The past, present and future of food

From BBC Future, 8 November 2016: You look amazing – are you banting?” In the 1860s there was only one diet, and it was the Banting. Conceived of by a corpulent English undertaker and coffin-maker called William Banting – who was clearly well positioned to observe the consequences of over-indulgence – it became the first Continue reading The past, present and future of food

The benefits and downsides of building into the sea

From BBC Future, 1 November 2016: All around the world, cities are edging further into the sea. Plans are afoot to build huge islands and giant constructions in coastal areas, featuring the dredging and dumping of million of tonnes of material. What are the implications for ocean life and ecosystems as we build more and Continue reading The benefits and downsides of building into the sea

Your Facebook status can reveal hidden signals about you

From BBC Future, 25 October 2016: “What’s on your mind?” This is how Facebook greets its 1.7 billion active users every day. It’s also a question that countless psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors have asked their clients at the start of a session; a question we instinctively ask of a friend or family member looking troubled. Continue reading Your Facebook status can reveal hidden signals about you

All you need to know about the ‘antibiotic apocalypse’

From BBC Future, 11 October 2016: Antibiotic resistance was around long before we started using antibiotics with a frequency and enthusiasm that borders on addiction. The same genes that modern bacteria are currently loading up on to protect themselves against antibiotics have been found in ancient bacteria frozen in Arctic permafrost for over 30,000 years. Continue reading All you need to know about the ‘antibiotic apocalypse’

The myths and reality of interstellar travel

From BBC Future, 4 October 2016: Science fiction writers and moviemakers have shown us countless visions of humanity spread out across the Universe, so you might be forgiven for thinking that we’ve already got this in the bag. Unfortunately, we still have more than a few technical limitations to overcome – like the laws of Continue reading The myths and reality of interstellar travel

Your old phone is full of untapped precious metals

From BBC Future, 18 October 2016: A diamond-encrusted iPhone can set you back $95m – but if this piece of i-bling is a little out of your price range, don’t feel despondent. Every smartphone contains precious metals including gold, silver, copper, platinum and palladium. This is more than just an amusing detail about the device Continue reading Your old phone is full of untapped precious metals

A tick bite that makes you allergic to red meat

From BBC Future, 1 February 2016: Walking through Sydney’s northern beaches in the height of summer, the dense, humid bush is alive with the buzz of cicadas, the screech of rosellas, and the mouth-watering smell of barbecue. But hiding in the undergrowth is a tiny creature that is forcing some unrepentant carnivores to turn their Continue reading A tick bite that makes you allergic to red meat