The Scotsman Science Pages

The Scotsman Science Pages

Scotland’s DNA: In search of our roots

Author and historian Alistair Moffat is leading a groundbreaking plan to test the DNA of thousands of Scots. The project, never attempted before, is launched today in The Scotsman as part of a series on the origins of our nation

Weighing up the damage against the green benefits

DESPITE its relatively small land mass, Scotland plays an important role in the UK in storing carbon on our land. We host 55 per cent of the UK's terrestrial carbon store.

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Unravelling tangled web to see how it has shaped society

ONE of the things, some sages say, that distinguishes the current economic maelstrom from its predecessors, is the presence of the internet.

Smart electricity grids crucial to meeting carbon targets

THE UK has gone well beyond other countries with its greenhouse gas targets, having committed to a carbon emissions reduction of 34 per cent against 1990 levels by 2020.

Branching out to create a real future rooted in sustainability

ON THE day of the festival, at 4am I set off down the dusty track in the jeep.

Helpers sought as park's wildlife count aims to top 1,000 species

A THOUSAND species, 650 acres, 24 hours and one giant challenge – to survey the flora and fauna in Holyrood Park.

Energetic shift on Charles Darwin's standard theory

ABOUT 32,000 years ago in the south of France, humans decorated the walls of the Chauvet cave with elaborate scenes of animals. These paintings are among the first evidence we have that ancient humans observed and recorded the world around them.

A new source of power on which the Sun will never set

THE Sun, created 4.6 billion years ago by the Big Bang, is Earth's essential life-giving energy source. Plants require solar energy for photosynthesis, and this chemical reaction produces the oxygen necessary for animal respiration.

How the animal kingdom can inspire us to live for longer

SCIENTISTS at three Scottish universities are leading a research effort aimed at understanding how and why some kinds of animals have the capacity to live so much longer than others.

Food for thought in Susan Rudie's backgreen garden

THIS summer, Susan Rudie is happily tending vegetables in an east Edinburgh garden called Strawberry Field.

Agricultural college gives honorary fellowship to head of RSPB Scotland

THE director of RSPB Scotland has been awarded an honorary fellowship at the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) in recognition of his work promoting farming and conservation.

Charles Henderson: We must fight climate change – by burning more wood

ONCE, in an African country explored by a prominent Scot, there was a family living in a simple brick house. Papa sometimes went up the hill for days at a time to chop down trees. His bundles of wood were left to smoulder under blankets of earth. The charcoal was bound into cubes, and taken into the city to provide people with fuel to cook.

Philippa Montgomerie: Scotland can still be a world leader in stem cell research

IN MARCH, President Barack Obama lifted the restriction on federal funds being used for embryonic stem cell research, and in April the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US governmental agency that funds biomedical research, published revised guidelines on how such funds would be spent.

Dorothy H Crawford: Sand holds the secret of when we can expect more tsunami devastation

FEW of us will ever forget waking up on Boxing Day 2004 to news of the massive tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

Gregor Buick: Turn remoteness into a virtue by creating new rural powerhouses

IT SEEMS incongruous that scant attention has been given to a renewable power source that is undoubtedly "green" and comes with little or no anti-environmental baggage.

Forestry Commission looks to the past with cattle grazing scheme

AN AGE-OLD method of forest management that makes use of Highland cattle is enjoying a comeback in Scotland.

Scots help to establish a green future by pooling resources

BUYING the odd bottle of whisky could be all the economic support most "Scottish" North Americans will ever give their ancestral homeland. Similarly, most Scots may never exchange their pounds for dollars for a US trip.

Rolling out the green carpet for Scots carbon neutral ball

IF YOU were to have passed by the Glasgow Hilton last night you would be forgiven for thinking that the master of ceremonies might be colour-blind or that the press pack outside were waiting for a million watt smile from Kermit the Frog or the Jolly Green Giant.

Finally unearthing the secrets of our Neanderthal cousins

THE human genome sequence, published in 2003, is revealing a multitude of secrets. And when the chimpanzee genome followed in 2005, we discovered just how similar humans are to our closest living relative.

Goodie, goodie! David's eco-gifts idea wins a wind turbine for his school

A FOURTEEN year-old pupil at Webster's High in Angus won a wind turbine for his school after he came first in a competition to design an eco-goodie-bag to hand out to guests at last night's Capgeminini Black and White Ball in Glasgow.

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