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A2 Chemistry - making use of DNA

Based on what you have read in class and the blog entry on predictive genomics below (click for direct link), comment on the following statements.1) The DNA profiles of all UK citizens should be taken at birth and stored in a government database.2) Assuming the technology to rapidly sequence an individual's DNA is available, medical insurance companies...

Smart Revising

Here's something that I have shared with my A-level students recently. I can't claim complete credit for it, since I first saw a student do this sort of thing really properly a couple of years back, but it got me thinking about playing the exam game. Unfortunately, to get top marks in an A-level subject like Chemistry, it takes more than just being...

A2 Chemistry - making use of DNA

Based on what you have read in class and the blog entry on predictive genomics below (click for direct link), comment on the following statements and vote in a poll by clicking this link and entering the code that represents your opinion (submit entries for each statement separately).1) The DNA profiles of all UK citizens should be taken at birth and...

Not the breast tweet

If you have been following DrK_SCInews, you may have noticed that I have received some pretty vociferous feedback over the following tweet:‘Staring at breasts for just a few min/day can improve a man's health + add up to 5 years to his life. Source: Closer magazine (v.reliable!)’I tweeted this claim (from my wife’s magazine) because I found the notion...

Curiosity and immortality

I have just been looking on the website of a Discovery Science show beginning in August, called Curiosity. The show promises to 'ask and answers the most fundamental questions facing the world today ... [looking at] enduring questions in science, technology, and society'. One such issue is that of immortality - living forever. A blog post on the website...

Scandium - the vindication of Mendeleev's table

Nice piece from @GrrlScientist in the Guardian today (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/punctuated-equilibrium/2011/jul/15/1?CMP=twt_fd), on one of the lesser-known elements, Scandium. She links to the @PeriodicVideos video on the element, where Martyn Poliakoff (who's worth watching for his hair, if nothing else) explains how Mendeleev predicted that...

Predictive genomics - still early days

Watching the excellent Science on Science show on Discovery Science reminded me of a university essay that I wrote 7 years ago (PDF). The subject was predictive genomics: scanning a person's genome to determine the likelihood that they'll develop this or that disease. Very simply, you give, say, a saliva sample, and then your DNA is screened for certain...

Youngest ever dinosuar fossil doesn't prove the asteroid theory.

As covered at GCSE, there are several theories put forward to explain the extinction of the dinosaurs. The most widely accepted theory is that an asteroid crashing into the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico around 65 million years ago was responsible (the impact may have thrown dust up into the atmosphere resulting in a nuclear winter, for example). However,...

Freerice - A morally virtuous Sporcle?

One of the slightly more odd postings from the Royal Society of Chemistry this week is a mention for Free Rice, an initiative sponsored by the World Food Programme. It has a very simple concept: you answer multiple choice questions on a variety of topics and for each correct answer, they donate 10 grains of rice to 'hungry people'. Who exactly these...

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