International Echoes of FameLab in Prague 2014

Last November I had the pleasure to go to Prague for a follow-up FameLab event: International Echoes of FameLab. It was a wonderful chance to hang out with the FameLabber community again, to talk science, drink beer and enjoy the city with all that it has to offer.  A big thank you to the organisers – British Council CZ and Daša Sephton. It was a wonderful experience!

Here we are:

FameLab Echoes

Matyáš Krijt, David Davila, Padraic Flood, yours truly, Bogdan Ghiorghiu, Anna Stöckl, Jiří Dolanský, Jitka CejkovaMichael Londesborough, Marco Ferrigo, Daša Sephton and Katya Sephton.

And here is my presentation:

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How do our bodies know when to go to sleep?

A piece I wrote for the British Council Blog prior to FameLab International.

How do our bodies know when it’s night?

In our eyes, there are photoreceptors: cells which can determine the difference between light and darkness. But how do the kidneys, liver or stomach know when it’s dark or light?

During periods of darkness, the photoreceptors in our eyes send a signal to a part of our brain called the pineal gland, which starts the production of melatonin. Melatonin is known as the ‘hormone of the night’. It’s a chemical expression of darkness. It acts as an endocrine hormone, meaning that it’s released into the blood. While circulating in our body, it chemically informs all our organs that it’s dark outside and all body parts should be getting ready to sleep.

Continue reading How do our bodies know when to go to sleep?

Lecturer heading for international rounds of science communication competition

ntu

An academic at Nottingham Trent University has made the international rounds of a science communication competition – which challenges researchers to present a topic to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes.

Continue reading Lecturer heading for international rounds of science communication competition