Plastic fantastic?

Credit: Recycled island

The story:

Netherlands-based firm WHIM Architecture has announced plans to take all of the plastic waste currently floating around in the Pacific Ocean and turn it into an island the size of Hawaii. More

What’s the beef? Is cloning cows cruel?

The 7,000 people who signed a petition against cloning certainly think so.  This was delivered to 10 Downing Street on Friday by 35 activists from Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) and was in response to the recent news that cloned cows have entered the British food system. More

Most massive (not biggest) star discovered

The story:

Astronomers discovered a huge star in a nearby galaxy last week.  R136a1, part of the Large Magellanic Cloud, is estimated to have a mass 265 times more than the sun and to shine around a million times more brightly. More

Big news on (very) small things

Crystal structure of MOF-200 (Credit: UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry)

Many of the current science GCSE specifications require students to study nanotechnology so here are three exciting new applications to make this new area of science topical and interesting. More

Would you make a good goalie?

The World Cup is finally over and to celebrate – one last football-related teaching idea:  What does it take to be a great goalie?

Nerves of steel, lightning-fast reactions times and perfect hand-eye coordination are top of my list. So the World’s top goalkeepers must have a great nervous system. More

Big beaks help cool birds down

Image: Jon Hanson

The story:

Two scientists have collaborated in a study that suggests that the size of a bird’s beak is linked to the temperature of its natural environment.

We already know that a bird’s beak is adapted for the food it eats and sometimes to attract a mate, but now it looks like it is also a good way of regulating temperature.  More

Can our genes tell us our death date?

Another genetics story hit the headline this week.

A few weeks ago I reported that scientists were sequencing Ozzy Osborne’s genome to find out how the hell-raiser has managed to survive so long, now we hear that scientists have discovered a way of carrying out a genetic test to find out if you will make it past 100. More

Fast and furious geology

The Afar region

I visited the Festival of Science and Arts at London’s Southbank last Friday.  Part of the event is the Royal Society’s annual summer science exhibition, which gives visitors the opportunity to meet some of the scientists who are leading the country in cutting-edge research.  It is well worth a visit, and you have until this Sunday to take a look yourself. More

Is a lack of pressure to blame for World Cup exits?

Image: Shine 2010-2010 world cup good news

For those of you who are football fans, many of the results from the group stages of the World Cup such as past winners Italy and France exiting from the competition at this early stage will have come as a surprise.  Other countries (including England) have not lived up to the promise of the qualifying matches.  For those of you who couldn’t care less – maybe you could be persuaded to ponder if the reason is scientific. More

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