Yule blog: ancient ice skating

A helping of seasonal science in which Oxford's Federico Formenti tells me about research into the origins of ice skating:

Ask OxSciBlog: under pressure

As part of our 'Any questions?' campaign a question sent in by Silvan Griffith is answered by Claire Vallance from Oxford's Department of Chemistry.


Accelerate! entertains with physics

This week sees the launch of Accelerate! a programme of interactive physics show for Oxford schools.

The aim is to bring the excitement of particle and accelerator physics to ages 11 and up: the fun kicks off with a launch event this Friday.

Did you miss? Meters, docs & binocs

Highlights from OU science in the news this week:

Could your electricity meter save £££s and the planet?

That's the hope behind the smart meter technology being developed by Oxford spinout Intelligent Sustainable Energy, as Martin Arnold reports in the FT.

Interview: Fred Taylor talks Venus & clouds

One of the mysteries of Venus is the strange patches in the clouds that show up in ultraviolet light.

Sins of the mothers

Whether you turn out to be a good or bad mother is partly down to how you were treated by your own mother: at least if you are a rat.

Red spiral galaxies: a gentle decline

Some galaxies, like some humans, can enter a period of graceful decline rather than suffer violent transformation, according to two new studies.

Roads 'imprison' forest elephants

Road-building in Africa's Congo basin could spell catastrophe for the forest elephant.

New research by WCS and Save the Elephants published today in PLoS One shows that encroaching roads create a 'siege mentality' in forest elephants as they avoid roads, associating them with the threat of poaching.

Sterile or virile? How about both...

Is it better to sterilise males with a dose of radiation or by inserting a gene?

That's part of the thrust of an article by Clive Cookson in the FT on the work of Oxford spinout Oxitec.