Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

The Descent of Giraffe

Posted on August 15th 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on The Descent of Giraffe

The birth of a new life, for most of us, is a wonderful thing. For the newborn, it is the first glimpse of our bright, brave new world. What adventures have we set in store? What beauty will we see? A multitude of possibilities are ahead. For a baby giraffe, however, birth must be an incredibly harrowing time. For more than a year, the little giraffe would have been peacefully gestating, growing to an impressive 1.8 meters tall. On the day of its birth, however, it probably didn’t expect to plummet six whole feet (the length of its mothers legs)…

Read more

Run Lassie – no not over there! Damn you Lassie!

Posted on July 31st 2011 in Blog with 5 comments

Scientists can be utter bastards some of the time. Not content with letting us unwashed masses revel in our ignorance, they systematically poke and prod the world around us, looking for answers to questions best left unanswered. The latest casualty of this scientific tirade – my childhood. Specifically, the destruction of my faith in man’s best friend, embodied in the iconic form of Lassie. For decades, Lassie was a symbol for all that was good in the world: unconditional friendship, teamwork, altruism in the face of danger, She was a canine beacon of light in a cynical, selfish world. Lassie…

Read more

Ladybird Decline

Posted on June 26th 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Ladybird Decline

Seven-spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata) One of the most distinctive and, arguably, the most popular insects in the UK, the ladybird has captured the imaginations of many a young child. However, the future of our bespeckled friend is not as bright as her iconic red coat. Many native species of ladybirds are in decline thanks, in part, due to the action of a rival species – Harmonia axyridis – the Harlequin ladybird. The word harlequin originates in old European folk tales; buffonish comic figures dressed in multicoloured clothes. Unfortunately, there is nothing funny about the eponymous ladybird. Once confined to the…

Read more

Drug smuggling cells evade detection

Posted on June 17th 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Drug smuggling cells evade detection

Us humans are always looking for the easy way out. If we can get someone else to do our dirty work for us, so much the better, which is why drug dealers rely on mules to ship merchandise for them. One of the trickiest things to do in medical science is smuggling drugs or nanoprobes into the body to the specific area they are required. Many of these probes and drugs are considered foreign objects to the body, and as such will be removed by the body’s equivilent of a customs officer – the white blood cells. Many treatments are…

Read more

Beardy wierdy

Posted on June 14th 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Beardy wierdy

Beardedness is not a word I would have ever expected to find in a scientific journal. However, it has sprouted up everywhere in one particular article published in the journal Psychological Reports. Beardedness – the condition of having a beard – apparently serves as a signal fora great number of qualities. From the first downy tufts that appear on awkward, pubescent boys to the magnificent monument of hair that graces Brian Blessed’s glorious face, the beard is one of the definitive markers of manhood. As puberty starts, testosterone levels in the blood spike causing hundred of hair follicles in the…

Read more