Defusing the neurology time bomb- A new gene therapy for Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) – familiar to many because of the philanthropic efforts of the Michael J Fox Foundation – is a pernicious neurological disease that affects 1% of people over 60 . The financial burden on the NHS is estimated to be between £449 million and a staggering £3.3 billion per year , yet the … More

Tasty Science- Mystery Menu Dinner Party

The dinner took place in the basement of the Stravaigin restaurant, which is known for its innovative and high quality menu. Inspiration for the dinner came from the observation that nowadays, in times of genetically modified and highly processed food, we often don’t know what our food contains. One of the most significant incidents was … More

Engaging Undergraduates in Research

  As it slowly sinks in that third year has now been and gone, I overhear more and more of my fellow undergraduate chemists pondering aloud just what exactly it is that you do after leaving university with a chemistry degree. ‘Research’ or ‘work in a lab’ seem to be the most common answers to … More

Avert Your Eyes, Not Your Heart

If the shimmering black guitar in the corner of the stage wasn’t a sign that this was no ordinary scientific debate, the talking blobfish made it abundantly clear. Being a mere mortal, the sight of a four-feet-tall blobfish with its sad clown-like face (if the clown had melted), dribbling what can only be described as … More

What makes us human?

What distinguishes us from the chimpanzee, our closest relative with whom we share 99% of our DNA? Is it possible to define uniquely human features? Dr Amanda Lucas and Dr Lewis Dean gave a very good insight into answering those questions at the Glasgow Science Festival. There are huge technological and social differences between humans … More

Hunting for Answers – When Art and Science Combine

On the 7th and 8th of June, the Hunting for Answers exhibition returned to the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences as part of Glasgow Science Festival’s Strathclyde Science Special after a previous opening as part of Engage Week at the University. The project was set up by Dr Maria Sanchez of the Chamberlain … More

Zombie Science – A pint with the living dead

This year’s Glasgow Science Festival opened with a hilarious blend of comedy and science, centered on zombies, one of the most prevalent fictional demographics of today’s media. Writer, comedian and theoretical zombiologist Dr. Austin is by now renowned for his unique style of communicating science to his unsuspecting audience. As head of the Zombie Institute … More

Catastrophic security flaw ‘Heartbleed’ affects 60% of the World Wide Web’s servers

A bug present for two years in a significant fraction of the web’s servers has potentially exposed sensitive information to everyone and anyone. On April 8th 2014, news started to spread that a critical security flaw had been discovered in software used to secure our connections with online banking, shopping websites, credit card transactions and … More

The History of the Metric System: from the French Revolution to the SI

One of the great under-appreciated stories of our growth in knowledge as a species is that of our development, in modern history, of a standardised mathematical language of measurement: the International System of Units, also known as the SI. Since at least the days of the 19th Century engineer Joseph Whitworth, who introduced some of … More

BICEP Curls: What the recent results mean for inflation, gravitational waves and multiple universes

A few weeks ago, on March 17th 2014, a press conference was called at Harvard University . Rumours flourished briefly, and then an announcement was made to great excitement. The BICEP2 experiment had detected B-mode polarisation in the cosmic microwave background . In response, a very small number of scientists working in a few very … More

theGIST Reports: Travels in Lands that Don’t Exist, a Presentation by Professor Iain Stewart

The cliché response to any mention of geology in everyday conversation is, “Rocks and stuff right? Boring!” Unfortunately and unjustly, this is the prejudice and barrier that Professor Iain Stewart must combat constantly as a presenter and academic of geology. Everyone including academics will recognize Prof. Stewart as “that telly presenter,” which even he, himself, … More

Down-sizing to upgrade: How nanomedicine might, eventually, revolutionise cancer treatment

Nanocarriers, often referred to as ‘nanoballoons’ or ‘nanobubbles’, have long been considered the next big thing in cancer treatment. Yet they haven’t delivered the revolutionising results scientists and doctors have hoped for – perhaps until now. A number of recent studies show exciting new insights about how nanocarriers can be used to selectively carry and … More