Lucky dip

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

Stars: The origin of all chemistry

It’s a chicken and egg situation: without stars there would be no chemistry, and without chemistry there would be no stars. A few minutes after the big bang all matter in the universe was made from the simplest element, hydrogen. So how did all the exotic elements and complex molecules we know as chemistry come about? As time went on, some of the hydrogen atoms clumped together and eventually grew into the first stars. These stars then became the element ‘factories’ that fed the growing universe.  Read more »

Early death risk for children born to obese mothers

Research conducted at the University of Edinburgh has revealed that children born to obese mothers are more likely to die early as adults than those born to mothers of a normal weight.  Read more »

Could Britain Have Its Own Fukushima?

On March 11th 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake resulted in a 15-metre tall tsunami that hit the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan. After the floodwaters receded, the station suffered a series of fires and hydrogen-fuelled explosions. Backup power generators failed, cutting power from essential safety systems. Pools storing spent fuel rods overheated and caused at least some of the rods to melt. Neighbourhoods up to 20 kilometres away were eventually evacuated and an improvised but determined response to the emergency began. The amount of radioactive pollution released into the environment is still uncertain, but the subsequent media thunderstorm reignited the debate over nuclear power and its safety. Nuclear opponents are surer than ever of their position and Germany has abandoned nuclear power altogether. What will the outcome be in the UK? Read more »

Dr Hypothesis (Issue 7)

Dear Dr. Hypothesis,

I have heard that women who live together tend to menstruate together. I am a girl, and back when I used to live with four other girls I noticed this synchrony effect. Now, I live with just one female flatmate. We both menstruate regularly, but never at the same time. Could it be that a critical number of women must be present in order for the synchrony to start? 

Out of Sync

Dear Sister Sync,

The idea that women who spend a lot of time together will menstruate together has carved out a firm place in the annals of dormitory lore, thanks to decades of anecdotal reports from cohabitating women (and their male observers). Still, believe it or not, after almost 40 years scientists have yet to agree on whether the phenomenon constitutes myth or reality. Read more »

Currently in Transit

I remember my first viewing of a Venus transit vividly. It was during a physics lesson and I was thirteen years old. Our physics teacher led us out onto the school field, where he had set up a telescope that projected an image of the Sun onto a white piece of paper. It was a clear morning, perfect for viewing a transit. In small groups, we gathered around the telescope to see a small black circle move very slowly across the lower portion of the Sun’s face. No living person at the time had seen Venus pass in front of the Sun before, as the last transit was in 1882. Somehow, I felt quite lucky to be alive to witness such an event. I was fascinated by the little black circle of Venus, and even more so when my physics teacher told us that we might be lucky enough to see it once more in our lifetimes. Read more »