New study proves instability in model of the universeIn a recent paper, Georgios Moschidis shows that a hypothetical geometry of our universe - known as anti-de Sitter (AdS) space - is unstable. Instabilities in this spacetime lead to the formation of black holes and may hint at the origins of the second law of thermodynamicsMonday, 25 May 2020
Are we in the Insect Apocalypse?Zak Lakota-Baldwin discusses how a new study of insect population levels across Great Britain has provided a more precise view of the much-discussed “insectageddon”Thursday, 12 March 2020
‘Unicorns’ roamed Siberia alongside humansA fossil skull recently discovered in Kazakhstan suggests that members of the horned species Elasmotherium sibiricum may have survived until as recently as 29,000 years ago, greatly at odds with the previous estimate of 350,000 years ago.
Monday, 11 April 2016
New compound offers hope for EbolaA new compound has been found to protect rhesus monkeys from Ebola when administered three days after infection. The small molecule, known as GS-5734, led to 100% survival rate against the deadly virus, showing promise for further development.
Thursday, 29 October 2015
Brain's reaction to certain words could lead to new passwordsWith 19 passwords on average per person, it is unsurprising that people often struggle with remembering them all. However, a new study, “Brainprint”, suggests that unique brain responses to a set of particular words could replace traditional passwords.
Friday, 12 June 2015
Changing social attitudes during sleepAre you biased against Black people? Do you think women are not good at science? Most people would reject such racial and sexual biases when they are asked. But even if you do, does that mean you are truly unbiased?
Wednesday, 3 June 2015
Book Review: The Trouble with PopsciKathrin Holtzmann, who previously reviewed Michael Warren's Head Trip for us, returns to the Neuroscience Blog - this time with a critique of the popular science genre.
Thursday, 12 March 2015
Flu: How viral infection causes intestinal diseaseWhy do we often suffer from vomiting and diarrhoea during an influenza? Influenza is an infectious respiratory disease, whereas vomiting and diarrhoea are symptoms of a gastrointestinal disease. Researches have now found the mechanism by which they are connected.
Monday, 15 December 2014
Inflammation: New regulatory gene identifiedResearchers have identified the gene Ccdc88b as a new regulator for inflammation. Factors affecting this gene might be responsible for onset, progression, and severity of several inflammatory diseases, such as encephalitis or multiple sclerosis.
Monday, 24 November 2014
New method for finding water on marsA young Washington-based undergraduate student Katie Wall, aged 21, has been looking for evidence that water influences crystal formation in...Thursday, 6 November 2014
Jim Al Khalili – The Edge of LifeProfessor Jim Al Khalili, science communicator and voice of BBC’s The Life Scientific makes the case for quantum biology in his lecture Life on the Edge, part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas.
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Yawn Contagion Occurs in Wolves TooWe’ve all heard about how yawns can be ‘contagious’ – if you see or hear someone yawn, it makes you more likely to do likewise. But now it seems that wolves experience contagious yawning too, with important potential implications about empathy.
Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Summer Science!You could spend this weekend lounging in the sun but we all know it's going to rain and you need something better to do. Time to geek out about science and let your nerd flag fly...
Friday, 4 July 2014
Using Ancient Faeces to Reconstruct Neanderthals’ DietsWe may think it’s only ‘nutritionists’ who are obsessed with our faeces in modern times, but researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of La Laguna have been conducting scientific analyses on some far older samples.
Thursday, 26 June 2014
How the Super-Long-Lived DieAs we all know, the life expectancy of populations in developed countries such as England is growing. As everyone’s life...Friday, 6 June 2014
Gene responsible for weight gain identifiedA multinational researcher team discovered the gene Nnmt as being required for body fat accumulation. Inactivation of Nnmt, which encodes the enzyme nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT), protected mice from diet-induced obesity.
Monday, 28 April 2014
X-Ray-Generated Model Helps to Reveal How Flies Turn in Flight We often take insect flight for granted and as casual observers, it’s hard to understand – flies move too fast and are too small for our limited eyesight. But a paper published recently in PLOS Biology provides beautiful and novel insights into how flies fly.
Thursday, 24 April 2014
Tobacco Companies Didn’t Fight Fair on Standardised PackagingThe British Government’s decision to introduce standardised packaging on tobacco products has been reached after a hard-won battle with the tobacco companies. A paper recently published in PLOS Medicine suggests that these companies may not have played fair.
Monday, 14 April 2014
Slow-growing bacteria resist antibiotic treatmentA team of Swiss and British scientists have provided new insights into the underlying mechanisms of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics are important to treat bacterial infections. However, today’s widespread antibiotic resistance poses a serious threat to human health.
Friday, 11 April 2014
Drinking impairs healing of broken bonesA study performed in Loyola University Medical Center has shown that alcohol abuse impairs the healing of broken bones. Alcohol-related...Monday, 21 October 2013
Relatively well connectedWhat makes a genius? This is the question Professor Dean Falk is attempting to answer through her studies on the...Friday, 11 October 2013
Solar panels as affordable as paint?Solar panels have been hailed as one of the best ways of harnessing renewable energy in homes but purchasing, installing,...Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Key B cell lymphoma gene identifiedThe first step to finding a new treatment for cancer is to identify pivotal factors, such as genes, that the disease cannot survive without. For the majority of B cell lymphomas, Dr Melnick and colleagues in New York have discovered one such gene: EZH2.
Friday, 7 June 2013
Supermarkets seriously misinforming customers about health risksIn an open letter to ten supermarket CEOs, early career researchers have called on supermarkets to stop misleading customers about health risks. They accuse the supermarkets of playing on unfounded fears about health effects from GM, MSG, parabens and aspartame.
Wednesday, 1 May 2013
Music is my drugA new study reveals that pleasurable music engages reward-related neurocircuitry. Scientists found that discovering a new favourite song activates similar...Tuesday, 30 April 2013
Captain, there’s something on the radarThe Royal Navy have just unveiled their new radar system and the Artisan 3D boasts statistics stats that would impress tech-addicts everywhere.
Tuesday, 2 April 2013
A stroke of geniusFeeling the pinch? This expression shows how negatively we view the sensation of being pinched. Scientists have known for some time about the existence of specific neurons, cells of the nervous system, dedicated to detecting this nasty event.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013
Observing the birth of a planetAn international team of astronomers appear to have made the first observations of a planet being born. The team, led...Friday, 15 March 2013
A sea of possibilities for new antibioticsThe collaborative project PharmaSea aims to combat the growing problem of antibiotic resistance by looking for new drugs in our ocean trenches.
Friday, 15 February 2013
DNA could store digital filesA group led by Nick Goldman in Hinxton, UK, has demonstrated that DNA - the so-called “code of life” - can now be used to accurately archive all-sorts of digital media. Information encoded in DNA could be stored and read for thousands of years.
Tuesday, 29 January 2013
Reviews: Issue 26How the Hippies Saved Physics – David Kaiser
Friday, 25 January 2013
News: Issue 26Does Earth need planetary sun block?
Friday, 25 January 2013
One step closer to HIV immunityResearchers at Stanford University have developed a form of gene therapy that stops human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from latching onto...Wednesday, 23 January 2013
The world beneath our feetEcologists have used a state of the art technique known as ‘metagenomic sequencing’ to unlock the genetic secrets of the microbial underworld that lies within the world’s soils.
Tuesday, 22 January 2013
A Nobel pursuitCambridge biologist John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University, Japan have become this year’s Nobel Prize winners for Physiology or Medicine, for “the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent".
Wednesday, 10 October 2012
Reviews: Issue 25Successful Science Communication - David J Bennett & Richard C Jennings
Wednesday, 3 October 2012
News: Issue 25Microbes Help Immune Cells Function
Wednesday, 3 October 2012
The reptilian wiring in our heartsNew research by scientists from Aarhus University and the University of Amsterdam has begun to illuminate the evolutionary origin of...Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Exercise for body and mindScientists have now confirmed that regular exercise is good for the mind as well as the body.
Wednesday, 26 September 2012
Do dry soils attract rain?New research indicates that rain storms are more likely to form over drier than wetter soils.
Friday, 14 September 2012
X-Rays shed new light on mantle plumesNew studies using highly focused X-Rays have moved one step closer to explaining hotspot volcanism by investigating how huge plumes of hot mantle rock could form deep inside the Earth.
Tuesday, 4 September 2012
Superhuman medicineThe latest Spider-Man film features researchers attempting to re-grow human body parts by combining lizard DNA with that of humans....Wednesday, 29 August 2012
Concussions cause brain ageing?The first sign that concussion can prematurely age the brain by breaking down its signalling pathways has been found by...Friday, 17 August 2012
Reaffirming RioRio+20 marked 20 years since the Rio Earth Summit of 1992, which made early progress in recognising climate change and...Tuesday, 14 August 2012
The power of suggestionSuggestions exert a powerful influence on how we think, feel, and act but it appears that the effects play a much larger role in shaping our lives than most people realise.
Wednesday, 1 August 2012
Drinking coffee may protect against heart failureContrary to American Heart Association guidelines discouraging habitual coffee drinking, new research from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre (BIDMC) indicates that moderate coffee consumption may be an effective preventative of heart failure.
Friday, 6 July 2012
Lichen can survive in spaceLichens can survive journeys through space – even when exposed to potentially lethal radiation levels and temperature changes.
Friday, 29 June 2012
Arctic warming linked to Antarctic iceNew findings suggest that the Arctic may be subject to very warm ‘super-interglacials’ linked to the loss of the Antarctic ice sheet on the other side of the world.
Monday, 25 June 2012
Plastic-eating fungus discovered in the AmazonUndergraduate students from Yale University have discovered a fungus capable of degrading the common plastic polyurethane. With low costs and high demand, the volume of plastics produced overwhelms waste management systems and threatens ecosystems and human welfare globally.
Thursday, 21 June 2012
Final flight of DiscoveryAfter a year of decommissioning, NASA’s flagship Space Shuttle Discovery has made its final flight, this time within Earth’s atmosphere...Tuesday, 24 April 2012
New compounds trigger dramatic weight lossScientists at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida have developed two synthetic compounds that could potentially treat obesity, plus many...Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Genes shape our response to fluResearchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, have uncovered the genetic basis behind individual variation in response to influenza infection.
Saturday, 14 April 2012
A step in the right directionBipedalism, or walking upright, is one of the key features to distinguish humans from the great apes. However, exactly why...Monday, 9 April 2012
Özti the IcemanAlthough he may look a little like Gollum of ‘Lord of the Rings’ fame, Özti the Iceman is actually the...Tuesday, 3 April 2012
How the zebra got its stripesExisting theories as to why zebras have evolved stripes centre on their role in combating predators. Stripes may provide camouflage...Thursday, 29 March 2012
New bloodWhen asked their blood group, many people would probably be able to reply “A”, “B”, “AB” or “O”, with some...Monday, 26 March 2012
How to detect traces of explosivesScientists at the National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology in Trivandrum, India, have developed a simple method for detecting attogram (10-18 g) quantities of the explosive trinitrotoluene (TNT).
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Synthetic steakIt seems that the promise of regenerative medicine is no longer enough. Not satisfied with preventing ageing and curing disease, stem cells are now also being charged with solving the impending global food crisis.
Thursday, 15 March 2012
Do you hear what I hear?It may one day be possible to listen to the “imagined speech” of patients who have been left unable to communicate following strokes or paralysis, thanks to the work of researchers at the University of Berkeley.
Sunday, 11 March 2012
When the heart skips a beatDespite the claims of Olly Murs, the heart is in fact most likely ‘to skip a beat’ during the morning in accordance with the internal body clock, a recent study in Nature has revealed.
Thursday, 8 March 2012
The immortal devil’s contagious cancerCancer is still one of the biggest killers worldwide, arising when our own cells turn against us and grow out of control. As human life expectancy continues to increase, so too does our risk of cancer.
Thursday, 23 February 2012
New insights into malaria mechanismsA recent study in Cell reveals the way deadly malaria parasites transport proteins in infected red blood cells. Targeting this transport pathway may offer new opportunities for malaria treatment.
Sunday, 19 February 2012
A human wind turbineAt 12 noon on Friday 10th February, Cambridge University students gathered on Parker’s Piece to rally for renewable energy.
Thursday, 16 February 2012
Turning a mouse into an elephant“Animals get bigger through time”. This, in a nutshell, is the evolutionary ‘rule’ named after the American palaeontologist Edward Drinker...Tuesday, 14 February 2012
New cancer drug target discoveredScientists at the University of Leicester have identified a new molecule that could serve as a target for an entire family of future cancer drugs.
Thursday, 9 February 2012
Solving a monkey puzzleIn a study published recently in the journal Cell, scientists at the Oregon National Primate Research Center in the USA announced that they have created the first chimeric primates.
Monday, 6 February 2012
Energising CambridgeA new student campaign, Energise Cambridge (http://www.energisecambridge.org/), has been launched to try and persuade the University of Cambridge to buy a larger proportion of its energy from renewable suppliers.
Friday, 3 February 2012
Bacterial bio-pixels could detect poisonsResearchers led by Prof. Jeff Hasty at the University of California have created “bacterial bio-pixels” by combining two methods used by Escherichia coli...Wednesday, 1 February 2012
‘Great Lake’ on Jupiter’s moon may harbour lifeScientific analysis of the surface of Jupiter’s moon, Europa, suggests that warm water rises from its deep oceans to form shallow nutrient-rich lakes that could support life.
Wednesday, 25 January 2012
Earth's survival, thanks to the sacrifice of a gas giantNew research published by Dr. David Nesvorny of the Southwest Research Institute provides strong evidence that the solar system may initially have had five giant gas planets, as opposed to the current four.
Sunday, 1 January 2012
Genetically engineered E. coli could be used to make biofuelsIn a discovery that pushes the dream of worldwide implementation of renewable energy towards reality, researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) in Berkeley, California have synthesised three advanced biofuels using genetically engineered Escherichia coli (E. coli).
Friday, 23 December 2011
A bug in the programmeScientists have discovered a parasite that can alter behaviour by manipulating brain chemistry.
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Review: Frank Close - Physics, Prizes and Phantom ParticlesWinning a Nobel Prize in neutrino physics, is all about longevity. That was the message of Professor Frank Close OBE to a joint audience from BlueSci, Cambridge University's Science Magazine, and the Cambridge University Physics Society.
Monday, 12 December 2011
Review: Parasite Rex (Carl Zimmer)Sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis and hundreds of other parasitic diseases plague millions of people across the world. We have no clear...Monday, 14 November 2011
It's not all about the snapThe world's largest lizard, Indonesia's Komodo Dragon, is well adapted for a carnivorous, ambush-hunting lifestyle, with serrated teeth, a venomous...Friday, 11 November 2011
Radar can now see us through wallsSince the development of RADAR (Radio Detection And Ranging) in 1940, its ability to pinpoint fixed objects and determine the...Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Polymer plug "LeGoo" approved in US for use during surgeryBlood vessels are traditionally blocked during surgery using clamps to pinch the vessel and stop blood flow. This can lead to damage and trauma of the artery. However, a new product called 'LeGoo' may make clamps a thing of the past.
Sunday, 6 November 2011
Raising the alarm against virusesScientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) have identified the precise mechanism by which the detection of foreign agents in cells can lead to a rapid immune response.
Thursday, 3 November 2011
That Friday feelingLooking forward to the weekend? Scientists at Cornell University have used Twitter to explore changes in people's moods over the course of the day, week and year.
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Nobel Prize awarded for insights into the immune systemMajor breakthroughs in understanding the way in which our immune system is activated have seen Bruce A. Beutler, Jules A. Hoffmann and Ralph M. Steinman awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Monday, 17 October 2011
Bigger than the Big Bang - 2011 Nobel Prize in PhysicsThe 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess, whose efforts during the 1990s led to the astonishing conclusion that the rate of expansion of the Universe is increasing.
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
ReviewsCool It - Bjorn Lomborg
Monday, 3 October 2011
News: Issue 22Bat wing hairs act as airflow detectors
Monday, 3 October 2011
Online game players solve structure of AIDS proteinPlayers from an online gaming community have solved the crystal structure of a retrovirus protein causing AIDS in rhesus monkeys. The gamers determined in just three weeks something that has eluded scientists for over 10 years.
Wednesday, 28 September 2011
Plant circadian clock mystery solvedResearchers at Yale University have identified a key component of the plant circadian clock, solving one of the final mysteries that remained in understanding this process.
Thursday, 15 September 2011
Self-cleaning fabrics could be cleaner than everScientists at the University of California, Davis, have developed a new self-cleaning fabric that is more robust, has improved antibacterial qualities, and is easier to manufacture.
Saturday, 10 September 2011
A man-made mountain in the Netherlands?A Dutch journalist has proposed the idea of creating a mountain in the Netherlands, believing it will benefit the nation’s athletes and become a top attraction.
Thursday, 8 September 2011
Genome of the potato sequencedA group of international scientists have recently published the genome sequence of the humble potato, Solanum tuberosum. It is hoped that the sequence will aid better breeding of this disease-susceptible plant.
Sunday, 31 July 2011
BlueSci gets CreativeThe BlueSci committee are pleased to announce that from now on we will be placing all material published by BlueSci,...Saturday, 30 July 2011
Symptoms of climate change become apparent in European oceansA species of plankton, Neodenticula seminae, has returned to the North Atlantic for the first time since going extinct 8 million years ago. This is the latest example of how changing climate conditions cause species to move or change their behaviour.
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
A genetic history of coconutsA new genetic analysis shows that modern coconuts were brought into cultivation in two independent regions, and discusses how human trade and travel has influenced genetic diversity in coconut populations.
Saturday, 2 July 2011
Putting waste energy to good useA prototype produced by engineers in the United States can capture wasted heat from exhausts and use it for air conditioning and the generation of electricity.
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Ancient-language dictionary completed after 90 yearsThe first dictionary of an ancient Mesopotamian language is finally complete after ninety years in the making. At 21 volumes, this creates an unparalleled resource for studying the first urban civilisations in history.
Monday, 20 June 2011
The bright lights attract bats tooGreater numbers of bat species are found in areas associated with human populations, according to a study published in the journal Mammalian Biology.
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Serendipitous supercapacitorsThe unexpected discovery of a new three-dimensional porous carbon material could allow supercapacitors to rival the performance of the standard lead-acid battery.
Sunday, 22 May 2011
A new method to harness solar energyScientists reporting in Nature Materials have built a prototype to show that the thermoelectric effect might provide an alternative way to generate electricity from sunlight.
Saturday, 21 May 2011
Atlas of the starsAn amateur astrophotographer has travelled over 60,000 miles to capture images of the stars and produce a stunning interactive atlas of the night sky.
Thursday, 19 May 2011
Blind legless lizard declared a new speciesZoologists in Cambodia have discovered a new species of legless lizard sheltering under a log in the Cardamom Mountains of the Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary.
Friday, 13 May 2011
Study identifies recall memory in monkeysA study by scientists at Emory University suggests that rhesus monkeys are capable not only of recognising images, but also recalling them from memory.
Thursday, 12 May 2011
News: Issue 21The Sun as we’ve never seen it before
Saturday, 7 May 2011
The singular origin of the melanic mothScientists have identified the gene region that controls melanism in the peppered moth, a famous example of natural selection in action. They also suggest that the mutation responsible for the dark melanic form arose just once and spread throughout British populations.
Friday, 6 May 2011
Antihelium discovered in STAR experimentPhysicists at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider have detected 18 examples of antihelium, breaking their own a world record for the heaviest particle of antimatter ever found.
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
The Human Brain AtlasThe Human Brain Atlas is the first computational map of the brain, developed over four years by the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle and costing $55 million ((http://www.brain-map.org/)).
Saturday, 30 April 2011
Plasmonic resonances in semiconductorsScientists have demonstrated localised surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) in semiconductors, extending the range of materials that can be used for photonics and offering new possibilities for light harvesting, nonlinear optics and quantum information processes.
Thursday, 28 April 2011
'King of rabbits' unearthed on MinorcaPalaeontologists have discovered an enormous fossil rabbit on the Spanish island of Minorca. It has been officially named Nuralagus rex, meaning ‘Minorcan hare king’.
Saturday, 23 April 2011
New maps of Earth's gravity unveiledModels illustrating the most accurate measurements ever recorded of the variation in gravity across the Earth have been unveiled at an international conference at the Technische Universitat in Munich, Germany.
Monday, 4 April 2011
A new family tree for primatesA report published in the journal PLoS Genetics has produced a much-needed update of primate phylogeny. The study, which is the fruit of an international collaboration, greatly clarifies the evolutionary history of humans and our closest relatives.
Sunday, 27 March 2011
Loss of a special bearThe famous polar bear Knut died last Saturday at Berlin Zoo aged four years and three months. A necropsy in progress suggests he died of brain damage.
Friday, 25 March 2011
Metamaterials for superheroesThe invisibility cloaks of comic books may not be all that far-fetched according to a paper recently published in the journal Nature. Their origins lie with the 19th Centrury physicist James Clerk Maxwell.
Thursday, 24 March 2011
New look at a bacterial weaponThe needle complex that makes Salmonella and related bacteria such infectious pathogens has been modelled at the subnanometre scale.
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Neurotransmitter key to motor learning behaviour?Researchers from the University of Oxford have investigated the cellular basis of learning and have helped to explain why some people are quicker to learn piano pieces or perfect dance routines.
Friday, 18 March 2011
Polymer failureResearchers at Duke University in the United States have shown for the first time how soft polymers can break down when exposed to high electric fields.
Thursday, 17 March 2011
Filming inside living cellsA new design of microscope has been developed which produces amazingly detailed 3-dimensional movies of live cells, and could potentially open up whole new areas of research.
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Mass extinction imminent?A mass extinction on a scale only witnessed five times in the last 540 million years could be just around the corner, scientists warn.
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
Epileptic self-defenceResearchers from Brown University have found that after an epileptic event the brain has the capacity to protect itself from further seizures. If this finding can be confirmed in human cases, it may provide a new approach to treat epilepsy.
Monday, 14 March 2011
Cambridge launches the 'Map of Life'The University of Cambridge’s Map of Life project has gone online, aiming to draw fresh attention to the remarkable stories told by convergent evolution.
Saturday, 12 March 2011
Organic monitorsA completely organic series of compounds are being developed to make display screens cheaper, more efficient and more flexible.
Friday, 11 March 2011
Egyptians first to use prostheticsA researcher from the University of Manchester believes that two artificial toes dating from before 600BC may have been the world’s earliest functional prosthetic body parts.
Thursday, 10 March 2011
Last flight of DiscoveryNASA’s workhorse, ambassador, scientist and equal opportunity emissary the Space Shuttle Discovery today completes its final mission.
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Brain matter makes the mindA multi-institutional group of researchers from the University of Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre have uncovered a possible basis for differences in mental abilities by identifying links between genetic makeup and the efficiency of brain function.
Tuesday, 8 March 2011
Avoiding stereotypesResearchers from the University of Michigan have developed a method that uses novel organic catalysts to produce pure chiral products...Monday, 7 March 2011
Sitting is not so prettyA long-term study on the associations between sedentary behaviour and mortality has suggested that the amount of time people spend sitting down has an effect on their lifespan that is independent of the amount of physical exercise they take.
Friday, 4 March 2011
How much is too much?Phosphorus is now one of the major causes of water pollution in the Western world. A new study has found...Wednesday, 2 March 2011
Disease epidemic endangers batsBats play an important role in controlling insect pests and are an integral part of cave ecosystems, but some populations in North America are facing endangerment or extinction due to a disease epidemic.
Monday, 28 February 2011
Spacecraft that think for themselvesScientists at the University of Southampton have developed a new control system for spacecraft, allowing them to make decisions more independently than ever before using artificially intelligent ‘sysbrains’ ((http://www.sesnet.soton.ac.uk/people/smv/avs_lab/index.htm)).
Saturday, 26 February 2011
The 'bear' necessities of hibernation“I wish I could hibernate like a bear this winter!” This sentiment is often expressed by Cambridge University students as they slog through the darkest moments of their degrees. But they might want to reassess what “hibernate like a bear” really means.
Thursday, 24 February 2011
Twirly-whirly electronsTransmission electron microscopes (TEM) are used to study and image a wide variety of materials due to their sub-nanometre resolving power. In a TEM electrons are shot through an object and adsorption, deflection and energy loss of the electrons is measured.
Saturday, 19 February 2011
New hope for the hard of hearingThe problem of progressive hearing loss affects a large proportion of the population, young and old, but findings released recently from...Thursday, 3 February 2011
London’s top secret discoverySecurity service helicopters circle MI6 headquarters, armed police surround the building and all the while a small team are busy...Monday, 31 January 2011
News: Issue 20Benefits to weaker immune system
Saturday, 29 January 2011
The dawn of dinosaursA new dinosaur has been discovered in Argentina ((Ricardo N. Martinez et al., “A Basal Dinosaur from the Dawn of...Saturday, 29 January 2011
Small-scale earthquakes hit BritainMention earthquakes and most people will think of places such as Japan and California, where major damaging earthquakes happen once...Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Tsunami warning systemsSix years have passed since the Boxing Day tsunami disaster which claimed 5,400 victims and devastated coastlines of Thailand, Indian,...Sunday, 23 January 2011
FIT incentives and free solar panelsFeed-In Tariffs (FITs) were introduced in April 2010 to encourage homeowners to generate their own electricity. Technologies such as solar...Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Enjoying the VISTA2011 is already proving to be a significant year for astronomy. In addition to a conjunction of the planets, a partial solar eclipse and the Quadrantid meteor shower we have obtained spectacular new images of both the Andromeda galaxy and our home galaxy, the Milky Way.
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
The goldilocks body temperatureA new mathematical model has shed light on why mammals spend so much energy staying warm-blooded, a phenomenon that has long been poorly understood.
Friday, 7 January 2011
Hope in the water2010 was a year for extreme weather including some of the strongest illustrations of the global environmental crisis. As the country recovers from the “big freeze” it is reassuring that, at least in small ways, we are improving the world around us.
Thursday, 6 January 2011
Blue light to combat cancerA team of researchers, led by the University of Warwick, have developed a new light-activated, platinum-cased, anti-cancer drug. The drug...Wednesday, 5 January 2011
“Living” rock artThe Bradshaw rock art in the Kimberly region of Australia is of interest to archaeologists, not only because of its...Sunday, 2 January 2011
How many lightbulbs?Cambridge University physicist, David Mackay, offers a passionate yet simple, quantitative analysis of the energy crisis in the UK. The film is based on his book "Sustainable Energy without the hot air", which is available free on his website.Friday, 31 December 2010
A sustainable Christmas?Tucking into second helpings of turkey? Why not treat yourself to another glass of Chardonnay and turn the thermostat up...Sunday, 26 December 2010
Right or left handling at birth: does it matter? <img class="size-medium wp-image-703" title="From: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Baby%27s_hand.JPG" src="http://www.bluesci.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/babys-hand-225x300.jpg" alt="" width="225" height="300" />
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
To soar or to flap?Large birds, such as storks and hawks, have long been known for choosing to soar and glide on thermal currents...Tuesday, 21 December 2010
90GB of data stored in 1g of bacteriaResearchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong have succeeded in demonstrating data storage and encryption with bacteria.
Monday, 13 December 2010
One step closer to nano-machinesA team of scientists, led by Johannes Barth at TU Muenchen, have succeeded in the self-assembly of rod-shaped molecules to form nano-rotors within a honeycomb structure.
Sunday, 12 December 2010
Networks that make up the mindWe spend much of our lives making decisions, most of which occur in a fraction of a second. This involves...Friday, 10 December 2010
Bacterial romance?A new study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that the bacteria living inside the guts of fruit flies have an effect on the choice of mates made by the host organism – potentially leading to the development of a new theory of evolution.
Thursday, 9 December 2010
Closing the gender gapEducation researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder have claimed success in reducing the gender performance gap in physics exams using only a simple writing exercise.
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Space observations show warming of Earth’s lakesScientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have used satellite nighttime thermal infrared imagery to measure the surface temperature of inland lakes over the period 1985 to 2009. The data show an average rate of warming of 0.045oC per year.
Monday, 6 December 2010
Let there be lightScientists from the University of Bonn in Germany have developed an entirely new source of light, based on a quantum...Saturday, 4 December 2010
The mammals' time to shineIt has long been suspected that the dinosaurs’ demise at the end of the Cretaceous period made way for the...Sunday, 28 November 2010
News: Issue 19The first non-human, non-verbal dictionary has been created at the University of St Andrews. Erica Cartmill and Richard Byrne spent nine months observing orangutans and trying to discern a lexicon of gestures and signals.
Sunday, 7 November 2010
Icy Mars mystery - solved?Scientists believe that they have finally found a theory to explain the phenomena of disappearing ice on Mars, also shedding light on the planet's water cycle.
Monday, 11 October 2010
Lower suicide rates not necessarily linked to antidepressant switchNeither a rapid increase in the total use of antidepressants nor a decline in potentially toxic ones are related to a simultaneous drop in suicide rates, according to a study analysing drug sales and causes-of-death registers in Nordic countries over the past 30 years.
Saturday, 9 October 2010
On the origin of complexityTheoretical models have suggested that complexity comes with a cost, and the simplest organisms are the best at adapting to their environment. How then, have the most complex plants and animals evolved?
Friday, 8 October 2010
Control your emotion or it will control youAlthough the Chinese adage does not allude to voluntarily controlling local brain activity, researchers have found that this is the key to tempering feelings.
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Human cytomegalovirus genome clonedBy reconstructing a complete viral genome, British-based scientists have greatly improved the clinical relevance of fundamental research on a leading cause of congenital disability.
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
New mathematical model to aid biodiversity conservationA new theory of species diversity has been developed that predicts the number of species in an ecological community by mathematically accounting for the interdependent properties of individual species as well as those of the environment.
Thursday, 30 September 2010
A break-down in communicationsClimate change. Nuclear power. GM crops. Vaccines. Why is it that the general public is so often divided on issues that scientific experts largely agree on?
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Leaner, meaner, faster, strongerWouldn't it be great if we can have denser, stronger bones, but also be leaner and weigh less? While it may sound like a gym advertisement, a group of researchers in Maine have found a protein that achieves this in mice.
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
The Environmentalist's Paradox: Why are we still doing so well?Humankind is responsible for causing considerable damage to many of the planet's ecosystems. According to environmentalists, this degradation should also be having a negative effect on our own well-being. But it's not. What's going on?
Thursday, 9 September 2010
Global CO2 emissions on the declineRecent measures show the global financial crisis leading to this decade's first drop in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel consumption.
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
New infrared technique could help to understand cancerChemists have developed a new technique using infrared light to study the behaviour of lysosomes more clearly and extensively than ever before, potentially taking the fight against cancer and many other diseases to another level.
Sunday, 5 September 2010
Sun + Plastic Sheet = EnergyResearchers from the University of Cambridge have developed a major improvement for organic solar cells, reporting their results in the...Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Nourishing the ageing brainResearch findings suggest new links between B vitamin deficiency and the degeneration of the ageing brain.
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Earliest Animals DiscoveredPrinceton University geoscientists have discovered what they believe to be the earliest body-fossil evidence of animal life.
Monday, 23 August 2010
Species in the SoilResearch in the Panamanian rainforest shows that soil-dwelling organisms promote local species richness and keep the rare trees rare.
Sunday, 15 August 2010
Carbonate rocks and life on Mars?Scientists writing in Earth and Planetary Science Letters ((Adrian J. Brown et al., “Hydrothermal formation of Clay-Carbonate alteration assemblages in...Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Culture: Shaping the brainPsychological scientists have reported growing evidence that different cultures can have a marked effect on fundamental brain function and structure.
Monday, 9 August 2010
Disease and the dysfunctions of metabolismResearchers at Harvard and Boston University have found that the different pathways of the human metabolic network interact and induce deep epistasis, the suppression of a mutation by one or more seemingly unrelated genes.
Monday, 9 August 2010
Temperature toggles learning in fliesScientists at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology in Germany have used a non-invasive technique to pinpoint neurons required for...Saturday, 31 July 2010
The passion and profession of Richard ErnstOn Wednesday 7 July, an audience of over a thousand scientists gathered to hear Nobel laureate Richard Ernst talk about the scientific investigations on Tibetian religious paintings known as thangkas.
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Revolutionising lifeResearchers have discovered 2.1 billion year-old fossils that answer new questions about the origins of life on Earth ((Abderrazak El...Monday, 5 July 2010
Pigeons carry harmful pathogensFeral pigeons could be asymptomatic or subclinical carriers of the pathogens Chlamydophila psittaci and Campylobacter jejuni, responsible for acute diarrhea in humans.
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Brain's ExpectationsA damaged prefrontal cortex leads to impaired preparation and reaction speeds in response to a stimulus.
Monday, 21 June 2010
Scientists create artificial mini black holeChinese researchers at the Southeast University in Nanjing have successfully built an electromagnetic absorbing device for microwave frequencies. They have utilised the special properties of metamaterials- a class of ordered composites which can distort light and other waves.
Monday, 14 June 2010
Reef restoration: cheap and simple solutionsResearchers from the University of Rhode Island have found that coral reef conservation can be achieved successfully through transplantation of fragmented corals.
Sunday, 13 June 2010
Call for citizen scientistsAn international team with researchers fthe UK, Australia and China consider how our views of biodiversity can be distorted by the data we look at.
Monday, 7 June 2010
Disease resistance; not always a bonus.Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Developmental Biology in Germany have explained an evolutionary dilemma in Nature ((Marco Todesco...Thursday, 3 June 2010
Bold geese trust themselvesA team of researchers from the Netherlands have fround that the personality of barnacle geese can affect how they use social information ((Ralf H. J. M. Kurvers et al., “Personality predicts the use of social information,” Ecology Letters 13, no. 7 (2010): 829-837.)).
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
How nature's colours could cut bank fraudScientists have discovered a way of mimicking the stunningly bright and beautiful colours found on the wings of tropical butterflies. The findings could have important applications in the security printing industry, helping to make bank notes and credit cards harder to forge.
Monday, 31 May 2010
The little things countPsychologists in California and North Carolina have conducted an in-depth study into how the emotion of gratitude can boost romantic...Thursday, 27 May 2010
Important enzyme for TB foundResearchers from the USA and Singapore have demonstrated that the enzyme PEPCK (phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase), plays a pivotal role in the...Monday, 24 May 2010
Silk is the secret to honeycomb strengthEngineers from China and Cardiff have uncovered the microscopic structure of honeycomb, which is responsible for its impressive mechanical properties...Thursday, 20 May 2010
Stop ageing. Run a marathon!Researchers in Italy have found that running a marathon stops the cellular processes which lead to cell death ((Gabriella Marfe...Monday, 17 May 2010
Bio-Gels for Drug DeliveryScientists at Ajou University in South Korea have designed a material that forms a gel in vivo and releases protein...Monday, 10 May 2010
Human HybridThe first draft of the Neanderthal genome, published in Science this week, provides evidence of interbreeding with our Homo sapiens ancestors ((R. E. Green et al., “A Draft Sequence of the Neandertal Genome,” Science 328, no. 5979 (2010): 710-722.)).
Sunday, 9 May 2010
Smells classified by neuronal patternsRecent research by scientists at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI) has shed new light upon the neurological mechanisms behind our sense of smell.
Friday, 30 April 2010
Is That Egg Mine?At the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany, a flock of zebra finches are getting a little bit confused...
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Spying on catalystsA new method for measuring catalytic activity has been developed using nanoparticles ((E. M. Larsson et al., “Nanoplasmonic Probes of Catalytic Reactions,” Science 326, no. 5956 (2009): 1091-1094.)).
Friday, 30 October 2009
Book ReviewsThe Lives of Ants - Laurent Keller and Elisabeth Gordon
Thursday, 1 October 2009
New Insight on Bone StructureCambridge researchers have edged tantalisingly closer to understanding the complex causes of some debilitating bone diseases.Saturday, 27 October 2007
Earth Mark IIAstronomers have discovered an Earth-like planet: Gliese 581, which might support lifeFriday, 4 May 2007
Building With BiologyIn the summer of 2005 we worked within a team of Cambridge undergraduates to produce the UK’s first entry for the annual International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competitionSunday, 21 May 2006
Dr HypothesisIf you have any worries (purely of a scientific nature, obviously) that you would like Dr Hypothesis to answer, then...Wednesday, 17 May 2006
Our Second-Hand UniverseA cyclic universe, bouncing through a series of ‘Big Bangs’ and ‘Big Crunches’, could solve the mystery of the cosmological constantThursday, 11 May 2006
Mir reentry on Friday morningSpace station Mir will provide a spectacular celestial event as it finishes a 15-year service this Friday morning, according to...Thursday, 22 March 2001
Microsoft's network cracked On Wednesday 25 October, Microsoft found its network had been attacked by crackers who had managed to read the source code of a new piece of software Tuesday, 31 October 2000