Emerging technologies


Emerging technologies in the biotech arena are the focus of the forthcoming Cambridge Europe and Technology Club event on Thursday (27th March) at TWI, Granta Park, Abington.

The topic of 'Emerging technologies' was first tried last year and proved extremely successful with nanotechnology, Plastic Logic and blue sky computer research as examples. This year the emphasis is on BioTechnology, with two new and exciting areas of research into recently discovered phenomena applicable to medical techniques.

Professor Charles ffrench-Constant holds a post in the Department of Medical Genetics and Pathology at Cambridge University, having trained in Medicine at Cambridge and London and also having a PhD from University College London in developmental neurobiology and post-doc training in molecular biology at MIT.

He will discuss some of the key research avenues that have led to the identification of stem cells (defined as cells able to regenerate themselves indefinitely and also to generate all of the different cell types needed for the construction of a given tissue). He will discuss potential therapeutic applications, based on both cell replacement and also on activation of endogenous stem cells in damaged tissue.

He will then move onto the issues of cloning, distinguishing between therapeutic cloning (to generate tissues or cells for replacement) and the ethically unacceptable reproductive cloning (to generate new individuals).

Professor Anthony Turner, PhD, DSc, is Head of Cranfield University at Silsoe, runs Cranfield's environmental, medical and life sciences activities and is Editor-in-Chief of the international journal, Biosensors & Bioelectronics. He is a frequent presenter and broadcaster around the world and has pioneered and set up a number of companies exploiting bio-sensing and bio-analysis, principally for medical applications.

He will discuss the latest developments of the fuel cell principle, famous for its use in the 1969 Apollo moon project. The advantage of direct energy conversion was recognised was recognised as early as 1894 by Oswald and some 60 years ago Francis Bacon at the Cambridge University Engineering Department developed it for use in space.

In the 80s, Professor Turner's team explored the use of biological catalysts to produce ambient temperature devices, but since then the biofuel cell has lain dormant as a potential source of power due its instability and low current densities. Recent advances in bioelectrochemistry may lead to the re-emergence of this technology, providing scope for human powered prosthetics, such as pace-makers and the artificial pancreas.

Thursday 27th March 2003, 6pm at TWI, Granta Park, Abington.

Cost 4 to members of CETC, 8 to others. Finger Buffet at 6.00 pm. Talks start promptly at 6.30 pm.


The Cambridge Enterprise & Technology provides a networking forum for business people, academics, technologists and service providers, together with a unique opportunity to learn about cutting edge technologies.

Cambridge Enterprise and Technology Club (CETC)