Nurturing nature

Posted on March 12th 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Nurturing nature

Animal behaviour is a subject that has always fascinated me. At first glance, the actions of animals seems so familiar, obvious to the point of not being noteworthy. They eat when they are hungry, they run when danger is present, and they get down to it when, you know, they want to. What I find really interesting is the debate that so often crops up as to whether these behaviours are instinctual, built into the genetic makeup of the animal, or learnt through experience and upbringing. In other words, is it nature or nurture? I’d like to answer by saying…

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Deep voices and shallow personalities

Posted on March 5th 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Deep voices and shallow personalities

Why is it that Barry White is seen as a quivering mass of concentrated sexiness, yet poor Joe Pasquale is resigned to the shallow end of the genetic swimming pool? Well, new research, published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, has shown that men with deep and manly voices are more likely to be judged as more sexually attractive. The voices of 49 males were digitally altered to create masculine and feminine versions, which were then rated by female volunteers. Much more interestingly, however, the study also found that women viewed those sexy deep voices as more likely to belong to…

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Probing the Depths

Posted on March 3rd 2011 in Features with Comments Off on Probing the Depths

sapce feature image

Ever since man has been able to think of clichés, he has dreamed of heading to the stars.  The staff and students at Imperial College London are no exception, and have been involved in numerous missions to explore our solar system. Here, we take a look at just some of the missions Imperial is involved with. From landing on a comet 750 million kilometers away and investigating the unique  weather system on one of Saturn’s moons, to hunting for the signs of life on other planets, and even why it might be better to keep our feet firmly on the…

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Mean Girls

Posted on February 27th 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Mean Girls

Why are men always viewed as the more competitive? You hear stories about men cutting each other’s throat for the only promotion, fighting each other in a pub car park or trying to outdo one other at the urinals (none of which i will admit to having done). Well, one study at least has come out on the side of equality, showing that females are just as competitive, only doing so in a less overt fashion. In the age old style of psychological studies, participants were asked to play a game where they could win money. Three options were give:…

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Genetic modification of bacteria leads to new vaccine

Posted on February 26th 2011 in News with Comments Off on Genetic modification of bacteria leads to new vaccine

Crying baby being injected

A new type of vaccine for pneumonia based on genetically engineered bacteria has been developed, and may help in the fight against many other infectious diseases. The vaccine, which protects against a virulent form of the bacterium Streptococcus pnuemoniae, works by introducing a modified form of the bacterium that produces less pneumolysin – a toxic protein that damages blood vessels in the lungs and interferes with the immune system. Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine identified the genetic sequence that codes for the pneumolysin protein and, using computer algorithms, created a modified gene which would decrease the amount…

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