Category archives: Science & Technology

Gadgets 'giving us the lowdown on our health'

  Is it informative or worrying to know in detail what’s happening in our bodies? Dr Kevin Fong investigates how information is moving from doctor to patient – and what that means for the management of our health. There is a famous scene in the movie The Matrix where Keanu Reeves’ character, Neo, is offered the choice between a red pill and a blue pill. The former would open his […]

How do you recover from being struck by lightning?

Lightning is a discharge of static electricity that occurs when there is an imbalance in the electrical charge between the cloud and the earth’s surface. Put very simply, it is a giant electric spark in the sky – a very powerful one. A single bolt could be a billion volts. It can stop a person’s heart and cook their internal organs. On average three people die in the UK each […]

Global land and ocean temperatures continue to rise

WASHINGTON — The year 2012 signalled more bad news for the state of the Earth’s climate as global land and ocean temperatures continued to rise, accelerating the decline of Arctic summer sea ice, the melting of ice sheets and glaciers, and the raising of sea levels, according to a peer-reviewed scientific report. The report also noted an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme storms and the continued warming […]

When Hallucinations Walked the World

Imagine learning that scientists had got Tyrannosaurus rex upside-down all this time and, in reality, it slithered on its “back” and waved its legs—sorry, tentacles—in the air. It’d be a bit embarrassing, but it would also never happen. We have some complete Tyrannosaurus skeletons, we can compare these to similar modern animals, and we can simulate the forces that acted upon them. It’s obvious which way up the animal stood. […]

Pictured: The incredible deep-sea glow worm called the 'Unicorn of the Sea' that can grow up to 100ft

Deep sea divers have captured images of the elusive Pyrostremma spinosum in open water off the coast of Tasmania Its hollow, cylindrical body is made up of thousands of tiny creatures called zooids that feed on plankton Also known as the sea squirt, they are incredibly rare and only rarely spotted by diving groups Divers in Australia have captured rare images of the Pyrostremma spinosum, or pyrosome, sea creature off […]

Hybrid planes trying to charge into action

The airliner of the future may feel very alien to our fuel-guzzling planes, at least if one ambitious quest to build the Prius of the skies is anything to go by. How would you feel about flying on an electric airliner? Current planes may be noisy, rattly, and relatively inefficient, but there’s something reassuring about being able to hear the constant roar of the engines, or glance out of the […]


A space telescope aimed at the sun has spotted a gigantic hole in sun! A dark spot that covers nearly a quarter of our closest star, spewing solar material and gas into space. The so-called coronal hole over the sun’s north pole came into view between July 13 and 18 and was observed by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO. NASA released a video of the sun hole as seen […]

What do you get when you cross a lion with a tiger? A liger! And these cute cubs will grow into the biggest felines on the planet

Three rare liger cubs were born at Novosibirsk Zoo in southern Russia The month old female cubs have a lion father and a tiger mother The cubs will eventually grow to be the largest known feline species With the facial features of a lionness but the stripes of a tiger, these adorable cubs are a rarity in the feline world. The three little cubs may look cute now, but they […]

Desert 'carbon farming' to curb CO2

Scientists say that planting large numbers of jatropha trees in desert areas could be an effective way of curbing emissions of CO2. Dubbed “carbon farming”, researchers say the idea is economically competitive with high-tech carbon capture and storage projects. But critics say the idea could be have unforeseen, negative impacts including driving up food prices. The research has been published in the journal Earth System Dynamics. Seeds of change Jatropha […]

Inca Child Sacrifice Victims Were Drugged

  Three Inca mummies found near the lofty summit of Volcán Llullaillaco in Argentina were so well preserved that they put a human face on the ancient ritual of capacocha—which ended with their sacrifice. Now the bodies of 13-year-old Llullaillaco Maiden and her younger companions Llullaillaco Boy and Lightning Girl have revealed that mind-altering substances played a part in their deaths and during the year-long series of ceremonial processes that […]