Inspired by this years "Life Fantastic" Christmas Lectures, The Royal Institution have created a series of Technicial advent calendar short films exploring the 23 pairs of human chromosomes and the mitochondrial DNA that make up the building blocks of life.
You can search the hidden videos by using the microscope lens to find the correct chromosome number matching the date. You can then zoom into the image to bring the chromosome into focus by using the "+" and "-" buttons

The technical advent calendar is a great idea and it has been designed to work across multiple browsers and devices. More details here.

Education in Science is an ASE PublicationHaving had a Wardrobe door fall on my big toe recently I have found myself both temporarily immobilised in the house with plenty of time on my hands to digest most of the Education in Science magazine (EIS 254: Nov2013).

What immediately grabbed my attention is how we have various realities of the role of technicians in School Science. I need to absolutely clear right from the beginning. Each of these realities standing alone is perfectly feasible. In all cases, robust in their approach to the ideas of supporting the teaching of school science. However, together they show a lot of diversity in thinking which aside from being slightly worrying, it has forced me to ask important questions. What do schools and colleges throughout the UK actually want for their technical support staff. How can we unite these three realities into some kind of overarching reality which is suitable for the effective delivery and support of school science for the future.

During August 2011, I suffered the loss of my Mother and then six months later in 2012 the loss of my youngest sister. On both occasions, my Employer was very sympathetic, compassionate and allowed me a generous amount of time of work with no loss of pay.

I consider myself lucky. This is because I am acutely aware of other friends and family who have been forced to take between 1 and three days paid time off work or, in one case that I know in relation to a close family member, any time off beyond one day must be taken from your annual holidays

Campaigners are now urging the Government to give employees the legal right to paid leave if they have suffered a family bereavement, amid growing public support for the move.

A recent poll from Survation reveals that 71% of respondents think that there should be a national guaranteed minimum entitlement to bereavement leave for close family members. Sixty three per cent also think it is unfair that bereavement leave can be unpaid. The poll, commissioned by the Change Bereavement Leave campaign founded by Lucy Herd, also reveals a general lack of knowledge on the issue.

While many employers exercise discretion when a close relative dies, only 15% correctly understood that there is no entitlement to paid bereavement leave.

Damian Lyons Lowe, Chief Executive of Survation said: “Our polling shows that only 15% of the public are aware of the current lack of any guaranteed period of bereavement leave, whilst 31% wrongly believe there to be at least four days of statutory bereavement leave.”

Lucy Herd, who lost her toddler son in 2010, has recently also brought this “inhuman anomaly” to the attention of Parliament. She is requesting four weeks’ paid bereavement leave for parents mourning the loss of a child.

At Prime Minister’s Questions recently, David Cameron was asked by Tom Harris MP if he would consider amending the Employment Rights Act 1996 to “give British parents the legal right and time to grieve.” The Prime Minister agreed to look at the current situation.

TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “Most people will be surprised to learn that unless they have an understanding employer, they may not be able to take much time off work following a death in the family, and if they are, any compassionate leave will almost certainly be unpaid.”

Our apologies if you have lost recent posts,  news comments or in fact contributed anything to any area of our site.  We implemented a code upgrade approximately two weeks ago which we were assured at the time was stable. As it turned out, it created quite a few problems. So we have been forced to roll back the TecHKnow website from our server backups to the point before we implemented the upgrade.

Again, we would like to apologise to anybody who has experienced any difficulty in either registering with the site or suddenly experienced problems logging in. These issues have been connected with this code upgrade. We think are optimistically confident that normal service has been resumed.  If you do continue to experience any problems then please let us know.

Thank you for your continued support as a valued member on TecHKnow!

Some eighty firefighters are tackling a large fire at a school near Preston. The blaze broke out in the science block at Leyland St Mary's Catholic Technical College on Royal Avenue just after 16:00 BST.

Five boys between the ages of 11 and 15 have been arrested by police on suspicion of arson. The school term was due to start this week and parents and children have been advised to check the school's website on Monday morning before turning up. Eye witnesses said parts of the school had been destroyed, particularly the science block.

The Royal Society of Chemistry has launched a photography competition for under 18s to inspire young people to consider the many different careers associated with chemistry.

Photographic entries must show and explain: What chemistry means to me. Pictures can be taken at school, in the community in which you live or the countryside and need to show what is good about chemistry, its use in society, why it is interesting, useful and exciting.

Prizes:
1st - £300 to be shared equally between the student entering and their school.
2nd - £150 to be shared equally between the student entering and their school.
3rd - £50 to be shared equally between the student entering and their school.

The deadline for entries to be received is 2pm on Friday 11 October 2013.

For full competition terms and conditions, details of how to enter and a competition entry form click here.

MoneyA single new pay and grading system will be introduced for all support staff in the Girls' Day School Trust's (GDST) 24 independent schools in England and Wales from September.

The new system will be fairer and simpler for the 2,000 support staff who work as technicians, teaching assistants, librarians, admin staff, cleaners, cooks, catering assistants and caretaking grounds staff. It is being introduced following consultation with the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), the GDST's recognised union...[Courtesy ATL media Office - Published 23/07/13]

WelcomeWell here it is! We are delighted to welcome you to our new look TecHKnow Community website. For the last few weeks we have been both planning and working on a fresh new look for the website with you in mind. Thank you for your patience and support. We hope you like what we have done.  

There are a few new features which will allow you to interact and network with other professional colleagues in a more slicker, easier way. For example, check out the User Activity stream on the right hand panel. As promised, you can now connect with us on most of the popular social media. Don't forget to Update your Profile particularly if you have changed your school workplace or email address. 

If you have any ideas or feedback for us then please let us know. Enjoy!

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