College of Science & Engineering

Science on a Summer's Evening 2018

What lurks beneath innocent mouse clicks? Why cyber security and privacy is everyone's problem


Dr Kami Vaniea

Dr Kami Vaniea
Dr Kami Vaniea

One click can destroy whole companies, lose millions of people's data, or just destroy the digital life of one person. Huge data breaches can often be traced down to a single click by one employee. Cyber security and privacy affects every one of us, yet most people understand very little about it.

My lab conducts research on how to make security and privacy technologies easier to use for the general public. Everything from helping people detect malicious emails, deciding where a link will go, or even managing those pesky software update messages. 

This talk takes the audience through the seemly simple process of clicking on links. What happens at a technological level when you click that underlined text, and how do malicious actors, or worse, marketeers, use that simple act against you?


Spaghetti, spirals and loops:  How to pack your DNA for travel


Professor Bill Earnshaw

Professor Bill Earnshaw
Professor Bill Earnshaw

When cells in our bodies divide, their DNA needs to be "packed" to travel to the daughter cells: long, helical DNA molecules need to be compacted into chromosomes to allow for a safe trip.

But DNA molecules are really long: if the cell nucleus were the size of a tennis ball, DNA in the largest human chromosome would span forty tennis courts. This problem has fascinated researchers since the 1870s, and there has been no shortage of controversy. The solution is critical because mistakes in chromosome division can cause cancer and birth defects.

I show how our latest studies of chromosome structure reconcile three seemingly contradictory models to provide a solution.



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Article last updated September 2018, archived January 2019.

Sep 04 2018 -

Science on a Summer's Evening 2018

On Tuesday 4th September, the College of Science and Engineering presents a special evening of lectures and hands-on science, showcasing exciting research at the University of Edinburgh.

James Clerk Maxwell Building
Kings Building