Day Three

Outline

Another busy day at the ISS, day three began with each group again attending one of various activities in the morning. The activities included a tour of the museums, a geology race similar to "The Amazing Race", and a biology practical in which the students deduced if Daniel Radcliffe was indeed an illegitimate father.

After a short morning tea, Professor Naomi McClure-Griffiths put the scholars back into their place (that is, in the universe) during her lecture on the Milky Way. Peter Waterhouse presented his first lecture in the afternoon, explaining the process of gene regulation and silencing, and how this relates to the genetic engineering of living organisms. In particular, he showed how a cell is protected from viral DNA and how this can be used to regulate other genes within an organism.

Celebrity scientist Dr Karl delivered the first of his lectures after lunch as the afternoon activity, discussing the science of falling cats to headless chooks.

Following the evening activities, students from the United States dressed up to visit the US consulate, along with escort James and staff Nruthya, Lyly and Rick, while the rest of the scholars headed down to the Science and Engineering Challenge ‘Icebreaker’. To prepare them for the engineering challenges to be faced the following day, scholars were placed into teams to design and construct an apparatus that would either prevent an egg from breaking or water from spilling out of a cup when dropped from a height of one story. After some interesting and creative designs, scholars went to sleep with a taste of what was to come in day four...

Lectures

Lecture 5: A Walk Around the Neighbourhood: Understanding the Nature and Structure of the Milky Wayby Dr Naomi McClure-Griffith

We live in a hefty spiral-patterned galaxy called the Milky Way. Though we can all see the galaxy on a nightly basis, we know surprisingly little about our home. Some very important questions about the shape and structure of the Milky Way remained unanswered:

Exactly how big is the galaxy? Where is the Sun in relation to the Galactic Centre? If we could look at the Milky Way from above what would it look like and how many spiral arms would it have? How does the Milky Way evolve and how do we interact with our neighbours? I will take us on a walk around the Milky Way revealing what we do know about the structure of the galaxy and how gas in the galaxy leads to its evolution. I will also discuss what how we hope to learn in the next decade as new telescopes become available and help us solve the mysteries of our home.

Lecture 6: Gene Silencing 1: A virus defence pathway and a technologyby Professor Peter Waterhouse

The development and use of vaccines against viruses such as polio, smallpox, and measles have to be among the great accomplishments of medical science.

However, it is not so generally appreciated that plants can also be protected from a severe virus by prior infection with a mild strain of a closely related virus.

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