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Science

This category contains 141 posts

Test yourself: Could you spot a skin cancer? Never miss a melanoma.

If you ever doubted humankind’s ability to do great things for our planet, just look at the sky. Or rather, look toward the ozone layer high in the stratosphere. If you cast your mind back, you will remember that there was a lot of talk of the ‘hole in the ozone layer’ brought on by … Continue reading

A chocolate a day (may possibly) keep the doctor away

The Easter eggs don’t last long in our house. It wouldn’t have always been that way though: as I child, I would diligently squirrel away Easter chocolate, treating myself only on special occasions. I now have no such willpower and, by the looks of it, neither do the rest of you. A recent survey has … Continue reading

‘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

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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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