Lucky dip

EUSci now has a fairly extensive archive of fascinating articles- use this page to show you a random selection.

New compound blocks parasite which affects millions


A breakthrough by Edinburgh scientists may spell the end for a disease-causing tropical parasite which infects millions of people every year. Read more »

Ancient Antarctic fjords further understanding of ice sheet

Polar scientists reveal ancient fjords lying up to 4km under the Antarctic ice, which can help us understand the way the polar ice-sheet was formed. An international team of scientists, led by Prof Martin Siegert from the University of Edinburgh, have been mapping an area the size of France using a sophisticated airborne ice-penetrating radar. Read more »

Humans: the Ultimate Litterbugs

The human race is by far the most wasteful population on the planet. Chucking something away is a part of everyday life. If it reaches a bin then often we place ourselves on the moral high-ground; we are not litterbugs.  But the fact is that our global consumer society produces more waste than we have any idea what to do with. Our ‘superior’ social structure; the way we have developed technology in order to deal with living in environments which are not really suitable for human habitation, has resulted in a vast excess of waste. For example, Abu-Dhabi is a city in a desert, thus requiring more air conditioning than imaginable. In LA, there is no water to support the city, so it’s brought in from all over, mainly for celebrities to water their vast lawns, since of course they don’t actually drink anything but bottled spring water. These are examples of human excess, which essentially leads to our uncontrollable waste situation. Read more »

Science Funding Meets Global Austerity

In issues 8 and 9, Jess Smith and Akshat Rathi explored how the new UK coalition government might balance funding science, engineering, and technology (SET) in the face of growing deficits and the global uncertainty of 2010. Science and Universities Minister David Willetts appeared to support ‘blue skies’ research while Business, Innovation, and Skills Secretary Vince Cable warned universities to develop viable ways to commercialize research discoveries or prepare for a 25% across-the-board cut. Concerned researchers from all disciplines mobilized in the ‘Science is Vital’ campaign and their message was heard. Science funding was frozen at then current levels over four years (a 10% cut afterinflation). Two years later, have these cuts happened and is the US doing any better? Read more »

Criminal minds: helping the people nobody will help

Q. Did you always want to be a forensic psychiatrist?

Before I did medicine, I did a degree in human sciences, which is really just about human behaviour in general. I was interested in the way people behave: how people behave in society and deviance from society. Forensic psychiatry is just the area of psychiatry that relates to legal issues, and crime and offending, so it’s not a great leap.

Q. What encouraged you to specialize after that?

I wanted to do a PhD, but I found the lab quite removed. At the time, I was working with a lot of doctors who were doing clinical research and going onto wards, and I thought that seemed a lot more interesting. It's nice to have patient interaction. I've had some very interesting and unusual cases, but unfortunately I can't tell you about them - because of confidentiality.

Q. So you can’t talk about cases? Read more »