Uncharted, Unfashionable, but Unavoidably Wonderful

The exploration of our solar system is one of humanity′s greatest scientific achievements. The last half century has seen huge steps forward in our understanding of the planets, the sun, and the countless other objects in the solar system. Some would say that planetary science is a mature discipline – involving geoscientists, … Continue reading

The Dangers of Cloning – a Popular Myth?

The world of biology was relatively quiet and untainted, whereas other natural sciences such as physics and chemistry had suffered from some bad reputations. Nuclear physics is now associated with the tragedies of Chernobyl and Fukushima and chemistry has been associated with pesticides, dangerous drugs and horrible toxins. But the … Continue reading

10 Things You Maybe Didn’t Know About Rainbows

Science correspondent David Bradley describes some interesting facts about rainbows that you may not have known: I am currently reading the most excellent “The Sun’s Heartbeat” by astronomy writer Bob Berman. It’s the kind of book I’d love to be able to write, informative, entertaining, engaging and witty. In it, … Continue reading

Drug Effectiveness Diminished in Space

Astronauts on long space missions may not be able to take antibiotics to treat infections or aspirin to treat headaches, simply because drugs have been found to decay much faster in space than on earth. A recent study in the AAPS Journal found, that the half-life of drugs is much … Continue reading

Raspberry Ketone

Raspberry ketone, more specifically, 4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)butan-2-one, is an organic compound, a phenolic or ketonic compound depending on which end you focus on, present in red raspberries, it’s the main chemical that gives them their distinctive aroma. As such, it is used widely in perfumery, cosmetics, and the food industry, giving products … Continue reading

Neanderthal DNA Strengthens Human Immune System

Where do we come from and who are we? Who were our ancestors? Why are we the dominant intelligent species on this planet and what made us be the first organism to create such a technological revolution? Who exactly are we? Who is Homo sapiens? These questions have been occupying … Continue reading

Flares Are So Out … Seriously

We’ve all seen them, or least we’ve all seen them in photos and TV documentaries, the eternal, infernal flames of the oil-field flare. Now, an international engineering research team has put some figures to the energy and exergy of the venting and burning of combustible gases considered waste and suggests … Continue reading

Multitasking and Listening to Mood Music

When you’re feeling blue, put on a sad song. Getting in the party spirit? Turn up the dance music. We are all well aware that music can fit our mood and even reinforce certain emotions. Now, researchers at Philips Research in The Netherlands have demonstrated that background music can affect … Continue reading

Right Mind; Appropriate Perception

Episodic or lifelong knee pain is increasingly familiar to a greater number of people. Amongst young adults, the most common pain is of the lower fraction, just below the patella (knee cap), and towards the inner side of the knee. Clinically this is referred to as Prepatellar Bursitis, common diagnoses … Continue reading

Three Minutes of Exercise is Not Enough

BBC Horizon recently discussed the recent burst of activity surrounding claims that just 3 minutes of very intense exercise (HIT high intensity training), done in 3×20 second sessions three times each week is enough to improve various health factors (such as insulin sensitivity and lung capacity). The program’s present Michael Mosely is … Continue reading

Live Young and Prosper: The Dauer Way

The global average life expectancy during the early twentieth century was 31 years; today it stands at 67.2 years. The “Big Three”: food, health and hygiene are being hailed as miracle life longevity factors; however improving overall quality of life is far more complex than simply extending it. Without actually … Continue reading

A Doctor’s Touch

This week, Dr. Sebastian Müller (Ph.D.) discusses the challenging ideas of Dr. Abraham Vergese, a professor at the University of Stanford. Doctors constitute one of the oldest human profession. Arisen mainly from ancient Greek philosophy as well as religious institutions such as monasteries  in the Western world, this profession has … Continue reading

Distant Star Moved by Tides

Recently, the scientific Journal Nature published an interesting theory online. Astronomers believe that the surface area of a distant star is influenced by the gravity of a huge alien planet. Earth’s moon is responsible for the tides that we observe here on Earth and equally, so the astronomers argue, the … Continue reading

Artificial organs – science fiction or reality?

Since the dawn of modern molecular biology and cell biology in the 1950s, many people have been dreaming of a day one can create organs in the laboratory from patients’ cell samples. Every year many patients die in hospitals due to malfunctioning or failing organs caused by various diseases or … Continue reading

Cocaine Antidote

A press release just in from the American Chemical Society describes how wcientists are reporting development and successful testing in laboratory mice of a “cocaine antidote”. The substance and its effects are described in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics. The researchers refer to it as a “passive vaccine”, which apparently reverses the … Continue reading

Where in the World? Finding Geotagged Photos

Geotagging is de rigueur on most web 2.0 sites these days, location-based social networking tools such as FourSquare, Facebook Places, Gowalla coupled to aGPS-enabled smart phone or other devices are obligatory for the technorati, while countless uploads from millions of digital cameras automatically add a place, or geotag, to your photos opening up a whole … Continue reading

Lifelong Learning is About Connecting People

Individuals now have the autonomy to make their own learning choices and in recent years there has been an emphasis on the “self made learner”, especially in adult education and ongoing professional development. As such, online communities and other so-called web 2.0 tools have come to the fore as potentially … Continue reading

Theoretical Highest Temperatures

In science it is well known that the lowest temperature possible is 0K. However is it possible to put the same thinking into finding a theoretical highest temperature? Having researched this I found that there is no conclusive answer, merely several different popular theories on whether we can find this … Continue reading

Mitochondrial Disease, Down on Your Knees!

A new approach to in vitro fertilisation, which aims to combat inherited mitochondrial disease has received UK government backing. With draft regulations currently in production, the procedure utilising DNA from three individuals could be in use by 2015. Maintained exclusively down the maternal lineage, these diseases stem from defects within mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA); … Continue reading

The Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics

A few decades ago, the international community published guidelines for athletes, trying to ban performance enhancing drugs in order to guarantee the safety of sportsmen and -women and ensure fair competitions. The phenomenon of enhancing an individual’s performance in sports is also known as doping. Although these guidelines exist for … Continue reading

Nobel Women

Inventas vitam juvat exclouisse per artes – “And they who bettered life on earth by their newly found mastery” Taken from Vergilius Aeneid, these are the words which adorn the medal of one of science’s most prestigious awards, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The 27th November 1895 saw Alfred … Continue reading

The Formation Of Man

The New Year never fails to rein in an eclectic range of resolutions, from the life changing to the downright dumbfounding; nevertheless these feats are attempted in the hope o development. Whether wishful thinking or willpower is permeating 2013’s endeavors, commendable personal development has already been achieved and all before … Continue reading

Brain Size May Predict Alzheimer’s Risk Years Before Symptoms Appear

US scientists have found brain scans measuring the thickness of certain regions of the brain may help identify people who have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, and the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, studied MRI scans from 159 cognitively normal older … Continue reading

Is Ageing A Disease?

With mice being genetically engineered to live 26% longer than average, age-incidence of a broad spectrum of age-related disease being reduced in the lab and dietary restriction significantly increasing lifespan across species, research seeking treatment for ageing is in action. Telomere modification, free radical level reduction and human growth hormone … Continue reading