a-level science

A Level Science Skills

AS & A Level science skills by remote learning

Many students find science skills to be challenging in the usual school lab setting, but learning remotely can make this challenge seem greater. Getting students to do past practical papers (or parts of these) can be valuable, but this approach alone will not be sufficient for students to develop a… Read More

A century of biochemistry

Science is usually taught in school as three separate subjects, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. It may seem that they are three distinct areas of study. In the real world of scientific research, the boundaries are often blurred as shown in the two discoveries celebrated here. Chemicals of Life Until the… Read More

Fresh perspectives on A-level Biology

What are these articles for?  You will be hard pressed to find much in any of the A-level specifications which relate to an extensive knowledge about Tetrapod evolution!  There are other considerations however.  This series of articles introduces material which certainly is within the A-level cannon and in a context… Read More

The 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry

The study of living organisms is biology, but the processes of life are carried out in cells by molecules. The study of those molecules and their reactions is a branch of chemistry called biochemistry. The 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry has been awarded to scientists who have speeded up evolution… Read More

When fish wore armour

Armour was all the fashion of the day in the Silurian and Devonian periods and is particularly associated with a group of heavily armoured fish, the Placoderms. This group of highly successful animals lived from early Silurian through to the end of the Devonian (443.8 – 358.9 Ma ago). In… Read More

Chemical Anniversaries: 1868 – The element of the Sun

In August 1868 a total solar eclipse was predicted to cross India and Thailand. Astronomers from around the world travelled by land and sea to observe the Moon covering the Sun.  Many were keen to use a new instrument, the spectroscope, to examine the Sun’s corona. Isaac Newton used a… Read More

A-level Biology: Neurotoxins

The history of accidental and deliberate acts of poisoning predates the arrival of humans. Toxins of some kind have been used by both animals and plants to avoid being predated upon or to deter other species from competition. Neurotoxins are a group of chemicals which directly affect the functioning of… Read More

A-level Biology: Chordates and Tetrapods

In previous articles we have looked at the possible methods by which protocells could have started and later evolved into prokaryotic cells and eventually, eukaryotic life. These were very distant events occurring in the Precambrian period around 2-3 billion years ago (2-3 thousand Ma ago). Taking the view that the… Read More

2017 Nobel Prize for Chemistry

The Medicine/Physiology and Physics prizes went to the popular topics of body clocks and gravity waves. The subject of the Chemistry prize is perhaps a little more obscure yet very important for those interested in the molecules of life. The three chemistry prize winners, Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard… Read More

Chemical Anniversaries: 1867 the birth of Marie Curie

Marie Curie is France’s most famous scientist and probably the most well-known female scientist in the world. Except she wasn’t French and Marie was not the name she given at her birth in 1867. She was born Maria Sklodowska in Warsaw, now the capital of Poland, but Poland didn’t exist… Read More