DTC Journal Club: Friday 18th March 2016

Speaker:  Rafael Karampatsis (Current Student, CDT in Data Science)

Title:  The Antikythera mechanism (probably the world’s first computer)

Abstract:  In 1901, a group of divers excavating an ancient Roman shipwreck near the island of Antikythera, off the southern coast of Greece, found a mysterious object – a lump of calcified stone that contained within it several gearwheels welded together after years under the sea. The 2,000-year-old object, no bigger than a modern laptop, is now regarded as the world’s oldest computer, devised to predict solar eclipses and, according to recent findings, calculate the timing of the ancient Olympics.

Speaker: Sam Heron

Title: Turn Off the Lasers, Crank Up the Bass! Or: A Brief Introduction to ‘Sonogenetics’

Abstract:  ‘Sonogenetics’ is a recently developed neuroscientific technique which uses low-pressure ultrasound to non-invasively activate specific neurons which have been ultrasonically sensitized through genetic manipulation. This method has been successfully carried out experimentally by inducing the expression of the ultrasonically sensitive protein ‘TRP-4’ in certain neurons of the model organism C. Elegans. I will present an overview of this technique and the experimental results detailed by its authors whilst comparing it to the more established technique of optogenetics.