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Malta, France and Britain: love or hate? – Think Magazine interview

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Malta, France and Britain: love or hate? - Think Magazine interviewBetween 1798 and 1800, Malta changed hands three times. The feudal Knights were replaced by Napoleonic France, whom the Maltese initially welcomed then revolted against them a mere 82 days later ushering in the British Empire.

Why did this event over 200 years ago lead to the French having a bad reputation in Malta? How has British colonisation warped the Maltese collective memory? In this provocative interview with THINK magazine, Dr Charles Xuereb uncovers another side to the story of French rule in Malta.

From collective memories to the organ responsible for them, Cassi Camilleri writes about how researchers at the University of Malta are using the complex technology of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look into the human brain. They are studying healthy and diseased brains in order to ultimately improve treatment.

Bacteria can cause illness but Dr Gabriella Zammit studies these creatures in work that could find new cures. Her studies found bacteria growing on artworks in ancient Maltese temples which may eventually be used to develop novel therapies.

While medicines can halt a disease process after it has begun, in order to live healthily a society must protect its environment. With a third of our island built up, going green is becoming both increasingly difficult and important. The LifeMedGreenRoof Project provides us with an opportunity to turn our urban spaces into a greeny haven.

In another story, Dr Maria Galea is working hard to profoundly impact the lives of approximately 400 deaf individuals in Malta. She has worked on providing a logical framework for Maltese SignWriting with which deaf people can write poetry, novels or love letters in their own native language (Maltese Sign Language).

The work of Prof. Joseph N. Grima and his team is giving graphene, the wonder material of the century that is thinner than a soap bubble film, yet nearly as strong as diamond, auxetic properties (becoming wider when it is stretched).

The magazine is full of other stories from students, faculty and alumni on car racing, multiple uses for chemistry, and the Malta Neuroscience Network. The fun section covers a range of reviews, with a comic strip by Gorg Mallia and a 100 word idea to change Malta.

Think, the University of Malta’s magazine, may be picked up for free in newsagents around Malta and Gozo and in Agenda bookstores, it is now available online at www.um.edu.mt/think, available on Issuu, followed on Twitter @ThinkUoM or liked on Facebook.

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