Biological control of pests The continuous and reckless use of synthetic chemicals for the control of pests which pose a threat to agricultural crops and human health is proving to be counter-productive. Apart from engendering widespread ecological disorders, pesticides have contributed to the emergence of a new breed of chemical-resistant, highly lethal superbugs. According to … more →

Land of the rising sum A Japan has a significantly better record in terms of average mathematical attainment than England and Wales. Large sample international comparisons of pupils’ attainments since the 1960s have established that not only did Japanese pupils at age 13 have better scores of average attainment, but there was also a larger … more →

Attitude of Language It is not easy to be systematic and objective about language study. Popular linguistic debate regularly deteriorates into invective and polemic. Language belongs to everyone, so most people feel they have a right to hold an opinion about it And when opinions differ, emotions can run high. Arguments can start as easily … more →

Venus in transit June 2004 saw the first passage., known as a ‘transit` of the planet Venus across the face of the Sun in  122 years. Transits have helped shape our view of the whole Universe, as Heather Cooper and Nigel Henbest explain  A On 8 June 2004, more than half the population of the … more →

The history of Tortoise If you go back far enough, everything lived in the sea. At various points in evolutionary history, enterprising individuals within many different animal groups moved out onto the land, sometimes even to the most parched deserts, taking their own private seawater with them in blood and cellular fluids. In addition to … more →

A Neuroscientist reveals – How to think differently In the last decade a revolution has occurred in the way that scientists think about the brain. We now know that the decisions humans make can be traced to the firing patterns of neurons in specific parts of the brain. These discoveries have led to the field … more →

Giving the brain a workout Mental agility does not have to decline with age, as long as you keep exercising your mind, says Anna van Praagh A Use your brain and it will grow – it really will. This is the message from neuro psychologist Ian Robertson, professor of psychology at Trinity College, Dublin and … more →

William Henry Perkin The man who invented synthetic dyes William Henry Perkin was born on March 12, 1838, in London, England. As a boy, Perkin’s curiosity prompted early interests in the arts. sciences. photography, and engineering. But it was a chance stumbling upon a run-down. yet functional, laboratory in his late grandfathers home that solidified … more →

A revolution in knowledge sharing The pressure to transform our institutions of learning continues. Virtually every enterprise and institution is grappling with the disruptions and opportunities caused by Web-enabled infrastructures and practices. New best practices, business models, innovations, and strategies are emerging, including new ways to acquire, assimilate, and share knowledge. Using technologies that are … more →

Wind power in the US Prompted by the oil crises of the 1970s, a wind-power industry flourished briefly in the United States. But then world oil prices dropped, and funding for research into renewable energy was cut. By the mid 1980s US interest in wind energy as a large-scale source of energy had almost disappeared. … more →