A 42-year-old converted oil exploration ship, JOIDES Resolution is one of the few drilling vessels available to earth scientists for the geological study of the seabed at ocean depths below 8,000 metres. Its ultimate aim is to become better acquainted with what goes on beneath the Earth’s crust. Continue reading Looking Into The Abyss – The JOIDES Resolution Progress Update
This 2.5-tonne lump of rock is a banded iron formation. It marks a turning point in the history of life on our beautiful planet. A crucial chemical transition. When oxygen started becoming abundant. And life took its next step towards complexity… Continue reading Rock of Ages – Why Banded Iron Formations Are Far From Boring…
Canada. A land of unspoiled wilderness and natural beauty, led by the poster boy of progressive politics Justin Trudeau who has cast himself as an environmental champion. Canada as the World sees it… Continue reading Trudeau’s Canada: From Climate Champion to Environmental Pariah?
Come in. Step into the pristine environment of a modern science laboratory. With all its cutting-edge equipment neatly arranged and organised work spaces clearly delineated, you might just be forgiven for thinking it is a model of sustainability but… Look a bit closer! You might be surprised…
Pesticides have a dramatic impact on the health of ecosystems, posing real risks to pollinating insects, such as bees. But did you know that your favourite bouquet may be posing a risk to your own well-being? Continue reading A Bouquet of Pesticides – The Dark Side of Flowers
What If You Could Cure Malaria?
The fields of Senegal are at the centre of a controversial battle against deadly malaria. With mosquitoes increasingly resistant to insecticides, and the parasite’s developing resistance to conventional remedies, the humanitarian emergency becomes ever more pressing worldwide. A plant genus could be the answer: Artemisia. But that goes against the wishes of the WHO…
Pushing the Boundaries
The Chernobyl nuclear disaster left behind a highly toxic landscape. Thirty-two years hence, the area around the Ukrainian ghost town of Pripyat largely reverted to forest. Despite the contamination, wildlife gradually took over. Hints of recovery emerged as animal species began to thrive, free from the disruptive influence of human activity. And for the first time, researchers recorded evidence of a young wolf boldly venturing away from the danger zone.
Viewing tiny objects, like cells, under a microscope is a real game of hide-and-seek with the light. It follows that the specimen must be carefully prepared, or ‘mounted’ on a slide. Here we get a little closer to the eukaryotic cell. The building block of life itself… Continue reading Life Under The Microscope
Our environment is permeated by radiation, present around us at all time. We are constantly exposed to radioactivity from natural sources for the most part naturally occurring radioactive nuclei in rocks and cosmic rays – the ‘background’. Without ado, this is my lowdown on radioactivity.
Mercury is rising. And in many more ways than one. As global temperatures go up, the Arctic ice is melting. Sea level rises. Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. But below the permafrost, another threat is lurking.
The World’s only particle accelerator dedicated to analysing artworks is back online at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Continue reading Shedding Light on Art – A Particle Accelerator in Paris
At the heart of central London, opposite St Pancras’ International station, stands the new Francis Crick Institute – a working building with distinctive ultra-modern architecture. Important science is being done here. Life-changing science. Continue reading The Francis Crick Institute – Open For Boundless Scientific Discovery
10 rivers on Earth may be responsible for around 90% of oceanic plastic pollution in the World. Continue reading Ten Rivers on Earth – The Great Plastic Tide
Another Brick in the Whorl of Forensic Science
Fingerprint spectrometry analysis – a technology which can detect the brand of hair gel or condom used by a suspect – could soon be admissible as evidence in UK courts. Continue reading Fingerprint Forensics Delve Deeper Into Spectrometry Analysis
Scientists found early evidence that Ayahuasca, a ceremonial psychedelic brew used by Amazon tribes for centuries, could help treat eating disorders. Continue reading Can Ayahuasca Feed Your Spirit?
Part of the European Union’s report on the non-hazardous nature of glyphosate-based herbicides is actually a “carbon copy” of a report published by American giant Monsanto according to the European press. Continue reading Glyphosate Safety: European Evaluation Report “Carbon-Copy” of Monsanto’s
Within every object on Earth lies concealed a positive or a negative electric charge. From the very structure of the atom to the essential functioning of our brains, the natural power of electricity is all around us, and it is one of the most potent symbols of our Modern World. Making the story of electricity, the story of life itself… Continue reading The Spark of Being – A Not-So-Brief History of Life and Electricity
There are 1.3 billion cubic kilometres of water on Earth. Nevertheless, ready access to clean drinking water remains a major issue for millions of people. A much sought-after innovation was developed by a UK-based team of researchers who created a graphene-based sieve capable of removing salt from seawater. The new technology could aid millions around the World.
The role that plants play in absorbing carbon dioxide is one of the great unknowns of climatology. Now, an industrial-scale experiment in a Staffordshire forest has been designed to help fill gaps in our knowledge about climate change. Continue reading BIFoR FACE In Situ Experiment – Modelling the Response of a Temperate Woodland to Increased Levels of Carbon Dioxide
Synthetic cannabinoids were designed for recreational use. Many used them legally in an attempt to recreate the effects of organic cannabis, or to achieve similar psychoactive effects, until they were banned in May 2016. But they promised more than they delivered. Spice is one of them. Continue reading Spice of Life? The Health Cost of Synthetic Cannabinoids and the Adverse Effects of Full Agonists
Sarin is a deadly compound. Colourless, odourless, and fatal even at low concentrations. A new drug designed to fight against the deadly effects of organophosphorous nerve agents, like sarin, is in sight. Continue reading Compound Interest: An Antidote to Sarin
Agronomic engineers have managed to improve upon one the most important biological process on the planet – photosynthesis. The increased yield in crop could be as much as 15%. Continue reading Feeding of the Nine Billion – The Future of Photosynthesis and Increased Crop Productivity
We live on the ever-changing planetary surface of Earth. Now, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s “Eruptions, Earthquakes, & Emissions” (“E3”) web application reveals a time-lapse animation of the data held on volcanic eruptions and quakes on Earth since 1960. The dynamic Earth at one glance!
Continue reading Fifty Years of Turmoil in One Minute – The Recent Living Respiring Dynamic Earth
It’s cold down there. Icy cold. It’s dark. Pitch black, in fact. And the crushing pressures make the deepest parts of the oceans into some of the most hostile places on our planet. The lowest of the low. The deepest of the deep. Only three human explorers ever made it down there. As a brand new wave of deep-sea exploration begins, we look at the mysterious world where marine scientists will be diving into… Continue reading Sailing the Lower Midnight… – The Uncharted Frontier of Modern Deep-Sea Exploration
It comes at you as a breeze. As a gust. As a gale. Or in the scariest of situations as a hurricane or a tornado with wind speeds of up to 400 kilometres an hour. But what is wind?