Predicting chemical toxicity without animal testing

Francis Sedgemore, Tuesday 26 January 2016 at 17:19 UTC

A study has just been published in the open-access journal Nature Communications which shows how predictions of chemical toxicity in humans can be made without animal testing. If the research results are confirmed, albeit with reference to toxicity tests using animal subjects, the cell-based models could lead to better, more ethical methods for testing the […]


How much observed climate change is man-made?

Francis Sedgemore, Monday 21 December 2015 at 16:00 UTC

That human activities influence global climate is beyond doubt, but the level of this anthropogenic contribution to climate change remains uncertain. In a paper published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, Potsdam-based climate scientist Gerrit Hansen and her Berkeley Lab colleague Dáithí Stone present a systematic assessment of anthropogenic climate change for the range […]


On climate change, nudge theory and the nanny-state

Francis Sedgemore, Thursday 10 December 2015 at 14:34 UTC

I have been approached by a hydra-headed PR agency working for an unnamed client which may or may not be a pseudo-libertarian climate-sceptic lobby group known as the Institute for Public Affairs. I say this, as an IPA statement on plain-packaging laws is linked to from the missive. In the message received today, it is […]


Farewell to the Graphene Flagship

Francis Sedgemore, Tuesday 1 December 2015 at 16:58 UTC

On 8 December 2015, I shall cease working for the University of Cambridge and Graphene Flagship. I will then return full-time to freelance journalism, science writing and related communications consultancy. It has been a pleasure working with materials scientists and others from across Europe, sharing with the public, policymakers, industrialists and other stakeholders the many […]


Graphene enables ultrafast laser pulses for spectroscopy and biomedical applications

Francis Sedgemore, Monday 3 August 2015 at 16:37 UTC

Article first published by the Graphene Flagship. Graphene Flagship researchers have developed an optical fibre laser that emits pulses with durations equivalent to just a few wavelengths of the light used. This fastest ever laser based on graphene will be ideal for use in ultrafast spectroscopy, and in surgical lasers that avoid heat damage to […]


Graphene supercurrents go ballistic

Francis Sedgemore, Monday 27 July 2015 at 17:21 UTC

Article first published by the Graphene Flagship. Researchers with Europe’s Graphene Flagship have demonstrated superconducting electric currents in the two-dimensional material graphene that bounce between sheet edges without scattering. This first direct observation of the ballistic mirroring of electron waves in a 2d system with supercurrents could lead to the use of graphene-based Josephson junctions […]


Graphene Week sees launch of Women in Graphene

Francis Sedgemore, Wednesday 8 July 2015 at 17:43 UTC

Graphene Week 2015 saw the launch of Women in Graphene, a support network for women in graphene and related 2d materials research. As in other areas of science and engineering, women make up significant proportion of the 2d materials workforce, but they face a number of gender-specific barriers to career progression. Article first published by […]


Graphene Week 2015 hosts BBC World Service forum

Francis Sedgemore, Wednesday 8 July 2015 at 17:29 UTC

Graphene Week 2015 in Manchester saw the BBC World Service in town to record an episode of The Forum – a radio discussion programme that tackles the big questions of our age with some of the world’s most eminent thinkers, movers and shakers. Article first published by the Graphene Flagship. Chaired by BBC diplomatic correspondent […]


Graphene Suite – where art meets materials science

Francis Sedgemore, Friday 26 June 2015 at 11:04 UTC

Article first published by the Graphene Flagship. At Graphene Week 2015 in Manchester yesterday, delegates and others were treated to the premiere of a musical suite by Sara Lowes, composer-in-residence at the National Graphene Institute. Sara’s Graphene Suite was commissioned by Brighter Sound, a Manchester-based producer of creative music projects and other cultural events. Graphene […]


Bosch breakthrough in graphene sensor technology

Francis Sedgemore, Friday 26 June 2015 at 9:50 UTC

Article first published by the Graphene Flagship. Graphene Week 2015 is awash with outstanding research results, but one presentation has created quite a stir at this Graphene Flagship conference. To a stunned audience, Robert Roelver of Stuttgart-based engineering firm Bosch reported on Thursday that company researchers, together with scientists at the Max-Planck Institute for Solid […]