KS4 (14-16)

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

Vampire biology

credit:Pasukaru76

Get ready for vampire mania as the new movie in the Twilight Saga – Eclipse, is premiering tonight in the USA.  It hits screens in the UK on July 9th so now is a perfect time to teach a little vampire biology.

The PowerPoint I have designed for this occasion contains two starters – one for KS3 and one for KS4/5. More

Festival science

Credit: Logan1138

With Glastonbury commencing on Wednesday, the festival season is well and truly underway.  In this post I will attempt to use the famous music festival as a way of connecting exothermic reactions to Ozzy Osbourne (not literally).

Music festivals generally involve camping and camping involves heating food over naked flames next to a highly flammable nylon tent.  More

Exciting new biotechnology

In order to keep science interesting and relevant to students it always good to show them the latest breakthroughs in science and in this post I’ve got a couple of examples related to cells, tissues and organs that would be suitable for KS4 and KS5 biology students. More

The crazy world of future electricity generation

Image: Joby Energy

With all of the publicity surrounding the BP leak, crude oil is earning a very bad reputation indeed.  Hopefully some good will come out of the tragedy by persuading governments to look more seriously at using renewable sources of energy. More

What is the connection between custard and football?

Not the two things with the most obvious of connections I agree, but bear with me.

Spare a thought if you will for all of those body parts that are going to get bashed, smashed and generally knocked around for the next few weeks.  I am of course, referring to the hands, shins and other, more delicate parts of the world’s top footballers as they endure the many matches during the World Cup that starts this Friday. More

Cannabis medicine gets the go-ahead

Cannabis.  It seems that this drug above all others causes the most debate and controversy, especially over whether or not it should be legalised in the UK.  One of the arguments for legalisation is the fact that the active chemicals in the drug (cannabinoids) have been proven to have medicinal properties. More

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