From mammoths to people: A brief history of cloning

Colour photograph showing cells dividing.

First published on 27th April 2014. Last updated on 5th August 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

In April 2014, scientists in South Korea and the United States announced that they had cloned a human embryo, which could have developed into a foetus if it had been implanted into a surrogate mother. Cloning is the process of producing genetically identical individuals. This happens naturally in all asexual reproduction and in sexual reproduction when identical siblings are born. »

Bill Nye debates Ken Ham: Creationism and the origin of the universe

Stained glass window, with text: ‘Is not God in the height of heaven?'.

First published on 16th February 2014. Last updated on 5th August 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

In February 2014, science educator Bill Nye debated young-Earth creationist Ken Ham on the topic of whether the literal interpretation of Genesis is a viable model for the origin of the universe. At first glance, this debate may seem strange and pointless, Ham is free to believe whatever he wants, as everyone should be, and science and religion are not in obvious conflict. »

Neutron stars, magnetars, and X-ray binaries: The most magnetic objects in the universe

Artist's impression of a neutron star, with a magnetosphere that extends far beyond the neutron star's radius.

First published on 8th December 2013. Last updated on 5th August 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

For the last two years, I have been researching neutron stars at the University of Southampton, supervised by Professor Malcolm Coe and Dr Wynn Ho, and we have recently made a surprising discovery. Neutron stars are the most magnetic objects in the universe, with some having magnetic fields so high that quantum behaviour comes into effect. »

Memories, dreams, and simulations: What does the brain do when we are asleep?

'The Dream' by Henri Rousseau.

First published on 17th November 2013. Last updated on 5th August 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, and much of that time dreaming, yet we still don't know why this happens. Almost all animals are thought to sleep. In complex animals, sleep can be defined as a state of reversible unconsciousness, illustrated by a change in brain wave patterns and eye movements. »

From the first particle accelerators to the discovery of the Higgs boson: A brief history of CERN

Simulated image of the Higgs boson decaying.

First published on 30th July 2013. Last updated on 5th August 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

Before construction began on the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in 1954, the atom was known to be composed of electrons (an elementary particle, and a type of lepton), and a nucleus containing neutrons and protons (which are hadrons, particles now known to be made of smaller particles called quarks and gluons), and all of these particles were thought to have an antimatter partner. »

Famous female scientists: A timeline of pioneering women in science

Photograph of women working at Harvard College Observatory in the 1890s.

First published on 12th May 2013. Last updated on 5th August 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

Women are massively under-represented in physics and other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects at all levels. A report by the Institute of Physics, using data from 2011, showed that 46% of schools in the UK had no girls continue to study physics after the age of 16. »

From the first life to the evolution of modern humans: The evolutionary history of life on Earth

Photograph of a dandelion.

First published on 17th March 2013. Last updated on 5th August 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

We still don't know how life came into existence on Earth, although all life forms are built from amino acids, which can arise naturally. The first life consisted of prokaryotes, simple cells that may have evolved about 3.8 billion years ago, within a billion years of the formation of the Earth. »

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The Star Garden is a science news and science education website run by Dr Helen Klus.

How we came to know the cosmos covers the history of physics focusing on space and time, light and matter, and the mind. It explains the simple discoveries we made in prehistoric times, and how we built on them, little by little, until the conclusions of modern theories seem inevitable. This is shown in a timeline of the universe.

The Star Garden covers the basics for KS3, KS4, and KS5 science revision including SATs, GCSE science, and A-level physics.