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The Fountain of Youth… In a Whale Genome?

Wouldn’t we all like to live longer? In our society, the pursuit of youth and longevity is an obsession – from the constant barrage of anti-aging cosmetics to the recent approval of self-DNA tests for genetic disease risk. Scientists all over the world study the process of aging with hopes of increasing the human lifespan. … More


Damn, spider. Why you so hairy?

They may put Little Miss Muffet off her curds and whey – but a spider’s hairs are crucial to its survival. Many people suffer from arachnophobia, a treatable phobia of spiders. But what is scary about small, harmless animals? For many people, it is the extreme fuzziness of spiders that imbues such fear. Spider fuzz … More


The Eye of Sauron Galaxy reveals a new way to measure cosmic distances

Recently astronomers have been investigating the “Eye of Sauron” galaxy, also known as NGC4151. It’s a big spiral galaxy and these, like most galaxies, tend to have supermassive black holes in the middle. Supermassive black holes are the largest kind of black holes and tend to be as massive as thousands to billions times that … More


Hello Potential GISTer!

There are many different ways to get involved with theGIST: writing, editing, artwork, podcasts, website, administration, videos, etc. Find out More



Nuclear Power: the How, the Pros and the Cons

We are entering into a nuclear renaissance in the West with new nuclear reactors being constructed here and many other places in Europe and America. As such, the debate on nuclear power is going to become a hot topic and a more scientific understanding is essential. This article will provide a series of arguments in … More


Smartphones keeping us awake

Feeling tired? Your smartphone might be to blame. Smartphones have become increasingly popular in recent years and almost two thirds of university students now own a smartphone [1]. However, owning a smartphone may come at a cost for this already sleep deprived population [2]. Various studies have linked the use of computers, television, gaming consoles … More


Green Chemistry: An Elegant Solution to an Avoidable Problem

Let’s save the environment. Pick up that litter; utilise public transport and help reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases; use energy-saving light bulbs; recycle! The above message, whilst an open invitation to everyone (and a very welcome one too), is particularly aimed at those interested or involved in synthetic organic chemistry, whether in an academic … More


Paws for Thought: Panda Pregnancy is a Tricky Business

Why is it so hard to get a panda pregnant? As many of us were saddened to find, Edinburgh Zoo’s own panda Tian Tian was confirmed not pregnant after briefly showing signs early this September. It is thought that the foetus may have been reabsorbed despite being expected to develop to full term, and offers … More


Fungal Killer vs. Bacterial Champion: The Battle for Kermit’s Life

There is a killer out there, and its name is Chytrid… Well, actually it is Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). The spores of this aquatic fungus get under the skin, causing it to ulcerate and slough off abnormally, and it won’t be long before the eyes, muscles and skin start haemorrhaging. Pathogenic bacteria will soon colonise these … More


Differences in Gene Regulation Between Mice and Humans

Mammalians have around 25,000 genes, but only 62% of the human genome is transcribed in one or more cell types . Considering this, it’s possible to understand that the performance of a cell is not only determined by its gene set, but rather by which genes are active, which is highly variable among cells. All … More


Christmas Bloopers

As a special GISTmas treat, the video team have collected their bloopers together. Watch, laugh and remember to subscribe.


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