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Physics of the Impossible
Professor Michio Kaku poses the question: "where does the realm of science fiction end?" He explores the actual possibilities of ideas such as time travel, force fields, teleportation, star ships and invisibility. On Friday May 29th 2009, world renowned physicist, broadcaster and author, Professor Michio Kaku spoke at the Said Business School, Oxford as part of the St Cross College Science Lecture Series. Presenting "Physics of the Impossible", Professor Kaku believes that 'anything that is no
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should:

  • understand the significance of John Napier's contributions to mathematics;

  • give examples of the factors that influenced Napier's mathematical work.


Author(s): The Open University

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6.2.2 Database servers

To be able to search a website like Lakeland's requires not only a web server but a database server. Like a web server, a database server is a computer that responds to requests from other computers. Its task is to find and extract data from a database.

The web and database servers form part of a distributed system. This means that separate computers exchange data and information across a network (in this case the internet) to produce results for a user. For
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6.1.1 The user interface

An interface to a washing machine does not need to be like the interface to a personal computer (a user interface is a display/control panel that enables the user to control a machine or interact with a program). It is specific to the task of washing laundry, which involves two things:

  1. displaying the choices that relate to washing laundry (such as type of laundry to be washed, water temperature, and spin speed);

  2. displaying some indica
    Author(s): The Open University

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3.1 Introduction

The binding of features emerges as being a very significant process when displays are brief, because there is so little time in which to unite them. With normal viewing, such as when you examine the letters and words on this page, it is not obvious to introspection that binding is taking place. However, if, as explained above, it is a necessary precursor to conscious awareness, the process must also occur when we examine long-lived visual displays. Researchers have attempted to demonstrate th
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2.6 Summary of Section 2

The results of the visual attention experiments we have considered can be interpreted as follows.

  • Attention can be directed selectively towards different areas of the visual field, without the need to re-focus.

  • The inability to report much detail from brief, masked visual displays appears to be linked to the need to assemble the various information components.

  • The visual information is captured in parallel, but assemb
    Author(s): The Open University

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1.6.6 Professional bodies and societies

Consider joining a learned society or professional organisation. They can be very useful for conference bulletins as well as in-house publications, often included in the subscription. Don't forget to ask about student rates. Try looking for the websites of learned societies associated with your subject area (e.g. The Royal Society , the Institute of Electrica
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The Credit Crisis - Visualization - Part 1

An excellent visualization of the financial crisis and credit crunch.

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Berenboek: Talensensibilisering voor het lager onderwijs
Letterbeeld_TS.jpg

Ik zag twee beren is een prentenboek met  toegankelijke kunstwerken en een tekst in drie talen: het Nederlands, het Frans en het Turks. Door de kunstwerken en de verhalen worden de kinderen uitgedaagd om te verwoorden wat ze zien en …


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7 Unit questions

Now you have completed this unit, try the following questions to test your understanding of this material.

Question 19

1.1.2 Pre-natal diagnosis

The type of genetic testing that the majority of us are most likely to come across is still pre-natal diagnosis (PND). This involves testing a fetus during pregnancy, to see whether it is likely to suffer from a number of different disorders — some genetic, some not. While recent developments allow tests for certain multifactorial genetic diseases (such as spina bifida), pre-natal diagnosis has been available since the 1960s to test for Down's syndrome.

Most cases of Down's syn
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2.4 Current UK provision

One way of describing the organizational shift that the advent of predictive medicine would demand is to suggest that genetics would become a general, rather than a specialist service. But it is much easier to say that than to explain how it will happen. For all the publicity about genes, genomes and genetic information, medical genetics is a very small part of current health services.

In the UK, an indication that a patient or a family has a genetic problem will lead to a referral to a
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2.3 Scaling up

They may look at dozens of alleles, and involve thousands of people, but existing screening programmes have been concerned with individual genes. But the technologies now being developed will soon permit the recording of hundreds of genes at a time. So-called gene chips combine the skills of microchip designers with DNA sequence information to offer rapid, easy-to-read results for an individual covering hundreds of genetic variants. A gene chip is a thin slice of glass about the
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2.2.4 Longer-term considerations

Something else to ponder is the effect that screening might have on the longer-term incidence of disease and (not the same thing) on the incidence of gene variants linked to disease. Sometimes, the impact on a disease can be dramatic. Take thalassaemia, a haemoglobin disorder similar to sickle cell disease, in which premature destruction of haemoglobin-containing red blood cells leads to anaemia. It is relatively common in some Mediterranean countries. Like sickle cell disease, it is understo
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2.2.3 Cystic fibrosis

A different model for the genetic tests of the future is screening for cystic fibrosis (CF). This is a DNA-based test, which became possible after the gene involved in CF was identified in 1989. CF is a recessive disease, and it should be easy to test to see if prospective parents carry a mutated allele. A simple mouthwash yields enough cells for DNA extraction. If both partners are carriers, they can consider further counselling before conception, and/or pre-natal testing of any potentially
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2.2.1 Phenylketonuria

The classic example of population screening is testing new-born babies for phenylketonuria (PKU). Individuals with PKU fail to make a protein, a certain enzyme, and develop mental retardation. The absence of the enzyme results in both an accumulation of phenylalanine, which causes the mental retardation, and a deficiency of tyrosine in the body, as shown in Author(s): The Open University

2.2 Population screening for genetic disease: the precedents

Knowing about particular genes, or their effects, also permits screening – the search in a population for persons with certain genotypes that are associated with a particular disease. Thus the test may be offered to one and all. Until now, screening programmes have focused on one gene at a time, or one disease at a time, in cases where a mutated gene poses serious health problems and something can be done for those who are found to carry the mutation. What that something is varies with the
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1.1 What is the future of healthcare?

When someone in the UK visits their GP for a flu jab, to confirm a pregnancy, or to report an unexpected pain, they know that behind him or her stands a vast system for diagnosis, treatment or prevention of disease in the whole population. The details differ from country to country but, like all industrialized countries, the UK has a healthcare system that is one of the largest industries. Tens of thousands of people and tens of billions of pounds a year come together inside a complicated net
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Lunchtime at Google with Jacques Pépin
Chef Jacques Pépin joins Anjali Kumar for Lunchtime at Google. This event took place on November 15, 2012, as part of the Lunchtime at Google series.
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ISS Update: Nutrition Manager Talks About Children's Book "Space Nutrition"
NASA Public Affairs Officer Brandi Dean interviews Scott Smith, Manager of Nutritional Biochemistry at Johnson Space Center, about the children's book he co-authored called "Space Nutrition." The book talks about the history of spaceflight, the various space programs and of course space food. Smith talks about how the project developed from a newsletter with illustrations to a children's book. In the book he introduces the "scientific method" and highlights current space experiments and various
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