'RE: I've been forced to sign this and I am not happy'
Arianna Schuler Scott
Arianna's research topic is dynamic consent, an implementation (or mechanism) used to keep someone informed and let them control how their personal data is being used. Dynamic consent emerged from biobanks, which collect and derive data from biological samples. Dynamic consent focuses on the relationship (and partnership, however temporary it may be) between those collecting data and those from whom that data is collected - Arianna is looking at how technology can be used to facilitate this and whether this adds value to the research process for researchers and their human participants.
This talk will introduce the above work in the context of why it matters - the title was taken from email correspondence between the author and a beloved family member. There are many reasons that personal data is shared and recent upheaval in how personal information is handled in Europe has had a wide impact on internet use and privacy awareness (there are many more pop-ups asking users to share "cookies" for example, whenever they visit a website). After a (very) brief history of the Internet and where it has grown from, Arianna will discuss the changing role of regulation and why challenging research practice sets an example for how other institutions can collect, use and (responsibly) lose people's personal data.
Arianna Schuler Scott is working towards a DPhil at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security at the University of Oxford, co-supervised within the Centre for Health, Law, and Emerging Technologies. Arianna’s work centres on how technology can be used to support two-way communication in research, providing value to both researchers and their human participants. Implementing and evaluating a dynamic consent tool in the context of rare disease research, this work aims to encourage active ownership of data sharing preferences and develop communication channels that draw from participant input to improve research practice.
Microscopy’s Next Upgrade: Making adaptive optics technology accessible to biologists
The technological capabilities of microscopy and biological understanding have always been intertwined and technological improvements to microscopy have continued to allow new biological questions to be answered. Perhaps most notably, in the last two decades technological improvements have allowed microscopists to break the diffraction limit; enabling microscopes to image structures smaller than the physics of diffraction should allow. These advances in microscopy usually start as bespoke, one-off systems incorporating a new idea or technology. Once the core concept is proven to be sound, they are reproduced in forms which are accessible to a typical user, namely biologists.
Since the fundamental laws of physics which govern microscopes and telescopes are the same, it makes sense to look at technological developments in astronomy and how they might be incorporated into microscopy. Here we come to adaptive optics (AO). In astronomy, these are optical components that can change their shape and/or optical properties dynamically in order to compensate for atmospheric distortions which corrupt astronomical images. In microscopy, there are also optical distortions which need to be compensated for. These occur not because of light passing through a heterogeneous atmosphere (i.e. an atmosphere which has different optical properties in different positions) but due to light passing through heterogeneous samples, since biological samples are composed of many different components with different optical properties. Bespoke systems have been built which show that AO can improve the quality of microscopy data. However, there is still need for a robust, accurate, easy-to-use, general implementation of that AO for microscopy. In this talk, I aim to present such an implementation.
Nicholas is a 4th Year DPhil student studying Biomedical Imaging through the Oxford Nottingham Biomedical Imaging (ONBI) CDT. He is part of the Micron Advanced Imaging Consortium based in the New Biochemistry Building. Before coming to Oxford, Nicholas completed a BSc in Physics at the University of Glasgow. It was here that he first became interested in the interdisciplinary connection between physics and microscopy, first through a summer internship in super-resolution microscopy and then a final year project working on Particle Image Velocimetry data.