You look like you need a nap, Grandma!

Do you often feel sleepy by 10 in the morning? Are you reading this right now and stifling a yawn, even though this is only the second sentence? Well, I’m afraid it’s only about to get worse. Research at the University of Glasgow has been investigating, using animal models, how our sleep changes as we … More


Part 3: The Self-Regulation of the Bitcoin Network

This article is part of a GIST series on Bitcoin. In part 1, we described the mathematics that underpins digital currencies like Bitcoin, as well as the security of the web itself. In part 2, we went into more detail as to how Bitcoin itself works. In this part, we will discuss further solutions to … More


Science Fiction

Science fiction is all about using cinema, TV, books and comics to make the seemingly impossible possible. It may seem ridiculous to believe that in the near future you will be able to enter people’s dreams to steal their secrets or see a fully functional time machine made out of a DeLorean. In fact, the … More


Going Viral

The debate is still hot on whether viruses are alive or not. Like acrobats on a wire, these tiny entities walk the line between living and nonliving – although they are unable to metabolise, they still do an impressive job reproducing and infecting organisms. And they don’t just stop there. Sometimes, out of nowhere, viruses … More


Erdős Best Served Coded

Gigabytes of interesting, insightful data has been released for public viewing. The file contains never-before-seen information, revealing new knowledge to the world. For the first time in a long time, an introduction like this is not a news story about spying governments and Edward Snowden. There’s been a discovery in the world of mathematics, and … More


Hooray for Crystallography

In celebration of the International Year of Crystallography, Debbie Nicol writes about the importance of crystallography and how the technique has helped to shape science.   Recently, I read of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s opening ceremony for the International Year of Crystallography in Chemistry World, the Royal Society of Chemistry’s magazine … More


Part 2: The Crafty Design of Bitcoin

This article is part of a GIST series on Bitcoin. In part 1 , we described the mathematics that underpins digital currencies like Bitcoin, as well as the security of the web itself. In this part we will begin to uncover the intricacies of how protocols like Bitcoin work. In particular, it is very important … More


The Planet in Our Hands with Sir Mark Walport

The Glasgow Science Centre (GSC) is an enchanting venue, especially when wine and canapés are being served. Although they were a great starting point, the food and drink were not the main event at the GSC on the evening of the 14th March; Professor Sir Mark Walport was. Walport is the UK’s chief scientific advisor … More


Wellcome Image Awards 2014

Last Tuesday night theGIST was out on duty again, attending the 13th Wellcome Image Awards ceremony. Wellcome Images is an impressive collection of images from various scientific fields, such as medicine and social history, and is a part of the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable organisation which aims to improve human and animal welfare. Every … More


The Psychology of Happiness

Psychology has traditionally been concerned primarily with suffering; over the past century psychologists have made great strides in the assessment and treatment of mental illness, but comparatively little research has explored positive human experiences. In recent years however, significant progress has been made in understanding the good life, and we now have a number of … More


An Evening with Richard Wiseman

The Admiral Bar was packed almost to bursting point as many people gathered to listen to one of the most well-known psychologists out there – Richard Wiseman. Richard went through his talk in an autobiographical way, detailing the many different and exciting things he has been involved in throughout his career. The audience were treated … More


Bitcoin: A Comprehensive Introduction

In the first part of a new four-part series on Bitcoin Sean Leavey explains the basics of the much-talked-about crypto-currency:
Bitcoin has recently been creating a storm not only in communities across the web but also in legislative bodies across the world. This crypto-currency is a quasi-anonymous distributed electronic monetary system that ignores national borders, banks and economic doctrines. With those buzzwords well and truly outed, it’s time to understand how it all works. More