Rice is an important global crop, with half of the world’s population dependant on it. In Bali, rice farming traditionally relies on heritage rice. Traditional farming practices use little – if any – fertiliser, pesticides or agro-chemicals. Instead, pest and weed control is carried out through manual removal of weeds and by waterlogging the soil to ensure pest organisms cannot survive. This method tends to result in good quality soil that allows agriculture to be sustainable in the long-term. However, the majority of farmers do not carry out any soil analysis on their land and know little about the soil organisms in their paddies.
PhD student and Instructor in the Life Sciences Chris Hobbs takes us on his Erasmus year journey, and throws in some advice for good measure.
During the second year of my undergraduate degree in Biosciences at Canterbury Christ Church University, I had the chance to engage with the Erasmus programme at Leuphana Universitat Luneburg in Germany. Erasmus is an EU student exchange programme that allows students to study a year of their programme abroad at an international university. During our recent applicant day, a number of students expressed an interest in this, and I thought it would be best for me to share my experiences of this, to help inform people’s decisions to apply for this.
Saturday 18th March saw Canterbury Christ Church’s invite-only open day, and the Life Sciences team jumped at the chance to give potential students a glimpse of what we do and how. We had practical sessions in the Somerville labs on main campus, and had staff based in Augustine House to offer information about the courses and School.
University Instructor for the Life Sciences Beth Gawthorpe tells us her experience in choosing a university, how everything doesn’t always go to plan and why that’s not as bad as it seems.
Last Friday a team of lecturers and instructors from Canterbury Christ Church School of Life Sciences headed to Discovery Park for the annual Big Bang Fair. The Big Bang Fair is organised by Kent & Medway STEM, with the aim of inspiring a love of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects in students from local schools and academies. The format of the event ensures a hands-on experience for all students, with interactive workshops and exhibits held throughout the day.
Naomi Rintoul and Beth Gawthorpe took part in ‘Skirting Science’ on earlier this month as part of Folkestone’s celebrations of WOW-2016 (Women Of the World). The day was a partnership project between the STEMettes, the Soroptimists and Folkestone’s Quarterhouse. Around 50 young women from local schools attended the event and took part in workshops let by female scientists from around Kent.
By Simon Harvey, Director of Life Sciences
There’s recently been a lot of media coverage of work that has identified height as a risk factor for a number of cancers. Now it’s been many years since I’ve looked seriously at the scientific literature around cancer risk, but it’s been known that height is a risk factor for cancer, particularly breast cancer, for a long time. That this story was so widely covered therefore seems a bit surprising. What is the deal? Is this a new discovery, a confirmation of an old discovery or it is just that cancer, dementia and heart disease, the big three killers, are always newsworthy?
“Cancer is not a new disease”, said Professor Michelle Garrett, while speaking at a lecture organised by Kent Cancer Trust at Canterbury Christ Church University to an audience of over 100 people recently. She referred to the Edwin Smith Papyrus that was written around 1700 BC that includes descriptions of tumours that were removed by cauterisation with a tool called the”fire drill”! The word “cancer” is credited to the Greek physician Hippocrates (460 – 370 BC).