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 Professor Herbert Macgregor, B.Sc., PhD., FRSB. 1954 – 68 University of St.Andrews, 1969 – 96  Professor of Zoology and Head of the Department of Zoology at the University of Leicester.  Now Honorary Professor of Biosciences at the University of Exeter. Special interests, Evolution, cells and genes, newts, Exmoor ponies, strange chromosomes (http://www.projects.exeter.ac.uk/lampbrush), and lots of other things in the wonderful world of life.

21st Century Biology - a Wonderland of Human Endeavour

Modern Biology is enjoying a massive and unprecedented surge in progress with new discoveries and technologies emerging on a day to day timescale.  The living world has many problems and biologists are struggling to understand them and provide solutions.  We’re living through the greatest and most rapid extinction of all time, driven largely by us, I’m afraid! Medicine and agriculture are forging ahead, cancer research, gene editing, GM technology and food production, stem cells and repairing life, a massively enhanced understanding of living organisms in their natural environments, ecosystems and biospheres.  It’s all happening out there!  And happily, real efforts are being made to tell people about all these developments.

All the more reason for us U3Aers to get in on the act and be part of the fun.  Difficult, you’ll say!  Not at all. Today we have the web, giving us instantaneous access to a vast wealth of information, much of it in a form that can be understood by anyone and we have media that do a great job at advertising new developments and lines of research and exciting new discoveries.

So get your local U3A to set up a Biology group and get wise on controversial matters, learn to judge whether your Daily is talking nonsense or reporting something really good.  I bet you’ll find this rewarding and comfortably challenging.

Oh, and if you have absolutely no background in Biology and wouldn’t know a gene from a teacup, what better reason could you possibly have for getting stuck into it!  It’s not a difficult science but, my goodness, it’s wonderful!