Halloween Science: Glow-in-the-Dark Ghouls

Are you afraid of the dark? If you venture outside on Halloween night you’re bound to run into all sorts of ghouls and skeletons glowing out of the darkness. Thankfully, as you get closer, you’ll be able to see that these creepy spirits are just kids (or inebriated adults) dressed up for their annual trick-or-treating. […]

EU Leaders Agree on Landmark Emissions Cuts

After heated discussions at the Brussels summit last week, EU leaders have reached a landmark decision to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 % by 2030. An agreement has also been reached that the use of renewable energy should be boosted to 27 % within the total energy mix and that energy efficiency must be increased […]

A Cloudy Start to Life

A recent press release from the School of Physics and Astronomy here in St Andrews has revealed that clouds in the atmospheres of alien worlds could be seeding the precursors of new life. The research, soon to be published in the International Journal of Astrobiology, was carried out by Dr Craig Stark and colleagues who have been […]

2 Months To Go

It dawned on me a few days ago that I have just 2 months left in Shanghai and I’m really not ready to leave! Summer has arrived and while it is very humid it’s not yet unbearable so the weather is perfect for meals/drinks outdoors and I’m actually starting to get a bit of a […]

Lost in Translation

There are some aspects of life in China that even after half a year here I still find extremely odd. A lot of quirks in the culture that just don’t really translate into something we would have back home. One thing I’ve gotten used to but still occasionally throws me when I see extreme examples […]

Winter Break

Apologies for the long delay since my last post! I’ve been pretty busy travelling for the last couple of months but I’m now safely back in Shanghai, starting up my experiments again and am incredibly happy to be here. The city feels much more like home now that I’ve been away and come back and […]

Star Trek’s “tractor beam” becomes a reality!

The idea of a “tractor beam”, a beam of light used to attract objects to its source, has been a staple in many science fiction movies and TV shows ever since it was first mentioned back in 1928 in E. E. Smith’s story “Skylark of Space”. It has been made the most famous, though, by […]

Countdown to Christmas

Two weeks ’til Christmas, which means just one week until I fly back to the UK to spend a month seeing family and friends and gorging myself on as much British food and fresh air as I can get. It’s been tricky to get into the Christmas spirit here as China is a mostly non-Christian […]

East meets West

Shanghai is the biggest and most international city in China, and with a population which has increased from 15 million to over 23 million in just the past ten years it has naturally attracted a lot of interest from foreign investors. A lot of this investment comes from wealthy banks or private businesses which you […]

Lab Life in Shanghai

It has to be said, there are some significant differences between the labs here in Fudan and the ones you find back in the School of Chemistry, Purdie Building, in St Andrews. I mean, sure, the general equipment is much the same: centrifuges, fume hoods, furnaces etc., they all work exactly as you’d expect and, […]

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