Last week’s activities very much centred around the capture by biology of solar energy and its conversion into chemical bonds. On Monday I attended and spoke at the opening of the new phenotyping centre at IBERS in Aberystwyth. I had myself moved to Aberystwyth a year after Fred Sanger published the first systematic sequencing paper, involving the phage phiX174 with about 5.000 nucleotides, a number that had taken a year and a half to sequence. That number could now be done on one modern machine in about a millisecond! Given these advances, and the increasing cheapness of sequencing, it is clear that attention must now focus much more on the phenotype and the mapping between genotype and phenotype. [...]
Tag: carbon sequestration
A felicitous engagement with any number of media outlets (e.g. print, radio, TV) is an important skill to have (for scientists as well as CEOs), and – like any others – can be improved with practice. BBSRC has long run a very successful series for our funded scientists. To this end, I attended a very useful training course designed to refresh my own skills in these areas. Marshalling one’s thoughts for a lay audience, and understanding their intellectual background, is a particular driver of clarity (as I was reminded when being asked to explain the meaning of a Petabyte…).
Readers will know that I have a considerable interest in carbon sequestration (a review will shortly appear), but this has largely been confined to land-based solutions. The ocean holds some 50 times more C than does the atmosphere (see e.g. David MacKay’s book), and can of course exchange CO2 with it. To this end, I enjoyed a very useful discussion in Oxford, that drew my attention to some proposals for liming the oceans, first apparently suggested by Kheshgi and being developed elsewhere. [...]