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The next issue of Science in School, issue 30, will be published in October 2014.

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Highlighted articles

By Oli Usher


For scientists at the European Space Agency, a mission to Mars means going to Antarctica first.

This inkblot is obviously symmetrical...

Everyone knows what symmetry is. In this article, though, Mario Livio from the Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, USA, explains how not only shapes, but also laws of nature, can be symmetrical.

By Jérôme Ganne and Vincent de Andrade


Studying the chemical composition of some of the planet’s oldest rocks has revolutionised our understanding of how our continents formed.

Image caption

Jonathan Swinton pushes back the frontiers of knowledge – in his kitchen.

Detlev Arendt

Detlev Arendt, a molecular biologist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany, describes to Russ Hodge how his cutting-edge research is following in the footsteps of a 19th-century scientist.

Tuberculosis isn’t something Europeans normally worry about. But the disease is re-emerging and is resistant to many of our drugs. Claire Ainsworth describes how Matthias Wilmanns and his team are trying to hold the disease back.


For two science teachers from opposite ends of Europe – David Featonby and Zuzana Ješková – Science on Stage was the beginning of an inspiring and enjoyable collaboration.

By Miguel A. de Pablo and Juan D. Centeno


One of the scientists’ main interests in Mars research is water. Is there water on Mars?


When you read the newspaper, how do you know what to believe? Ed Walsh guides you and your students through the minefield of science in the media.

The author, Isabella Marini, and her students at the Liceo Scientifico Ulisse Dini, Pisa

Why are enzymes so special? How do they differ from inorganic catalysts? Isabella Marini from the University of Pisa, Italy, describes a classroom protocol to enable students to answer these questions for themselves.

Susan Greenfield

Susan Greenfield and Martin Westwell from the Institute for the Future of the Mind consider the needs of the future scientist.

How do astronauts eat, sleep and wash? Can you get ‘seasick’ in space? In the second of two articles about the ISS, Shamim Hartevelt-Velani, Carl Walker and Benny Elmann-Larsen from the European Space Agency investigate.


Elias Kalogirou and Eleni Nicas introduce a selection of very small-scale chemistry experiments for school.

By Panteleimon Bazanos


Did you know that you can use old hi-fi speakers to detect earthquakes? And also carry out some simple earthquake experiments in the classroom? Here’s how.

Nucleogenesis in stars

Henri Boffin and Douglas Pierce-Price from ESO, in Garching, Germany, investigate our celestial ancestry.

Detlev Arendt, Peer Bork and Florian Raible looking for the fastest and slowest evolvers

RNA is a crucial biological molecule that is seldom mentioned in detail in textbooks. In the first article in a series, Russ Hodge describes some exciting recent research on RNA.

The sun

The energy demands of our society continue to increase, while the stocks of fossil fuels - still our major energy source - are declining. Chris Warrick from the European Fusion Development Agreement explains why research into fusion offers the hope of a safe and environmentally responsible energy source.

Pongprapan Pongsophon, Vantipa Roadrangka and Alison Campbell from Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand, demonstrate how a difficult concept in evolution can be explained with equipment as simple as a box of buttons!


Since the epidemic of ‘mad cow disease’ in the 1980s and 90s, and the emergence of its human equivalent, variant Creutzfeld-Jacob disease, there has been a great deal of research into prions, the causative agents. Mico Tatalovic reviews the current state of knowledge.


Earthquakes, global climate or the placement of wind farms – with the help of geographic information systems, these can all be investigated dynamically in the classroom. Joseph Kerski describes how.

In the first of two articles, Shamim Hartevelt-Velani and Carl Walker from the European Space Agency take us on a trip to the International Space Station.


Men and women react differently to humour. Allan Reiss tells Eleanor Hayes why this is news.

Energy – why is it so important, where do we get it and how much do we use? Gieljan de Vries from the Dutch FOM-Institute for Plasma Physics Rijnhuizen investigates.


Science in School is published by EIROforum, a collaboration between eight European inter-governmental scientific research organisations. This article reviews some of the latest news from the EIROforum members.


Studying permafrost enables us to look not only into the past, but also into the future. Miguel Ángel de Pablo, Miguel Ramos, Gonçalo Vieira and Antonio Molina explain.

By Andreas Chiocchetti


Research into the genetics of the autism spectrum is increasing our understanding of these conditions, and may lead to better ways to diagnose and manage them.

ESO observatory

Uffe Gråe Jørgensen from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, describes the search for Earth-like planets elsewhere in our galaxy.

Crab nebula

Ever wondered what - and who - lies behind the beautiful and fascinating astronomical photographs and observations made with modern telescopes? Douglas Pierce-Price from ESO, the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, describes a day


Dhara Thakerar, a second-year student of natural sciences at Cambridge University, UK, elucidates the science of chocolate.

By Kirsten Bos


Archeology and genetics combine to reveal what caused the Black Death.

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