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OU scientist brings Rosetta technology ‘down to earth’ at the Senedd

The Open University’s Dr Geraint Morgan was at the National Assembly in Cardiff on 24 May to take part in the annual Science and the Assembly event.

Dr Geraint MorganOrganised by the Royal Society of Chemistry, on behalf of, and in cooperation with, the Welsh science and engineering community, the theme for this year's event was Planetary and Space Science.

Dr Morgan spoke to a packed audience in the Assembly’s Pierhead building on the topic ‘Down to Earth: From sniffing comets to cancer, and more’.   Geraint was part of the team that developed Ptolemy, a miniature instrument that analysed the chemical composition of a comet following a 10 year, 4 billion mile journey around our solar system.  During the talk Dr Morgan gave an insight into what it was like waiting for the signal from the comet and discussed the results obtained.

He also explained how the collective expertise that developed the instrument has since been translated to provide solutions back here on Earth, including: a vital safety system on all future UK submarines, portable systems to sniff bed bugs in hotels, and sector disruptive robotic systems being used by the world's largest fragrance company in Paris.  Dr Morgan highlighted his strategic partnership with a Welsh instrument company, Markes International Ltd., and a proposal to work with the Wales Cancer Bank to develop a non-invasive diagnostic test for prostate cancer.  

Science and the Assembly also offered the chance for Dr Morgan to display a model of the Ptolmey instrument and several meteorites in the Senedd building and to discuss the OU’s space science work with Assembly Members and Wales’ Chief Scientific Adviser.

You can find out more about Dr Morgan’s work in this article.