                               leFt: Dr simon Fishel
                                                                                                                                               the Major develoPMents in the
                                                                                                                                               Field over the Past 30 years and
                                                                                                               below: Close up of human eggs
                                                                  now a multi-million pound industry, but      (all CaRe Ferility)
                                                                  all the scientists did all the work and
                                                                  published papers. Yet entrepreneurial
                                                                  organisations are now reaping the                                            95% oF it has Been FroM oUr
                                                                                                                                               ownFishelGenerated FUnds.
                                                                  rewards. And we’re still putting our hands
                                                                  out to Government, year after year, vying
                                                                  to get money for research. Ought we not
                                                                  to be setting up some sort of mechanism
                                                                                                                                               dr simon
                                                                  whereby science reaps the rewards of
                                                                  the wealth it creates?’
                                                                      May be it was the crackpot idea of a
                                                                  young man. But the trouble was I wrote
Page 12         wavelength issue 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                              wavelength issue 4                 Page 13

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Q) In 20 years, what kind of issues will
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   you be looking at as an HFEA member?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   A)In terms of reproduction, we will have
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   a whole new raft of options open to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   couples. For example, you want a baby,
                                                                                                                                                                                  there’s soMethinG More UnwholesoMe                                               you don’t produce sperm, we can use
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   the best technology we’ve got, and if

                                                                                                                                                                                  aBoUt revertinG to a Medical ProcedUre                                           you really don’t produce sperm then
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   you fall into the tiny percent of people

                                                                                                                                                                                  to enhance a skill. BUt iF it’s decreasinG                                       we can do nothing for. But what if we
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   had two options? One is we could take

                                                                                                                                                                                  the sUscePtiBility to disease, i don’t                                           your skin cells and create sperm out of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   that. You’ll probably be happy with that

                                                                                                                                                                                  think we’d have a ProBleM with that.                                             and we can probably do that in a few
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   years time. The other option is testicular

                                                                                                                                                                                  we already vaccinate.                                                            transplant. What if you could have
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   normal relations with your wife except
                                                                                                                                                                                  dr simon Fishel                                                                  what you’re injecting is someone else’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   DNA? These are issues for you and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   your wife, not for society as far as I’m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   concerned, but society will have a view.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Q) So will I be able to come to you and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 toP: Close up of human sperm      say ‘Dr Fisher, I’d really like my son
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 entering egg                      to be a competitive runner’, can you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   engineer his DNA to be like that?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 bottoM: eight cell human
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 embryo (both CaRe Fertility)      A) Yes and no. Actually, in technical
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   terms, no, but supposing I could identify
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   the genes and pick out the best embryo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   for a runner for you. But in practice no
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   because a)I am not legally able to do so
 Q) You were quoted in local media             Government. Pollution in the atmosphere           safe to ensure that your child is not           above: the CaRe Fertility                                                                                         and b)professionally it is not something
 responding to a report linking increasing     – only Government can control it. But             born with diabetes…? With single gene           building on nottingham                                                                                            I want to do.
                                                                                                                                                 business Park (CaRe Fertility)
 male infertility to environmental factors     we as individuals can also take steps.            disorders, we can now do IVF and ensure
 such as toxins. To my mind this should        You can create a huge hit with the                you get pregnant without the disorder.                                                                                                                            Q) But people will go abroad and pay
 be front page news since male infertility     supermarkets by refusing products. We             But that isn’t what we’re talking about                                                                                                                           for it…
 sounds like another believable way for        could stop buying bottled water and fill          here. We’re talking about modifying                                                                                                                               A) If you want to give your child
 the world to end. But what could be           an old army bottle up at the tap. Do any          an individual so that the individual still                                                                                                                        coaching for running, or have an
 causing infertility?                          of us know whether we are creating                exists but without the disease. We can do                                                                                                                         embryo that is born to be a good
 A) Infertility is decreasing because of       the ‘new smoking’ for our children with           that now. We’ve got the world’s second                                                                                                                            runner, or quietly, if you want, to give
 lifestyle – living less healthily. If we’re   mobile phones? I have a bit of paranoia           greatest lab for doing that upstairs, linked                                                                                                                      drugs to your child to make them a
 sitting all day long, and keeping our         about it. I was absolutely adamant that           to the world’s greatest lab, which is in                                                                                                                          good runner - may be that would be
 testicles at body temperature, instead of     my younger children would not get                 Michigan. I have absolutely no problem                                                                                                                            illegal - but in other ways to encourage
 several degrees below, as they should be,     mobile phones. And if they had one, they          whatsoever in what I call positive                                                                                                                                that position, if it’s not harmful who’s to
 it can really exacerbate some problems.       had to promise me they would only use it          medicine. My mother is 89 and is my                                                                                                                               say it’s wrong? It’s the John Stuart Mills
 Then there’s the toxins we voluntarily        for texting…                                      barometer. And she says, ‘this is yuk stuff                                                                                                                       philosophy: in the absence of harm,
 ingest - alcohol, smoking in particular,                                                        – you’re not involved in this are you?’                                                                                                                           nobody has the right to interfere in
 drugs. But then there’s the involuntary       Q) Do you use a mobile phone?                     Well, I said ‘let me put this in context.                                                                                                                         another man’s life.
 factors – social activities of the world      A) Yes, but I try not to talk with it at          You’re diabetic? Yes. You’re taking insulin
 in which we live, products we produce.        my ear too much. But my problem                   and other tablets? What if I gave them

 Almost everywhere we turn we are being        is the parallel with smoking. Getting             to you when you were an embryo in
 bombarded with potentially damaging           the evidence about smoking took two               your mum’s womb so you never had the
 chemicals. And the problem is that they       generations. So you could easily live with        problem? ‘Well, that’s fantastic,’ she says.
 build up in the body. You might get small     the attitude ‘well, it probably won’t do          And that’s what you’re not seeing. You’re
 amounts in one particular hit. I had an       any harm’ But this could easily be worse          seeing ‘We’re messing around with God’s
 interesting email in the last few days        than the smoking was…                             will.’ But so is the whole of medicine. I
 from my eldest kids about bottled water.                                                        should have died of appendicitis; my
 Bottled water is a very serious problem       Q)One final big issue – we are now on             mother of diabetes.
 actually. They’re made of plastic, and the    the edge of being able to genetically
 leaching of plastic into the water can be     modify human beings to remove certain             Q) Yes, Prof Don Grierson, of the
 caused by the degeneration of plastic         illnesses or even improve ability. As a           University of Nottingham, who helped
 by UV light, by plastic being warm, or by     member of the HFEA, is it ethically right         pioneer GM tomatoes, said to me
 just by sitting there for a long time. We     to do so?                                         once, ‘what is natural? It is sitting in a
 know you get gender-bending chemicals         A)You know Richard Dawkins? I asked               cave, starving.’
 coming out of these. We also know             him the same question about 15 years              A) We all want the best opportunity
 testicular cancer is on the rise. I think     ago. I said ‘we’ve reached the point of           for our child. ‘yeah, I’d like him to be a
 we live in a toxic world and one of the       our evolution where we can genetically            footballer’ – so give him coaching. ‘yes, I
 manifestations of that is male infertility.   modify who we are as human beings.                can afford to give him the best education,
 There are plenty of people who say            Would you, as the greatest exponent of            may be it should be private.’ All these
 ‘big deal – if you can’t have a kid that’s    neo-Darwinism, agree that it is right to          things are going on in our minds all the
 God’s way.’ But have you seen Children        change our DNA?’ He said, ‘I’ll have to           time to provide the best opportunity
 of Men or read the book? I was thinking       think about it and come back to you’ -            for our little creatures. Well, it isn’t a
 this before PD James wrote it, that if        and never did.                                    great leap of faith, a spiritual one, to say,
 you woke up tomorrow and the whole                                                              ‘we could improve on that with a bit of
 planet has been informed that there’s         Q) What a cop out!                                DNA here and there.’ There’s something
 not a single fertile person left, what the    A) We were on a platform together once            more unwholesome about reverting to
 hell does climate change matter? Credit       and I reminded him but he still never             a medical procedure to enhance a skill.
 crunch – what does it matter? Because         answered it. But we are at that point – is it     But if it’s decreasing the susceptibility to
 there would be no future.                     part of natural selection? Is it evolution?       disease, I don’t think we’d have a problem
                                               But to answer this stuff, and the cloning         with that. We already vaccinate.
 Q) What do we do about it?                    issue, the first question is: is it safe? Until

                                                                                                                                                                                  over 12,500 BaBies are Born every year in the Uk as a resUlt oF ivF treatMent (2006 FiGUre)
 A) There are a raft of things that can        it’s safe, park it all. So is it 100% safe? No,
 be done, but some of them only by             you can’t get involved. But if it’s totally
Page 14      wavelength issue 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           wavelength issue 4                               Page 15

                                      ProFilinG local
                                      PeoPle workinG in
                                      science that’s NOT
                                      aBoUt laB coats
                                      and test tUBes.
                                      MEET THE MAD

                                                                                                                                                                                   above: Jonathan longfellow of Mad science…
                                                                                                                                                                                   clearly not defusing bombs in iraq (Mad science)

                                      It would be glib and clichéd to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Win your very oWn
                                                                                    large amount of latitude in running Mad        afterwards, but they will enjoy the person      unit in Iraq and amongst other things          I’m a Captain and you, Corporal, will do
                                      suggest that a career in British              Science for UK audiences and now, based        standing next to the Van der Graaf              dealt with IEDs, unexploded bombs              what I say.’ In today’s Army you have to
                                      Army bomb disposal is a sound                 at Nottingham Science and Technology           Generator with his hair standing up when        and mitigating the effects of suicide          convince, inspire and motivate people
                                      preparation for putting on science
                                      shows for children. Because
                                      Jonathan Longfellow has heard
                                                                                    Park, they stage around 30 Science Days
                                                                                    a month throughout the East Midlands.
                                                                                       Most of their activities are with
                                                                                                                                   we put on a demonstration of static
                                                                                                                                   electricity,” says Jonathan. “We’re about
                                                                                                                                   inspiring children with science; instilling
                                                                                                                                                                                   bombers against our own troops. There
                                                                                                                                                                                   were numerous situations where one
                                                                                                                                                                                   had to make complex decisions quickly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  under your command. Sometimes the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  decision you have to make is not the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  popular one, the one everyone wants to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     mad science sHoW
                                      most of the jokes about explosive             schools, including demonstrations in           within them a desire to learn more and          in order to deal with a given situation        hear – that’s where your ability to lead is        Mad Science is offering you the            uP uP AND AWAy
                                      experiments by now.                           morning assemblies and after school            ask more questions. Perhaps then when           effectively - not dissimilar to running        really tested and that is good preparation         chance to win an hour’s worth of           Get ready to be mystified by
                                                                                    clubs; but they are also at the cutting        they consider their options for later           a multi-dimensional business aimed at          for business ownership. A Commanding               Mad Science instruction. This could        molecules and amazed by
                                      But from defusing deadly munitions as a       edge of making science interesting for a       study, science is not relegated to the          young children; though these days the          Officer at Sandhurst had a mantra which            be a science workshop for your             atmospheric pressure in this event
                                      Royal Engineers captain in Iraq to running    young audience. Their science themed           too dull, too difficult pile. Today, kids are   consequences are slightly less dire.”          I try to stick by: ‘Managers do things right;      child’s class, a show for the whole        on the power of pressure. Zoom
                                      the Mad Science education company for         birthday parties and non-residential           asking questions like, ‘what is a carbon            But why Mad Science? He’d heard of         leaders do the right things’.”                     school or a birthday party; all at a       across the floor on the Mad Science
                                      school-age children …well, that’s certainly   science summer camps which this year           footprint?’ and ‘why should the icecaps         it while on military exercises in Canada           Although Jonathan and Rebecca                  date of your choosing.                     hovercraft and discover how energy
                                      some career change. But, if pushed, even      will entertain some 5,600 children             affect me?’ – we try to show them.”             and once in civilian life, he and Rebecca      have both spent time performing their                                                         transforms liquid into an exciting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     A Mad Science team of performers           chemical reaction!
                                      he has to admit that there are some           are all designed to make science fun              Jonathan spent eight years in the            clubbed together and bought part of it.        science shows, today they tend to take             will arrive at the venue of your choice
                                      slight similarities between the two jobs.     for children. The Mad Science remit            Royal Engineers, his last posting abroad            “The concept is absolutely fantastic       a backroom role running their company.             and perform a show full of science         To have a chance of winning this
                                          “The kids are always asking ‘are          further includes fun days at corporate         being to Iraq. His bomb disposal role           and I believed and still maintain that this    But their full-time employees can still be         experiments and magic designed             prize, all you have to do is write your
                                      you going to blow something up in the         events with clients including MIRA,            there once attracted the attention of lads      is how science should be taught at the         seen on stage variously as characters              to thrill and inspire children aged        name, address and telephone number
                                      classroom?’ says Jonathan. “And funnily       Games Workshop and ClinPhone (now              mag Loaded, which ran an article on him         primary level; by well informed, science       such as Tommy Test Tube, Nuclear Nat,              between 5 and 11. You can choose           on a postcard and send it to Mad
                                      enough, in the army, we used to go out        Perceptive Informatics).                       in a series devoted to ‘the world’s most        enthusiasts performing demonstrations          Loopy Lynda and Rocket Rupert.                     either of the shows below:                 Science in Nottingham by August 31.
                                      to the ranges and test munitions to see          As Mad Science’s activities have grown,     dangerous jobs.’                                and lessons which make kids excited and            “Science is a way of understanding the                                                    The first postcard out of the draw will
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     FIrE AND ICE                               win the prize as stated.
                                      how they would explode or indeed, how         so has employment. The company has                But in the best tradition of the British     want to know WHY?, HOW?”                       magic of the world,” Jonathan adds. “And
                                                                                    five employees but now has around 45           Army, Jonathan is today self-effacing               Are there any similarities between         the key to good magic isn’t the magic itself,      Discover the cool chemistry in             Please send your postcards to:
                                      to stop them exploding.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     the states of matter and learn the
                                          Jonathan and his sister Rebecca           Mad Scientists they can call in for events,    about his dangerous work in Iraq.               managing a bomb disposal team and              it’s the performance and the delivery that                                                    Mad Science, 12 Faraday Building,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     basics of air pressure. Scissors will
                                      brought Mad Science to the East               many of whom are highly qualified                 “ ...controlling a group of soldiers in      managing a business whose customers            matter; and of course an explanation.”                                                        Nottingham Science and Technology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     unexpectedly sizzle and carbon
                                      Midlands nearly three years ago.              scientists in their own right. Not that a      Iraq could in some respects be much             are excitable children?                            *Mad Science of East Midlands can                                                         Park, Nottingham NG7 2QP.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     dioxide bubbles will pop as the chilling
                                      The original Mad Science concept of           PhD in Microbiology is essential to the job;   easier than a group of children in a                “I don’t want to sound like one of those   be contacted at 0115 922 1113 or email             properties of dry ice are revealed.        Arrangements regarding the party will take place
                                      engaging young children with simple,          what’s needed is a liking for working with     Nottingham classroom and surprisingly           ex-military types from The Apprentice,                     Be amazed when a ball is suspended
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                between Mad Science and the winner, not Nottingham
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Science City.
                                      fun science experiments started in            children and a zest to make science fun,       there are many similarities between the         but I think I’m pretty capable of building     The website is                 over the audience and marvel at the        No employees or family members of employees
                                      Canada over 20 years ago and is a now         accessible and inspiring.                      two; neither is achievable without trust,       a team and motivating people – this            eastmidlands                                       strength of your own lungs with these      associated with Nottingham Science City or Mad
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Science are eligible to enter the competition. The
                                      an established international brand.               “The younger children might not            dynamism and the gaining of respect. I          business is all about people. The days are                                                        radical air-pressure experiments.          winning decision is final.

                                      However, Jonathan and Rebecca enjoy a         remember a lot of what they see                was in charge of the UK bomb disposal           gone in the Army when you say ’right,

screen test
                                                                                                                                   Millions of people in the uK have                  This summer, recognition of                 genomic technologies at the University of       relationships between animal health           made animal health its top legislative
                                                                                                                                   dogs and cats as pets and know                  PetScreen’s innovation in animal               Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington campus.           pharmaceutical businesses and                 priority since 2006.
                                                                                                                                   the joys of the companionship                   health science is officially moving            ”And spending on pets has gone up by            university contacts in Nottingham and            Does Dr Mian think the East
                                                                                                                                   they bring. And as with humans,                 onto the world stage when it hosts             something like 6% per annum over the            the USA. Indeed, the event is considered      Midlands could benefit from a cohesive
                                                                                                                                   better care and nutrition leads to a            the first international veterinary bio-        past ten years. Rather than being mere          so important that it is being preceded by     programme like this?
                                                                                                                                   longer life – but also a consequent             marker conference in Nottingham. The           pets, cats and dogs are becoming more           an official drinks reception at Nottingham       “Well, a lot of the pieces are in place
                                                                                                                                                                                   event, held at BioCity on July 8 and 9,        integrated into the family. So healthcare       Castle hosted by Nottingham’s Lord            already. Right now, emda offers R&D
                                                                                                                                   rise in age-related diseases.
                                                                                                                                                                                   attracted delegates in the animal health       spending is also going up. With better          Mayor. Guest speaker on the night is          grants of £100,000 to pump prime.
                                                                                                                                   Indeed, with one quarter of all dogs dying      pharmaceutical sector from the US,             nutrition, pets are living longer. And          Joerg Ohle, President and general             They offer grants of up to £250,000
                                                                                                                                   from cancer, the potential market for           Europe and the UK. Among the visitors          because they are living longer, they are        manager of Bayer Corporation’s Animal         for development. We’ve got BioCity,

                                                                                    whether they have                              bioscience advances offering screening
                                                                                                                                   or treatments for pet diseases is huge.
                                                                                                                                                                                   to the conference will be a senior level
                                                                                                                                                                                   party from the Kansas City Animal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  getting more age and Western lifestyle-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  related diseases. Obesity, for example,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Health Division, North America.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Says Dr Mian: “It is becoming
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the new Vet School at the University
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                of Nottingham and Brackenhurst (the

                                                                                    FoUr leGs or two                               And it was in this area of research that
                                                                                                                                   entrepreneurs Dr Kevin Slater and Prof
                                                                                                                                                                                   Health Corridor in the USA. The Corridor,
                                                                                                                                                                                   straddling the Kansas and Missouri state
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  has become a major problem in dogs and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  treatments are available in the USA for it.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  apparent that companies in the Health
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Corridor lack a European focus and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nottingham Trent University campus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                near Southwell) has a new Veterinary
                                                                                    leGs, they are all                             Graeme Radcliffe believed they could
                                                                                                                                   innovate when they set PetScreen at
                                                                                                                                                                                   border, is home to the world’s largest
                                                                                                                                                                                   concentration of businesses devoted to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     But while obesity is bad news for dogs,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  research into this condition and other
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  so they are looking to develop
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  relationships in Europe that will help
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nursing Centre.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   But, he admits, at the conference he
                                                                                    Patients.                                      BioCity in Nottingham five years ago.
                                                                                                                                      Last year, the small business
                                                                                                                                                                                   research and manufacturing in animal
                                                                                                                                                                                   health and nutrition. This cluster of more
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  age- and lifestyle-related diseases in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  pets could also offer benefits for people.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  them become global.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Mind you, global players or not,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                will be talking to colleagues from here
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and the USA about possible “next steps”
                                                                                                                                   developed the world’s first early cancer        than 125 companies claims to account for       For as Dr Mian says: “There could be            state recognition of the Kansas City          that Nottingham and the region could
                                                                                                                                   diagnostic service for dogs. This is            a third of total sales in the $19bn global     breakthroughs for human diseases as             Animal Health Corridor cluster is             take to further develop an animal health
                                                                                                                                   now available through vets’ surgeries.          animal health market.                          we share so many of the same genes.             marked by specialised tax and incentive       pharmaceutical sector.
                                                                                                                                   The company, which employs seven, is               “There are something like 80m dogs          Whether they have four legs or two legs,        programmes for companies and a $580m             A special issue of The Veterinary
                                                                                    PETSCREEN, CANCER                              currently working on developing new             and 90-100m cats in the USA,” says             they are all patients.”                         fund for loans and research administered      Journal dedicated to bio-markers is

                                                                                    CARE FOR PETS
                                                                                                                                   diagnostic systems for cancers and other        Dr Shahid Mian, PetScreen’s technical             One of the aims of the American              by the Kansas Biosciences Authority.          being prepared, due to be published in
                                                                                                                                   age-related diseases in cats and dogs.          director and a former lecturer in post-        visit to the conference is to develop           The city Chamber of Commerce has also         mid-2010.
 above: left to right Dr Kevin slater, Prof graeme Radcliffe
 and west bridgford vet bill bowler (nottingham evening Post)
     THE BIG
Page 16         wavelength issue 4

 BUBBlinG Flasks
 and exPlosions –
 it MUst Be the
 the ‘thUnder and
 liGhtninG’ lectUre

 Jim Gamble said he would be                     this time being National Science and           from the action. But health and safety
 showing the school children how                 Engineering Week in March this year.           being the issue it is in education, it is
 to make a simple bomb. So he                    Some 200 local secondary school pupils         unlikely that many children will see
 placed a small metal container                  saw the show, held in a lecture theatre.       exciting science like this in their schools
 over live gunpowder, which then                    As a way of generating interest             any more.
 loudly and explosively blew the                 in chemistry – albeit the loudest and              “We can do all sorts of experiments
 container high into the air.                    most spectacular small-scale kind of           that are difficult to do at school, if not
                                                 chemistry - the lecture is a hard act          impossible,” said Dr Licence.
 The children went ‘ooh!’ and loved it –         to follow. Dr Licence’s experiments                Has anything gone horribly wrong
 just as much as they loved all the other        range from a demonstration of simple           before? No. The worst thing was some
 loud bangs, crashes and flashes of light        luminescence to the very loud ‘barking         slightly singed fingers (the fingers of the
 produced in chemical experiments by             dog,’ when Carbon Disulfide combusts in        scientists, not the children) and some
 Jim and Dr Pete Licence in lecture in the       Nitrous Oxide, better known as laughing        “liquid phosphorus that vapourised too
 University of Nottingham’s School               gas. This is followed by Jim Gamble’s          quickly. It was rather embarrassing.”
 of Chemistry.                                   demonstrations of different kinds of               But the proof of the chemical pudding
     The spectacular ‘Thunder and                explosions, culminating in him actually        is in the email responses afterwards.
 Lightning’ lecture – with all its mad           shooting a wooden target with a rifle.         And these, say the two scientists,
 scientist paraphernalia of bubbling                Colonel Shaw, who was a marksman            include messages from school children
 flasks and so on – was first devised            and went on to command a battalion of          saying ‘I want to do chemistry when I
 by the legendary chemistry lecturer             Sherwood Foresters in the Second World         grow up.’
 and Great War veteran Colonel BD                War, also used to finish his show with             *A shorter and less noisy version
 Shaw in 1928. His aim was to create a           a shooting. However, in his later years,       of the Thunder and Lighting lecture
 lecture which would interest people             having fired two pistols in the dark, the      was staged for the public at Broadway
 in chemistry. Knowing a fair bit about          audience were surprised to find that he        Cinema in Nottingham in early May.
 explosives, he was successful in this and       had disappeared by the time the lights         The event, titled Chemistry Goes Live
 went on to hold the lecture for the next        came back on. It was subsequently              in Science City, was combined with a
 62 years – 1,600 times in all, and all over     discovered that the pistols had recoiled       showing of films by Brady Haran, the
 the world.                                      into his forehead, persuading him to           film-maker who created the Periodic             Main iMage & above toP: Dr Pete
    Then, after his death at the age of 101,     have a rest and drink some brandy in           Table of Videos for YouTube. The event          licence busy in the thunder and
 there was a pause of a few years before         the room behind the lecture theatre.           was staged as part of One Nottingham’s          lightning lecture.
 the lecture was revived by Jim Gamble.             In today’s lecture, all health and          Partnership Week.                               above: Making some noise in the
 He and Dr Licence now stage the lecture         safety restrictions are adhered to.                                                            ‘barking dog’ experiment
 throughout the year, the occasion               Audiences must be 3-4 metres away                                                              (Dr Pete licence)

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