Reading Skeptics - X-rays light up viral life beneath our sight

Reading Skeptics meet monthly downstairs in Bar Copa, Kings Road for diverse topics of discussion given by a guest speaker. There's usually a big crowd in a small space, so come early and look out for me.


X-rays light up viral life beneath our sight

"Viruses are pathogens — germs — that afflict all forms of life. All they 'want' is to reproduce but in doing so cause diseases that vary enormously in severity. How do they work and what can be done to stop them?

"My research focuses on one family of viruses that includes foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), a germ well known in Britain because of the devastating outbreak in 2001. Though too small to see clearly, even with a powerful microscope, my research uses X-rays to reveal viruses in atomic detail. My talk will describe how zapping viruses with X-rays helps us to explore the strange molecular landscape where so much FMDV action takes place and to figure out how we might tackle the disease that it causes."

Stephen Curry, a native of Northern Ireland, is a professor of structural biology at Imperial College London. That means he is interested in what biological molecules, such as proteins, look like and how they work. An active blogger, he has been writing about science (and making videos) at for several years. He also takes a keen interest in scientific activism, most notably in supporting the Campaign for Libel Reform and as vice-chair of Science is Vital.

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  • Stuart M.

    Very good lecture

    February 22, 2013

  • Chris Todd D.

    Good speaker with lots of humour to keep everyone alert.

    February 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    terrific lecture

    February 22, 2013

  • Gina

    I thought he was a terrific speaker on cutting edge research. Really good.

    February 22, 2013

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