This is what happens in your brain when you are writing (June 2014)
Researchers led by neuroscientist Martin Lotze from the University of Greifswald in Germany have used functional magnetic resonance (fMIR) scanners to get a sneak peek of what happens in the brains of professional and non-experienced writers when they are working on a story.
Neuroscientists say handwriting is good for you (June 2014)
Using our keyboards saves us lots of precious time, but writing by hand has lots of benefits.
Mobile phones are a window to the germs that live in your body (June 2014)
Researchers at the University of Oregon in the US have found that mobile phones’ touchscreens have the same microorganisms that live in our body, providing a glimpse of our personal microbiome—the ‘good’ bacteria, viruses and fungi we carry around in our body from the day we are born.
A 12-year-old student didn’t uncover the secrets of the lionfish (July 2014)
When Lauren Arrington was 12, she had to come up with a project for her school’s science fair. Because she enjoys snorkelling and had seen lionfish, she thought that this species could be a great research area.
Scientists discover hidden guests in Picasso’s ‘The Blue Room’ (June 2014)
For years, art experts suspected the existence of a hidden painting underneath Pablo Picasso’sThe Blue Room. The painting is one of the earliest examples of the Spanish master’s Blue Period, when he was experimenting with indigo hues to convey sadness and melancholia.
Spiders on drugs (August 2014)
Most orb-web spiders spin their webs in the wee hours of the morning. For zoologist H.M. Peters, who back in 1948 was studying spider webs at the University of Tubingen in Germany, this was annoying as it meant he had to be awake between two and five am most days of the week to complete his study.
Guest blog post
The robots are coming (May/June 2011):
Shakespeare was right: rosemary improves your memory (Feb 2012)
The scent from essential oils has been used since ancients to influence the mood. The earliest record of man’s use of rosemary was found in Sumerian cuneiform tablets from the 5th century BC — even Shakespeare mentioned its medicinal properties in Hamlet (“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance,” says sweet Ophelia in Act 4). But how exactly does rosemary work?
Understanding Frida Kahlo’s fertility problems (May 2012)
The famous Mexican painter studied medicine in her youth and used that knowledge to paint the different factors that might have affected her ability to procreate.
Earliest Mayan calendar goes well beyond 2012 (May 2012)
In 2008, William Saturno, who works at the Archaeology Department at Boston University, US, began a systematic archaeological investigation in the Maya ruins of Xultun, northeastern Guatemala.
Eternal embrace (June 2012)
Forty-seven million years ago, turtles of the extinct species Allaeochelys crassesculpta were mating near a volcanic crater lake. Their sweet embrace didn’t last long: they were buried in lakebed sediments — their love forever locked in geological time.
Bilingualism increases mental agility (August 2012)
Being bilingual means learning to cope with two different ways of naming and perceiving reality. That means that the bilingual brain needs to learn how to think in both languages and how to switch them on and off effortlessly, a process known as code switching. Some researchers suggest that it is this process what gives multilingual people an edge.
Wonder of Science
Young Science ambassador profiles, 2013 – 2014
Gregory Boyle: Physics is awesome
Jeremy Baldwin: Creativity powers science
Patrick Biggins: Finding a treatment for SCI
Katrin Schmidt: The secret lives of tadpoles
Simon Scheck: Changing the lives of children with cerebral palsy
Natalie McKirdy: Discovery is a powerful tool
Science can change the world, interview with Dr Anneline Padayachee (2013)
Why do guppies jump? (April 2013)
Do you feel guilty because your guppy went on a kamikaze mission and you weren’t there to rescue it? Blame it on evolution—and keep reading to find out why the colourful guppy jumps spontaneously out of its tank.
Theory of the giant peach is wrong (January 2013)
It was 1961 and Roald Dahl, the author behind the amazing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, published a book titled James and the Giant Peach, in which an orphan boy named James Henry Trotter has to cross the Atlantic Ocean to escape from his evil and greedy aunts Sponge and Spiker.