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Natural Nanotechnology (aka Can iPods Grow on Trees?)

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Lucy Colwell.

Of course technology doesn’t grow on trees… does it? In fact, biology makes its own versions of batteries, displays and processors, using very tiny nanoscale components. Could mimicking biology improve our own technology and eliminate pollution at the same time? Join nano-biophysicist Chris Forman and find out…

This talk is a dress rehearsal for the taIk I’m giving at the Cheltenham Science Festival next June. I take an ipod to bits (graphically not literally) and find biological examples of all its components. I use this as a way to explain to members of the public about the nanoscale phenomena in biology and the differences between human and biological manufacturing. I also attempt to explain why its important that we study nano biotechnology and synthetic biology in the context of sustainability. I hope to ignite public interest in future kinds of biotechnology such as metabolic engineering and synthetic tissue engineering that are tools to help make human manufacturing inherently sustainable.

On the way I talk about the importance of soil, self assembly, proteins, structural colour and a bunch of other stuff. The rehearsal is your chance for you to have an input into this outreach activity and I would welcome any constructive criticism.

You know how sensitive the public are to things like genetic engineering; here’s your chance to make sure the message I send on behalf of science to the public is a good one!

This talk is part of the Theoretical Chemistry Informal Seminars series.

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