Last updated 03/09/2006
2 Sep 2006 A minor update just to remove some of the scripts I had been linking to that suddenly had started popping up nasty advertising on the page. Sorry about that everyone. Also, just to satisfy Ian: I still only have one head, and it still has hair on it.
24 Oct 2005 By popular (?) demand here's a quick update on what I'm doing now: I'm currently working for a city startup (how long can one justify calling it a startup?) called Columba Systems. I'm working with Chris and the office is just accross the road from Tammay and Richard.
Some time ago now, I did a Ph.D. with the Hot-Star Group at University College London. My main research interest is in the field of photospheric abundances in O stars, but my work to date has also included a study of rotational velocities of O and B stars. A CD version of my thesis is available upon request.
MKBL Animated logo Do you have problems keeping track of you references? Do you find all your papers are just a complete mess, and you can never find anything? Well, here's the solution: The MK Bibliography Language and Compiler! Turn your reference list into a cross-linked hyper-text html document! Your reference list is always only a few key-strokes away!
www.flickr.com
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from KajS. Make your own badge here.


New Scientist - News
Mind-controlled nanobots could release drugs inside your brain
DNA origami bots have been triggered to release drugs inside cockroaches, prompted by changes in a person?s brain activity
Interstellar probes will be eroded on the way to Alpha Centauri
If Breakthrough Starshot launches tiny spacecraft to our nearest star system at one-fifth light speed, they will have to survive bombardment with interstellar dust
Monster slugs are devouring defenceless baby birds in nests
Nestlings are sitting ducks for giant slugs ? some of them invasive ­? that have been recorded feeding on the chicks of several birds species
Failure of fake babies: Why it doesn?t pay to go with your gut
Many schools give dolls that cry and need changing to teen girls to reduce pregnancy rates. It?s no surprise they seem to have the opposite effect, says Sally Adee
Proxima b?s star could be blasting away the planet?s atmosphere
We?ve just found a potentially habitable exoplanet nearby, but monthly violent outbursts from the star Proxima Centauri could be bad news for life
Semen reshapes immune system to boost chances of pregnancy
As well as fertilising the egg, semen seems to dampen a female's immune system, making it more likely that an embryo will survive
Proxima b: Earth-like planet spotted just 4 light years away
A planet just 30 per cent more massive than Earth orbits in the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri, which is just 4.25 light years away. How Earth-like is it really?
Why quantum satellites will make it harder for states to snoop
With the launch of the world?s first quantum communication satellite, the era of unhackable communication has begun
Italy to test earthquake predictor to reduce deaths and damage
A national earthquake forecasting system combined with data on building vulnerability may help communicate risk of shocks happening ? but uncertainties remain
Whisper tech turns secrets into normal speech
A new program can convert whispers into normal-sounding speech by filling in the missing ingredient: the full tone that our vocal cords make.
Wildlife hero Chris Packham: anti-conservationists will not win
Insults, name calling and character assassination are no match for conservation causes backed by solid evidence, says naturalist Chris Packham
Move over silicon: Machine learning boom means we need new chips
The rise of artificial intelligence and impending end of Moore's law means silicon chips are nearing the end of the line. Here are some alternatives
Weather bombs could help us see deep inside Earth
Faint seismic waves sent underground by severe storms can help us visualise areas deep inside Earth that we can?t otherwise see
Ghost galaxy is 99.99 per cent dark matter with almost no stars
We've spotted a galaxy that weighs almost as much as the Milky Way yet has 1 per cent the number of stars, suggesting it?s chock-full of dark matter
Getting to Proxima b might become an existential requirement
Current starshot ventures to get to our new neighbour are too expensive to be practical, but finding out more about the planet should be a high priority
Rewinding memories may help us recall where the good stuff is
When a place contains a lot of chocolate, rats replay their memories of how they got there ? both forwards and in reverse
Supersized molecules stretch a thousand times further than usual
Colossal molecules have been created that are a full micrometre wide, and could find uses in quantum computing
Floating lab drills 1.5km below sea floor to study megaquakes
A research vessel is drilling deep under the seabed to find the recipe for disaster - clues to what triggered the Boxing Day tsunami quake
Ultrasound brain zap wakes man from minimally conscious state
After a jolt to his thalamus, a man who showed almost no awareness or movement began to communicate, fist-bump, and trying to walk again
If Earth-like planet Proxima b has life, what might it be like?
Author Stephen Baxter wonders if the newly discovered Proxima b could resemble Per Ardua, the life-bearing world he imagined around the same nearby star
Second Snowden could be behind sale of NSA hacking tools
The hunt is on to identify the Shadow Brokers, the group that put NSA hacking tools up for auction. Evidence is mounting that it is another inside job
Soft robot octopus uses chemical fuel gut to explore untethered
Freed from tethers and hard circuit board, soft robots are finally able to explore the world?s nooks and crannies
First US offshore wind farm will power an entire island
The five-turbine farm off Rhode Island?s coast is expected to be supplying first homes by the end of the year
Magnitude 6 earthquake in Italy destroys towns and kills dozens
The magnitude 6 quake struck at 3.36am local time (0136 GMT) and was felt across a broad swathe of central Italy. Aftershocks are expected
We must understand electroshock therapy?s unwanted side effects
Electroconvulsive shock treatment is in line for a renaissance. But before that happens, we need to know more about the cognitive impairments it causes
Babies? health could be affected by variation in IVF nutrients
The recipes of different IVF culture fluids are kept secret, but there?s evidence that some affect the success of the treatment and the health of babies
Secrets of how primates can live at extreme altitude revealed
Gene selection explains how some species of snub-nosed monkeys have adapted to the challenging conditions of their habitat up to 4600 metres above sea level
Why do women keep taking HRT despite breast cancer risks?
A new analysis suggests hormone replacement therapy increases the risk of developing breast cancer even more than we thought. Will women keep taking it?
A bad night?s sleep messes with your brain?s memory connections
Tests on people?s brains after a night of disruption suggest that sleep is important for clearing space for forming new memories
Drug-free IVF could be cheaper and faster way to get pregnant
The need for expensive, unpleasant hormone injections in IVF could be removed by a compound that boosts egg maturation in the lab by 50 per cent
Heart disease deaths have fallen by 70 per cent in a generation
Better diagnosis and treatments have dramatically cut the number of deaths from heart disease and stroke in the UK over the past 35 years
Hundreds of genes seen sparking to life two days after death
The discovery that many genes are still working up to 48 hours after death has implications for organ transplants, forensics and our very definition of death
Mouse?s body made entirely transparent to reveal nervous system
A technique that shrinks a dead body and makes it see-through could enable us to inspect human brains and bodies in greater detail than ever before
The mission to find the world?s rarest cat in jungles of Java
A search party is headed to the Indonesian island to look for critically endangered Javan fishing cat, unique amongst felines in its semi-aquatic lifestyle
Calcium dementia link is reminder of the dangers of supplements
An increased risk of dementia in some women taking calcium warns us that supplements marketed as a quick fix for health may not be benign, says Clare Wilson
China?s drive to clean up its coal power, one plant at a time
A visionary engineer, Feng Weizhong, plans to reduce the country?s carbon footprint with cleaner-burning technologies, and he is designing its cleanest coal plant yet
Inspired by the Olympic vibe? Get moving to save your life
Exercise is a wonder drug that can stave off many of the diseases of ageing. Walk, run, bike or whatever floats your boat
Our top 5 wacky NASA missions that might just happen
NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts programme funds long-shot concepts for further study. This year's include a paper-thin spaceship and a steampunk Venus rover
Fluorescent jellyfish proteins light up unconventional laser
Molecules derived from jellyfish may lead to a new generation of energetically efficient lasers that could improve everything from communications to medical procedures
?Intersex? athlete Caster Semenya rightly free to run at Rio
It's unfair to question the right of runner Caster Semenya to compete in a sports world full of biological inequities, says Jaime Schultz
Quantum trick sees two things happen before and after each other
By placing the order of two events into a quantum superposition, physicists have probed the nature of causality
Deep-sea squid cannibals battle it out in a fight to the death
Submersibles have caught two species of little-studied Gonatus squid eating each other deep in the waters of California?s Monterey Bay
Hyperactive galaxy could run out of gas in just 8 million years
The nearby galaxy M82 forms stars at a prodigious rate, but it is using up and blowing out far more gas than it takes in
Shock therapy to make a comeback as evidence grows that it works
Electroconvulsive therapy is often viewed with fear, but some psychiatrists are adamant it works. Now the medical establishment is waking up to its promise
Australian AI spots dodgy deals that look like money laundering
AUSTRAC, Australia's financial intelligence agency, is training a machine learning system to sift millions of transactions for criminal activity
Synthetic supermicrobe will be resistant to all known viruses
A bacterium with a different genetic code to every other living things is in the pipeline. It will be resistant to all known viruses - and its inventor wants to alter humans in the same way
Birds sing to their unborn chicks to warn them about hot weather
Zebra finch parents prepare their chicks for the heat by giving them advice ? through the shell
Blockchain grid to let neighbours trade solar power in Australia
Australian cities are set to trial the blockchain as a way to record sales of solar power between neighbours, changing the way we buy and sell energy
Iceman Ötzi rocks the bear-fur hat and goat-leather coat look
A famous 5300-year-old mummy preserved in ice is yielding prehistoric fashion secrets. His clothes were stitched together from five different species
Autonomous AI guards to stalk the internet fighting hackers
Smart programs can seek out and patch up weakness in online security, but if one goes rogue, it could unleash the worst hack ever seen
Childhood obesity strategy stops short of banning junk food ads
The UK government plans to tackle childhood obesity by increasing sport in schools and encouraging food companies to include less sugar in their products
Menopause supplements may raise dementia risk after stroke
Calcium pills are associated with large increases in the risk of developing dementia in women who have conditions that affect the flow of blood to the brain
Bunnies helped a great civilisation in ancient Mexico thrive
A pen for rabbits and hares and butchering tools unearthed in the city of Teotihuacan suggest the animals played a key role in its well-developed economy
Our biases get in the way of understanding human behaviour
People can be the most fascinating study subjects of all, but researchers? biases routinely get in the way, shaping experiments and influencing their outcomes
Surfer physicist wins superparticle bet with Nobel laureate
Frank Wilczek bet Garrett Lisi that the Large Hadron Collider would see evidence of supersymmetry, a theory that goes beyond the standard model of particle physics
Oldest jewellery in East Asia is crafted 37,000-year-old shell
Ancient artefacts in an East Timor cave reveal that early human settlers here were more advanced than thought, fishing the deep sea and making ornaments
Giant ancient supervolcanoes threw rock right across Australia
Massive eruptions when New Zealand ripped away from Australia were tens to hundreds of times stronger than anything ever recorded in human history
Marsupial lion?s primate-like forearms made it a unique predator
The primate-like forearms of the marsupial lion could have allowed deft use of its formidable claws ? and made it unlike any predator seen today
Scammer AI can tailor clickbait to you for phishing attacks
Tweets automatically crafted and aimed at you could be the next weapon scammers use to trick you into clicking links to malware
Plan to kill alien carp with herpes could suck life out of river
An Australian scheme to kill carp could result in millions of tonnes of decomposing fish sucking oxygen out of rivers and killing off native fish
Plunging deep beneath the sea in a tiny sub to map the ocean
Aviva Rutkin took a ride off Bermuda in a bubble submersible to survey the depths for the newly launched Nekton Mission
More haste, less speed: Don't rush to publish premature theory
The undignified rush of theoretical physics to explain a possible new particle, which has turned out to be an illusion, verged on fan fiction for the universe
Decline of wild bee species in England linked to pesticide use
Neonicotinoid pesticides used on oilseed rape farms in England have been linked with a dramatic decline in wild bee populations for the first time
Scorchio! Earth?s surface is the hottest it has been in history
July 2016 is the hottest month ever recorded, smashing the previous record set in July 2011 as Earth hurtles towards 1.5 °C limit
Mystery of déjà vu explained ? it?s how we check our memories
The phenomenon seems to be a sign of a healthy memory that forms accurate memories, déjà vu brain scans have revealed for the first time
NASA urged to rejoin the hunt for gravitational waves
US National Academies has assessed US astrophysics schemes and is calling for NASA to rejoin a gravitational wave hunting mission, despite budget problems
China launches world?s first quantum communications satellite
The Quantum Science Satellite will test quantum entanglement over record distances and could lead to a global network for secure quantum communications
Without oxygen from ancient moss you wouldn?t be alive today
The earliest terrestrial plants, such as moss, made a surprising contribution to the levels of oxygen in the atmosphere some 400 million years ago
Herpes infections are worse if contracted at the end of the day
Our circadian rhythms affect our ability to fight off infection, and a study in mice suggests shift workers may be particularly vulnerable to viruses
Are you a nice person? Brain scans can tell how generous you are
People who are more empathetic have more activity in the brain?s ?generosity centre?, and are faster at learning how to reward others in a game
Does eating more salt prevent migraines and severe headaches?
For the first time, there?s evidence suggesting dietary sodium can affect migraines, but salt comes with a strong health warning
Mating stars hide their modesty behind a thick veil of dust
Astronomers got their best ever look at merging stars when a pair called V1309 Scorpii got together in 2008, but now they have gone into hiding
Black hole made in the lab shows signs of quantum entanglement
Efforts to study black holes in the lab with versions that trap sound instead of light may have revealed a key prediction made by Stephen Hawking
World?s oldest ocean crust dates back to ancient supercontinent
The rock at the bottom of the eastern Mediterranean is 340 million years old, and could yield secrets of the formation ? and breakup ? of the ancient Pangaea continent
The brightest stellar wildfire hosts impossibly huge stars
The 30 Doradus nebula is forming stars in a flat-out sprint, outpacing the local Milky Way by four orders of magnitude. Bring sunblock
It's time we all became eco-warriors for water
We're cleaning up our act when it comes to water ? now a small shift in attitudes could go a long way
104-year-old cyclist named world?s greatest centenarian athlete
Robert Marchand from France has the best athletic performance for a person over the age of 100, showing a physical decline of less than 8 per cent per decade
We have to recycle water on a massive scale ? this is how we can
The world is running out of drinkable water, and putting a price on the stuff won't work. But we are well on the way to building a circular water economy
Physicists look to the future as new particle dream dies
Hints of a surprise particle at the Large Hadron Collider have officially been confirmed as a blip, and finding another could take years or decades
Human-animal chimeras may be key to us living healthier lives
The US is considering a resumption of funding for the creation of human-animal chimeras. That?s good news for all of us
First wearable brain scanner to probe people with amazing gifts
From incredible memories, to exceptional mathematical or musical ability, a deep-brain scanner could reveal what?s going on inside savants? heads
Parents giving unproven IQ-boosting drugs to kids with Down's
Drugs like Prozac and bumetanide show early promise for boosting intelligence in mouse studies, but activists say we should value people for who they are
Expensive drones take flying lessons from cheaper stunt doubles
Training an AI to fly a drone by trial and error involves a lot of crashing ? best to get cheaper drones to pass on their knowledge to more expensive ones
Polio back in Nigeria two years after being wiped out in Africa
Just as Africa was due to celebrate the anniversary of its last polio infections, two new cases have set back global efforts to eradicate the virus by 2019
How UN will check if illegal chlorine was used in Syria bombing
The UN is investigating reports that a barrel bomb containing chlorine gas was dropped on rebel-held territory in Aleppo, Syria, on Wednesday
Canadian meteorite may be first visitor from the Kuiper belt
Most meteorites come from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, but an extraterrestrial visitor that landed in 2000 may hail from further afield
Cherry or rhubarb? Orangutan mixes tasty cocktails in its mind
A pleasure-seeking ape can predict the taste of cocktails it has never tried before, which was thought to be something only humans can do
World?s oldest vertebrate is a shark that may live for 500 years
Deep-sea-living Greenland sharks can live for hundreds of years, longer than any other vertebrate, and females don?t reach breeding age until they are 150
How big is a proton? No one knows exactly, and that?s a problem
A perplexing mystery concerning the true size of the proton just got more complicated with the release of new results
Now you can play Angry Birds using a touch-sensitive second skin
A transparent touchpad that slips over your arm and  lets you control apps and games brings us a step closer to having computer interfaces built into our clothes
Aphrodisiac virus makes plants super-attractive to bumblebees
The benefits of a viral infection for tomato plants may outweigh the costs ? infected plants attract more pollinators and therefore produce more seeds
How Tesla?s batteries can change the solar power game
Elon Musk's takeover of SolarCity can give solar power the efficiency boost it needs ? letting rooftop panels pipe cheap energy onto the grid
Here?s how to watch the great Perseid meteor shower tonight
Over the next few evenings the annual Perseid meteor shower will be reaching its peak, and putting on a great show
LHC-style supercolliders are entering a make or break phase
As the Large Hadron Collider's first sign of a superparticle melts away, physicists must contemplate their nightmare scenario, says Gavin Hesketh
US government wants more cannabis farms for science
The DEA has decided to allow organisations to apply to grow marijuana for research purposes, a move intended to encourage more studies on the drug?s effects
Lead in Australia?s drinking water is leaching from brass taps
Tap water in samples from across New South Wales can contain unsafe lead levels, probably down to brass tap fittings
Virtual reality helps eight paralysed people feel their legs
Hooking the brain up to virtual avatars and robotic exoskeletons has allowed people who have been paralysed for many years to regain some control of their body
Best look yet at how our brain's sewage system flushes out waste
A souped-up MRI scanner has revealed the forces that push waste products out of our brains, a process that may be crucial for preventing Alzheimer's disease
First Americans must have arrived by sea, not via Alaska
A study of prehistoric DNA has challenged the established theory that says people first reached the Americas via a land bridge in the Arctic
Cast into limbo, UK science is confronting Brexit uncertainty
After the vote to leave the European Union, UK scientists are stepping up pressure on politicians to get the best possible Brexit deal, writes Jeremy Webb
Kaj Wik Siebert © 1996-2016