The first time I saw a video of a slime mould I was completely captivated. Dictyostelium discoidium is not slimy or a mould, but an amoeba with an amazing ability. When food is plentiful they reproduce simply by Continue reading
Today’s guest post is the first of a new series of podcasts from The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion called Meet the Speaker. In this recording (transcript below) Eleanor Puttock interviews Ruth Bancewicz, asking about the cultural influences that have affected her career in science and religion. Continue reading
There are many amazing complex systems in our bodies, but the immune system beats them all, recognising foreign invaders like bacteria, viruses and parasites and fighting them off.
How do our bodies manage to recognise virtually any kind of foreign invader that we might meet anywhere in the world? Continue reading
Genesis was a very subversive text in its time, and in today’s context we often fail to understand its full significance. This was the message of a lecture by the biblical scholar Ernest Lucas at the Faraday Institute earlier this month. This is the last in a series of three from the Faraday summer course. If you want to find out more, the videos and audio of most of the lectures will be appearing on the Faraday website over the coming weeks*. Continue reading
Being chosen to pick the name for a major piece of space exploration must be one of the coolest things that could ever happen to a kid. This is what happened to Continue reading
As someone with largely European ancestry, 1-4% of my DNA is likely to have come from Neanderthals. My mother had red hair, my whole family have white skin, and we are relatively well adapted to the cold. These characteristics could all be faint traces of our Neanderthal ancestry. My friends from the Far East will probably also share a little of their DNA with another race of hominins* called Denisovans, and Africans with yet other ancient hominins.
Why do I find this new information about our ancestry so fascinating? Continue reading