Sergeant Major Lassie

Some people say a dog is a man’s best friend. ‘Some people’ doesn’t include Osama Bin Laden. Soon after the US Navy Seals raid on Bin Laden’s hide out, it was revealed a militarily-trained canine was responsible for sniffing out the world’s most-wanted terrorist. Although it’s unlikely the dog was just given tuft of Bin […]

Small change, large difference

Picking up a penny won’t make you an instant millionaire. But what if it was the penny that made up the exact price of a lottery ticket you were going to buy, and that ticket won you the lottery, and hence made you a millionaire? Small and singular changes can result in massive consequences. However, […]

Libel tourism cases stacking up against Peter Wilmshurst

In the newest example of UK libel tourism there has been a twist in Peter Wilmshurst’s legal case with US–based NMT Medical: the company has filed yet another defamation suit against him. The suit was formally served to him two weeks ago (24 March 2011) for an appearance he made on BBC Radio back in 2009 […]

Draft Defamation Bill ‘not going far enough’

The Government’s draft Defamation Bill has received a mixed reception from experts within the science and journalism communities. Published 15 March, it is the first time since 1843 that a wholesale reform to libel laws has been officially proposed. The bill is designed to safeguard free speech and provide greater protection against libel tourism. However, […]

‘Unseen Science’ – Out Today!

Finally, our 17th issue is out on campus. The release of any new publication always brings me an unsettling mixture of excitement, trepidation and relief. However, I’m also quietly confident that you’ll thoroughly enjoy this latest issue of I, Science. The theme of ‘Unseen Science’ has really allowed the team to produce some of their […]

Science Behind the Photo #7

A fish’s eye-view of a poultry pen at Mudchute Farm, London shows these free-range chickens happily frolicking in their surroundings. They can count themselves lucky to be living the high life on a visitor-orientated city farm whilst thousands of chickens are being culled in India this month. This past week has seen the Indian Government […]

Genetically characterising the willingness to listen to music

In the run up to the release of I, Science’s Spring 2011 issue on the 11th March, you must excuse me for my lack of blog posts in the past fortnight. Andrew and I have trawled through the pages of the latest issue. After a final round of checks and corrections, we finally sent it […]

Intelligent, but don’t you just not know it

We all know the type. They moan and moan how poorly the exam went, and come the day of results, they’re jumping for joy with their 1st. At Imperial, I have very rarely come out of an exam and found anybody that was confident enough to state they thought the paper was easy. Annoyingly, it […]

Gutted to be green

Ol’ Daisy the cow doesn’t know it, but she might just be responsible for saving the world. OK, not quite, but she does have a part to play in at least mitigating an ever-growing global energy crisis. Researchers have identified microbial genes that reside within a cow’s rumen that could potentially break down cellulose, the […]

Are zoos happy places?

During my last visit to a zoo, I never really felt at ease. Beyond the collective gasps of awe and screams of excitement, an underlying sense of moral wrong constantly lingered as I went from cage to cage, enclosure to enclosure. As a biologist, sometimes I feel obliged to be enraptured by the first-hand experience […]