• Question: what will your work improve

    Asked by libbybobo4 to Daniela, Hannah, Ian, Jono, Mark on 20 Jun 2013. This question was also asked by radsare1005, emmasaur, cerysgreenfield, librat007, myersh.
    • Photo: Ian Wilson

      Ian Wilson answered on 20 Jun 2013:

      Hi guys,

      Basically, my work’s aiming to improve our understanding of what causes a killer disease.

      There’s a nasty microbe called Entamoeba histolytica that causes a disease called Amoebiasis. It can give people diarrhoea and stop their liver from working, which eventually kills them. The weird thing is, it doesn’t always kill people – it’s not even always obvious that people are infected. What we don’t know is, why?

      Entamoeba histolytica has some cousins that don’t cause the disease in humans. So I’m hoping to find out what genes Entamoeba histolytica has that the others don’t. Hopefully, some of these genes will be important in causing the disease. If we can find out which genes are responsible for causing the disease then we can start to research how to stop it.

      Hope that answers your question,


    • Photo: Mark Hodson

      Mark Hodson answered on 20 Jun 2013:

      The work I do on cleaning up poisoned soils should improve the health of the environment and could well lead to more houses being built on cheaper land. my work on earthworms should help us to understand more about how the climate is changing. Once we understand that we can work out what to do about it.



    • Photo: Hannah Brotherton

      Hannah Brotherton answered on 20 Jun 2013:

      Hi everyone,
      My work involves understanding (and hopefully finding a treatment) for people who suffer from ringing in the ears. We all have it time to time, but some people have it constantly and it is like a high pitched ringing noise 24/7. By looking at how the brain creates these sounds and where it happens, I can find a way to reverse this.

      So what have I found so far?
      The ringing is thought to be caused by the brain overworking. So normally our brain is working quietly away. It makes a sound but we are used to it so we don’t notice it. But when people have constant ringing in the ears the brain is overworking, and they start to hear their own brain at work!! I found that if we trick the brain into thinking its overworking already, by playing a sound to it, then it will reduce its activity. This will cause the ringing to stop.

      Ringing of the ears causes distress and upset in those that suffer from it. Some can become very isolated and alone. My work will improve their lives, how they live, how their meet with friends and family and their emotions. Being able to have a positive impact on someone’s life is the greatest thing I can do as a scientist.

    • Photo: Daniela Plana

      Daniela Plana answered on 20 Jun 2013:

      Hi cerysgreenfield, radsare1005, emmasaur and libbybobo4,

      I mostly work with things related to energy… I either try to use electricity or sunlight to make chemicals react or mix chemicals together to generate energy/electricity.

      Most of the work we do in our lab is meant to find new ways of using energy… we want to find ways that are not as contaminating as the standard fossil fuels (petrol, etc.) that we use now-a-days… for example a few of the students I work with are working on solar cells, finding ways to make them better or cheaper… some of us work on trying to transform contaminants like CO2 or methane (really bad green house gases that cause climate change) into things we can use as fuels, either by applying electricity or shining light.

      It’s really interesting work and it should help to provide cheaper energy in a way that contaminates less!