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Mario turns 30! How playing video games can be good for us (sometimes)

Happy Birthday Mario! The large-nosed plumber, famous as Nintendo video game character who jumps down pipes and collects mushrooms, has just turned just turned thirty*. And he now the iconic video game star has a real reason to jump for joy. Research is increasingly showing us that video games could be good for us, which … Continue reading

Beware the health scan scams: don’t be fooled by the long words

Magic 8 Ball toys are great fun when you’re a kid. The fortune-telling plastic spheres have been entertaining children since the 1950s and are delightfully simple – you ask the black ball a question, give it a shake, and an answer ‘magically’ emerges out of the inky darkness. “Will I be popular at school?” The … 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

Exercise machine calorie counters: they exaggerate the burn

January is the month of the jogger. Every evening for the past three weeks, regular-looking folk have been bouncing their bits up and down our streets, running in the pursuit of getting a bit fitter. No doubt prompted by a New Year’s resolution or ill-considered pledge to run this year’s half-marathon, such noble joggers oftentimes … Continue reading

How to heal paralysis: modern day miracles

Without doubt, Geoffrey Raisman is in line for a Nobel Prize. The little-known British professor has been the brains behind a breakthrough that ‘cured’ a paraplegic man. Bulgarian Darek Fidyka was left paralysed after a knife attack four years ago; images of him now standing upright shot across the globe a few weeks ago. For … Continue reading

The curious case of the phantom vibrating phone

I’ve only been back in the UK a matter of hours and it’s already started. After a few days abroad, I am taking a stroll through the beauty of Wiltshire’s county town to remind myself how good it is to be back in good ol’ Blighty. And then suddenly – and without warning – my reverie … Continue reading

Take the smartphone addiction test! Are you hooked to your iPhone?

It’s dinner time and the log fire is burning. My wife and I sitting in a pub on a rainy day and we are eyeing the menus – the seafood looks nice. Yes, this is the stuff of an English holiday by the sea: sitting on wooden chairs near an open fire with harassed-looking bar … Continue reading

I can’t tweet without you: How twitter feeds our inner longing for friendship

I think I’ve started to feel what it’s like to get old. Strange ‘#’ symbols started to flash up on the TV screen a few months back. Some odd new lottery I wondered? Oblivious to the newest and most important media advancement in the last decade, my friends laughed at my ignorance. Graciously educating me … Continue reading

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