BBC Journalism College

This post may be of more interest to me than you!  The BBC has made publically available their internal journalism training website and it’s an absolute goldmine!

As I write about science on a daily basis this looks like a fantastic resource. Why?

Well for a start, healthcare in Scotland is devolved, so some [...]


NHS Scotland Spends more than England and Wales

Last week there were several news stories about a report released by the Nuffield Trust showing that NHS Scotland is less efficient and spends more than Wales and England and Northern Ireland.  NHS staff in Scotland also see less patients than their counterparts south of the border.  For some interesting statistics read this report [...]


Research Blogging Awards 2016

If you are registered on ResearchBlogging and would like to nominate my blog for their 2016 awards I’d be grateful.

If you have your own blog, you can register it here, and watch your number of readers increase.

If you don’t have your own blog but want to read lots of different peoples [...]


Vitamin D and Colorectal Cancer

A Cancer Research UK press release out today suggests that people with higher levels of vitamin D in their blood have a lower risk of colorectal cancer (you can read the original paper in the British Medical Journal Jenab et al 2016).  This is particularly important in Scotland because we only get about 5 [...]


The James Lind Library – Fair tests of medical treatments

I think this post is important, I’m going to write about The James Lind library and a book that is freely available for download called “Testing Treatments – Better Research for Better Healthcare“. I think everybody should read this book. It is 100 pages long and it is free to download, the download version [...]


NHS Websites – There are a lot of them…

This post is as much for my benefit as anyone elses, the NHS have umpteen different websites, many of which have “News” sections, however very few of these have RSS feeds, so it is very hard to keep up to date with them.  If  I make a list of them here, hopefully I’ll be [...]


How clean is Aberdeen Royal Infirmary?

This is a follow up to a post I wrote in November 2015 (called How to complain about the NHS), in October 2015 several wards at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary were inspected and found to be dirty, with poor procedures for infection control, hand washing, waste disposal etc (you can read the details in my [...]


Scientific Cookies and things…

Okay, not a very weighty topic for a cancer blog, but here are some gorgeous looking cookies based on a scientific theme.  You can see more examples of sciencey cookies on  Ms Humble’s blog – Not so Humble Pie.

If that has whet your appetite for all things geeky then visit “” where you [...]


Local Event and National Competitions – Biology and Health

This post is more a collection of various bits and pieces I have discovered on the internet over the last week, each link could warrant a whole blog post of it’s own but I don’t have time, so I’ll simply draw your attention to the links and if you want to follow them up [...]


Microscopes using mobile phone cameras

Not really a cancer post, but certainly an interesting idea.  Researchers in America are developing a new way of using the camera on a mobile phone,  to take pictures of microscope slides when you don’t have access to a full blown laboratory.  This sort of thing will probably be of most use in the [...]


Cell Journal – 60 Day Free Trial

This is a geeky post aimed at the scientists, the journal “Cell” is trying out a new way of showing scientific articles online and (in my opinion), it looks great. Normally you have to pay a lot of money to read Cell (an online only individual subscription for one year costs about £180). For [...]


Cancer, cold weather and fuel payments

It’s freezing so now seems as good a time as any to mention Mamcillan’s campaign to Freeze out Fuel Poverty. According to Macmillan 1 in 5 cancer patients can’t afford to heat their homes.

If you have cancer Macmillan provide a factsheet about help with fuel bills. In the first instance they suggest you [...]


Little Scientist Days at the Satrosphere

For those of you close to Aberdeen, the Satrosphere (Aberdeen’s Science Centre, near the beach), run “Little Scientist Days“, aimed at kids from 3 to 5 years old.  It costs £4.75 for adults, and £3.5o for kids (under three’s are free).  The next Little Scientist day is based on living things and runs [...]


David Cameron – Cancer in the UK

In September 2015 I drew your attention to an interview between Gordon Brown and the Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, Harpal Kumar. In the interests of fairness,  I thought I’d point out that Cancer Research UK have posted a similar interview with David Cameron called “David Cameron speaks exclusively to Cancer Research [...]


Can positive thinking cure cancer?

Can positive thinking cure cancer? Personally I don’t think so. That’s not to say that attitude is not important, but the idea that it’s “your fault” if your cancer can’t be cured has no scientific basis. Some of the treatments we have now can cure some types of cancer sadly, not all treatments cure [...]


What can I do with a lidl microscope?


So you got a lidl microscope for Christmas and you are wondering what you can do with it? There are lots of websites out there that can help you get the most out of your microscope. Just goggling “amateur microscopy” will bring up 28,000 hits so there is plenty of stuff out there. A great place to start is “Emergency Kit of Things to See – What Can I see with my new microscope?” This is on the Microscopy UK website, which has a whole host of articles and information, although the site itself looks a bit dated and it is worth digging around to see what you can find. [...]


2016 - A New Year

Happy New Year!  2016 is here, and I will be updating my News blog again on a daily (or almost daily basis).

I’ve had a quick scan of my favourite websites and there is lots to write about, several new bits of research have caught my eye including the effect of blood sugar levels [...]