Light pollution and the fight for darker skies

When was the last time you saw a starry sky? Last night? A week ago? If you live in a big city, odds are it wasn’t recently. A few hundred years ago, before the industrial revolution and the plague of light pollution, things were different. Anyone could look up at the sky at night and […]

Bone tissue generation: A truly marrowing Summer

This Summer, I was lucky enough to be asked to be part of a research team at Glasgow University, looking into an alternative and less invasive source of bone grafts. As is well known, spinal injuries and conditions related to aging are becoming a huge problem in today’s society, with the steep rise of life expectancy […]

Unravelling the ‘Jaws’ myth

Scientists have long had a (debatedly) unhealthy fascination for potentially dangerous wild animals. A curiosity for anything with sharp teeth, claws, fangs, tusks, and an instinct for survival so strong they could easily shred you to pieces. Call it the thrill of danger , or the strange excitement stemming from being upclose with some of the world’s most lethal predators. […]

The World Wildlife Conference (CITES CoP17) – what happened and what does it mean for endangered wildlife?

The 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17) involving 182 states from around the world has just finished in Johannesburg, South Africa. After starting 2 weeks ago, this was a pivotal meeting to discuss changes to the CITES convention that regulates the trade in animals and plants across the world. CITES […]

The weird and wonderful world of black holes

I recently watched Interstellar for the second time – I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but in my opinion it is possibly the best sci-fi film ever (or at least number two after 2001 space odyssey). It follows the epic journey of a group of scientists and explorers who travel through a space anomaly […]

Heaven’s Above! Handover interview

Heavens Above! is the astronomy section of the Sci@StAnd site. This month, we see the handover of this section from the current author John Weaver to the new author, Kate Gould. So Kate, tell me a bit about yourself: Well first off, I’m a first year here at St Andrews and like a lot of […]

2050 – the year plastic will outnumber fish

Warning: this article contains photos of animals which readers may find unsettling. Yes you read that right, according to research by the World Economic Forum, by 2050 you are more likely to bump into some plastic than a fish whilst taking a dip in the big blue [1]. Plastics are one of the most versatile […]

March 2016 – The James Webb Space Telescope: Our New Eyes in the Sky

Heavens Above! is the astronomy section of the Sci@StAnd website, updated each month to highlight a particular phenomenon in the night sky. Last month, we examined the origin of our nearest cosmic neighbour, the Moon. In this issue, we will discuss the formal successor to Hubble, the James Webb Space Telescope. 2018 will mark the […]

Illegal loggers stopped in their tracks

Imagine you’re in a rainforest… what would you hear? Pessimists would say the chuckles of poachers and illegal loggers with the depressing roar of a chainsaw. But really think, is that what you would hear? In reality, there’s the chittering of insects, cawing of rhinoceros hornbill, chirping of cicadas and howling of gibbons which summate […]

February 2016 – The History of Our Moon

Heavens Above! is the astronomy section of the Sci@StAnd website, updated each month to highlight a particular phenomenon in the night sky. Last month, we examined the lives of violent galaxies. In this issue, we will discover the origin of our nearest cosmic neighbour, the Moon. Everyone is familiar with the Moon. Its colours and […]

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