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Science

This category contains 139 posts

‘Google to rank pages by accuracy’ shown to be inaccurate

As a science writer who writes a lot about health, I spend more time than most scouring the internet for medicine-related information. Unfortunately, the advice that ‘Dr Google’ prescribes is all-too-often a bit dodgy. Search ‘how to treat my headache’, for example, and in alongside the sensible suggestions are some rather more dubious and laughable … Continue reading

Three parent babies: it’s not what you think

Most of us came into this world through a moment of passion between our father and mother. Not so for everyone. In the world today there are 200,000 people who were not conceived in the conventional way – but in a Petri dish. For the past 35 years, IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) and similar ‘test … Continue reading

The health benefits of generosity – it really is better to give than receive

Christmas is a time for giving. This week, we will give more to charity than at any other time of the year. For, all the fundraising carol singers, shopping-bag-packing Brownies, and charity tin-shakers make it hard for even the stingiest of scrooges to keep their wallets buckled shut. But a couple of weeks ago, I … Continue reading

Granny’s Marvelous Medicines: 3 traditional treatments that actually work

Imagine a time before the internet. Go further back: think of what the world was like before mobile phones. Now go even further back… back to when computers weren’t around. I know that in today’s touch-screen age, it’s hard to imagine – but not so very long ago all knowledge was passed down through spoken … Continue reading

Smells can help restore memories

Freshly cut grass, rain falling on sun-baked tarmac, the cologne of your first love… we all have smells that stir up special, personal memories. For me, the smell of wood smoke evokes memories of camping as a child. A close friend told me that, for him, even the faintest whiff of a burning mosquito coil … Continue reading

What’s inside that energy drink? Sugar, acid, caffeine + ‘fairy dust’

It is 7 a.m. and I am investigating the world’s most popular mind-altering drug. Having scrutinised the latest data, it’s time for a hands-on experiment. The substance in question is a potent white powder called 1.3 7- trimethylxanthine. Its use has reached endemic levels in children – and health care professionals are concerned. You will … Continue reading

Dr Stu’s science of bisuit dunking

Go on, admit it: you love doing it. Every morning at 11 O’clock, tens of thousands of people prise open the biscuit tin to get ready to do some dunking. It’s a worldwide tea break curiosity that has existed to since the dawn of the sweet baked treat. In America, they do it with doughnuts, … Continue reading

The science behind a midlife crisis: are you having one?

Rock concerts, fast cars and beach holidays – a midlife crisis sounds like a dream. If you happen to be a child of a parent going through a 40-something identity crisis – then you’re probably in for a great time. Just because you’ve bought a ridiculously overpriced motorbike and you’re over 35, does it mean … Continue reading

More Money makes you Bad at Work: The Myth of Performance-Related Pay.

Motivated by money? I confess I am. Well ok, not always: there are plenty of things that will trump a stack of greenbacks. However, few of us would object to a kindly benefactor plopping a million quid into our current account. Even for the least materially-minded, it would be difficult to ignore such an offer: … Continue reading

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Hospital doctor turned lecturer and science communicator, I love trying to answer life's questions - whether it is how our body works or the best way to dunk a biscuit.... Read more...

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