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March 15, 2016
Get Thinking: Celebrate Science Week with Kids
It’s British Science Week and a perfect time to think about, talk about and explore science in the everyday world with our kids. If children only understand science as a subject at school, we run the risk of them perceiving science as something at which they are either good, bad or just ok. They get … Read more
March 8, 2016
Massaging the Data: How Money, Competition and Ego Put the Scientific Process at Risk
Some of the most blatant examples of scientific fraud in recent years have come out of the biomedical field of stem cell research. Hwang Woo-suk, at one time known as “the pride of (South) Korea,” became infamous for fabricating a series of experiments published in the journal Science in 2004 and 2005 where he reported to … Read more
February 29, 2016
Is the UK childbirth policy dangerous?
Imagine being asked to have a haemorrhoid removed without a local anesthetic. Or undergo laparoscopic gallbladder surgery while fully awake. Now imagine pushing a bowling ball out of your body through a hole the size of a golf ball. That’s childbirth. Millions of women do it every day without benefit of pain control or medical … Read more
February 18, 2016
Women in Science: Lost in a Black Hole?
What do gravitational waves and the first International Day of Women and Girls in Science have in common? Both were celebrated on 11 Feb, 2016 but only one appeared to cause a ripple effect across the universe. As the world marvelled at the confirmation of waves in space time – a phenomenon Einstein predicted one hundred … Read more
February 11, 2016
Beyond the Flush of Love: The Science Behind Long-Term Attachment
There’s no mistaking the chemical high of lust and infatuation, a potent mix of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin that has been compared to being under the influence of cocaine. If you’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the rush of falling in love, you’re well aware that, at some point, you need to break free of … Read more
February 6, 2016
Why Breastfeeding Should Be Like Cardiac Rehab
After a heart attack, no one argues against the benefit of a cardiac rehabilitation program. Such programs offer education and support for an individual to achieve a healthy outcome, and generally start in hospital before a patient is discharged. Programs are free of charge, supported by numerous government agencies and charities, and no one gives … Read more
January 29, 2016
Can Yogurt Make You Happier?
If cultured yogurt can make a despondent mouse find the will to live, researchers are hoping that someday probiotics could possibly be a substitute for Prozac. As scientists gain insight into the role of our gut microbiome, they are finding more and more evidence of what’s been termed the “gut-brain axis” and its bidirectional … Read more
January 21, 2016
Will We Conquer the Superbugs?
This week comes news of a new drug refined through a novel process of isolating and growing bacteria. The drug, called teixobactin, marks an entirely new class of antibiotics developed from a method called iChip, which may fundamentally change the way we discover new antimicrobials. The announcement has some scientists speculating that we could succeed in efforts to fight the emerging plague … Read more
January 13, 2016
Do You Really Know Where You’ve Come From?
It’s common for most of us to know where our grandparents and great-grandparents were born and raised. But go back a few more generations and things get a bit murky. Less so in England, where detailed birth and death records have been kept for hundreds of years. But what about before we started obsessively keeping … Read more