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Science

The flat Earth debate and the status of opinions in science

If you asked the average person on the street what shape the Earth is, they would tell you that it’s a sphere. A pedant might describe it as an ‘oblate spheroid’, and an astrophysicist may go for ‘round’, but the principle is the same: our planet is roughly spherical. That is what is known in […]

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Science Science

Gravitational waves usher in a new era for astronomy

Gravitational waves are direct testimony to disruptions in spacetime itself”, reads the press release for this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics, from only three weeks ago. “A wealth of discoveries awaits those who succeed in capturing the waves and interpreting their message.” This optimistic message is a hopeful prediction of the exciting physics of the […]

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Science Science

Alexander Fleming: the founding father of antibiotics

Alexander Fleming is one of Scotland’s best-known and most influential scientists. Most famous for his discovery of penicillin, he also made many other medical advances in the fields of chemotherapy, immunology, and bacteriology. Fleming grew up on a farm in Ayrshire with his seven siblings. At the age of 14, he moved to London to […]

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Environment Science

Bees can be trained to play football, despite their tiny brains

People who say that footballers aren’t intelligent have just been provided with a winning argument: a new study has shown that bees can be taught to play football. The experiments, carried out by Clint Perry and Olli Loukola of Queen Mary University of London, showed that bees can be trained to roll a ball into […]

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Environment Science

Frog tongues’ sticky properties

When mechanical engineering PhD student Alexis Noel and her supervisor David Hu watched a viral YouTube video of a frog playing the smartphone game ‘Ant Smasher’, Noel was struck with inspiration for a research project. Combining her love of the amphibians with the study of biomechanics in Hu’s lab, she turned her attention to the […]

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Science Technology

Adoptly – the Tinder for adoption

With the ubiquity of swiping-based apps such as Tinder, it is not surprising that companies providing other services and even products would want to capitalise on swiping mentality: there are now apps that connect users to job vacancies, clothes, and even nearby dogs. Not all services are suited to this type of user interface, however: […]

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Science Science

First fossilised dinosaur brain has been discovered in the UK

When Jamie Hiscocks, an amateur fossil collector, picked up a brown pebble with unusual markings on a beach near Bexhill, Sussex in 2004, he could not have known the impact his discovery was about to have on the palaeontological community. A study published in October revealed this to be the first example of a fossilised […]

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Science Science

Is there systemic sexism in science and healthcare?

Image: kazuend Fourteen years after the insomnia drug Ambien was released to the public, the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) required that the recommended dosage prescribed to women should be halved, following the discovery that women metabolise the drug more slowly than men. As a result, women would wake up feeling drowsy, with […]