Lab Rant

Phone hacking – how easy is it?


How difficult is it to hack into someone’s voicemail? Do you need to be a specialist programmer or have a PhD in computer science? Leila Sattary takes a look at the “technology” behind the recent phone hacking scandal During the News of the World phone hacking scandal, like most of the…

Killer bean sprouts


The E. coli outbreak in Germany is serious but is the panic-stricken public making the situation worse? Leila Sattary investigates the killer German bean sprouts The outbreak of E. coli poisoning in Germany has made headlines news around the world.

Intellectual property


Is intellectual property protection getting in the way of innovation and ultimately new medicines for patients? Leila Sattary investigates the importance of IP, the barriers it creates and new models for innovation Relying on the IP system to recover investments is a crucial part of the strategy…

Nuclear wonderland


During the last decade, nuclear power has gradually regained its credibility in the eyes of the public but now one uncontrollable nuclear accident has reminded everyone of the risks associated with nuclear power. Should we continue to press ahead with nuclear power plants or take recent events as…

Buzz about town


What’s all the buzz about honeybees? These precious pollinators of fruits and vegetables are disappearing and threatening our food supply. Despite the awareness of the problem and the seriousness of the situation, why have we not solved the mystery?  Leila Sattary investigates Over the past five…

The future of UK R&D


Last month, the world’s largest drug maker, Pfizer, announced the closure of their 140-hectar site in Sandwich, Kent making 2,400 workers redundant. Pfizer are the latest in a stream of pharmaceutical giants who are “realigning their global R&D footprints”.

It’s diet time

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Are your jeans a little tighter after the Christmas indulgence? Some people will turn to diet books to find some weight loss advice. There is a dizzying array of literature about losing weight but is any of it actually based on good science? Leila Sattary investigates fad diets and health foods…

Are hackers 1337?


The whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks has been under great pressure to stop publishing secret diplomatic cables. In response, computer hackers from around the world have mobilised and are targeting corporations including PayPal, Visa and Mastercard after these companies dropped their support to…

Science and Harry Potter


The Harry Potter story is coming to an end – all seven books in the series have been published and in six months the final chapter will be released in the cinema. Leila Sattary ponders the distinction between magic and advanced science and offers explanations for some of the supernatural…

Science is Vital!

The science budget has miraculously avoided drastic cuts in the recent Comprehensive Spending Review. Leila Sattary looks back at the events leading up to the announcement and the part scientists have played in saving British science The events of the last few weeks have really been astounding….

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