Here comes the science bit

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The Large Hadron Collider. Photo: Getty
The usefulness of a pentaquark
By Michael Brooks - 30 July 12:58

Quarks are a puzzle: they carry, variously, a third or two-thirds of the electrical charge of the electron.

People inside a model of an intestine in Dresden, Germany. Photo: Getty
Intelligent stomachs: what if your gut could remember what you had eaten?
By Michael Brooks - 23 July 11:44

Welcome to the world of synthetic biology.

You scratch my back. . . baboons are masters of consensus. Photo: Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP/Getty
Planning a holiday? Take some advice from baboons
By Michael Brooks - 16 July 9:17

When planning, it often seems one person gets their way. But there is an alternative.

The New Horizons spacecraft at the Kennedy Center. Photo: NASA
The risks, rewards and rocky starts of space travel
By Michael Brooks - 09 July 17:00

Space is hard but deep space is perhaps harder – yet, as we hope to find out, still worth the effort. 

Can we save the world? Photo: Alexander Gerst / ESA via Getty Images
Why game theory is our last hope to avert Armaggedon
By Michael Brooks - 02 July 9:49

We can spot catastrophes that could kill us – but can we come together to stop them?

How we see is an intriguing question - especially for quantum physics. Photo: Mark Mainz/Getty Images
What does it mean to see something? Take a look at Schrödinger’s cat
By Michael Brooks - 25 June 15:24

It takes only a few photons to trigger our visual sense. Tantalisingly, a few photons can exist in superposition.

South Koreans wear masks to protest against Mers. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
As Mers hits the headlines, we have to ask: is this a golden age for pathogens?
By Michael Brooks - 18 June 12:45

It’s not just people who are at risk from the 21st-century way of life. Plants are suffering, too.

It's easier to smell in summer: a woman sniffs a rose. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Happy summer memories? It could all come down to smell
By Michael Brooks - 10 June 10:15

As it gets warmer, the molecules in our environment vaporise and fill the air with scents. These make their way into the outermost extreme of the brain – the nose – and stimulate neurons into firing.

Albert Einstein, whose general theory of relativity is still fueling new work. Photo: -/AFP/Getty Images
What’s up with gravity?
By Michael Brooks - 04 June 14:32

Cheer the discovery of the gravitational wave when it happens. But don’t be fooled: gravity will remain our greatest mystery for a long time yet.

The gecko's sticky feet are a prime source of scientific innovation. Photo: JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images
From sticky feet to a sticky situation: what humans can learn from geckos
By Michael Brooks - 28 May 11:57

The extraordinary skills of lizards they evolved over millions of years. Now we are treading the same path, though with more purpose.

George Osborne tours the labs researching graphene at Manchester. Photo: Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images
EU membership is crucial to Britain’s science excellence
By Michael Brooks - 21 May 9:06

Osborne can fund the creation of big institutes all he likes; if Britain left the EU, our scientists would be left isolated.

Embyros in a lab in California. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images
Now we can edit the human genome, the question is: should we?
By Michael Brooks - 05 May 8:18

Some of the diseases that could be cured are far more distressing than mutations in an embyro that was never going to develop anyway.

These red, orange and green clouds (false color) in Saturn's northern hemisphere indicate the tail end of the massive 2010-2011 storm. Photo: NASA
Storms from outer space: some things are just too impressive to appreciate
By Michael Brooks - 29 April 8:34

We know more about life in space – and at home – than ever before. But what do we do with that knowledge?

A hard problem for soft brains: is there a Hard Problem?
By Michael Brooks - 16 April 15:29

Daniel Dennett wants to convince Tom Stoppard that there is no Hard Problem.

Jeremy Clarkson. Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
The neuroscience of Jeremy Clarkson
By Michael Brooks - 26 March 15:33

If humans can’t control themselves, they cannot be allowed the freedoms others enjoy: humans learn self-control, she says, in the same way that toddlers learn to control their bladders.

A patient in bed touches their stomach. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Researchers have a gut feeling - could chronic pain be caused by bacteria?
By Michael Brooks - 19 March 12:07

This month, researchers are gathering in Cambridge to try and work out why we hurt. Michael Brooks weighs up one suggestion.

Scientists undertake Gamma Knife surgery, one treatment for ocular melanoma. Photo: Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty Images
Spare a thought for “orphan” drugs: the rare disease medicines that prove health is a numbers game
By Michael Brooks - 05 March 9:09

Oliver Sacks wrote of his imminent death with remarkable dignity, knowing science cannot help him. But what about the cases where it might?

Why not? Robots dancing in Madrid's robot museum. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images
Nuclear armaments? Global warming? All hail our robot overlords!
By Michael Brooks - 26 February 11:09

I, for one, accept our new robot politicians.

Realistic-colour image of Europa. Photo: NASA / Jet Propulsion Lab-Caltech / SETI Institute
Is there life on Jupiter’s ice moon?
By Michael Brooks - 18 February 10:25

If only politics worked half as well as space exploration.

A cloud of dust and gas in space. Photo: Nasa/Getty Images
A handful of cosmic dust: revealing the roots of our existence
By Michael Brooks - 12 February 11:19

It's time to appreciate space dust.

White mice in a lab. Photo: China Photos/Getty Images
New research in blood sharing forces us to ask: how far will we go to beat ageing?
By Michael Brooks - 05 February 11:36

In mice, young blood can rejuvinate the arteries and even neurones of the old. But humans may be wary.

Capsules containing ketamine. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP
Could ketamine stop suicide?
By Michael Brooks - 29 January 8:00

The drug has been proven as a reliever of suicidal thoughts. With some doctors reluctant to prescribe SSRIs, it could provide the answer.

A light bulb. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
How harnessing the strangeness of light allows science to shine
By Michael Brooks - 22 January 10:10

From eyecare to creating the coldest thing in the universe, lasers show science at its most illuminating.

23andMe Co-Founder Anne Wojcicki. Photo: Kimberly White/Getty Images
23andMe: Why bother with predictions about yourself when you are almost certainly average?
By Michael Brooks - 15 January 9:06

Want to understand your genes? Call your parents.

Tuck in: a 1955 Christmas dinner. Photo: Getty
Why festive indulgence is good for you
By Michael Brooks - 22 December 15:11

What should you do to stay happy and healthy this Christmas? You’ll like the first piece of advice: if you want to relax, you could try eating a big meal.

The Betatron, which was used in the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Photo: Getty
Protecting planet earth from killer electrons
By Michael Brooks - 11 December 9:37

Our planet has hidden life-protection systems that continue to surprise us.

Dark skies: a view of the milky way during a meteor shower, Myanmar. Photo: Getty
Dark energy vs dark matter: a battle of two cosmic monsters
By Michael Brooks - 04 December 10:00

Michael Brooks’s Science Column.

Powerful you have become: a 3D-printed model of Star Wars' Yoda. Photo: Getty
Made in space: Sending 3D printers into orbit
By Michael Brooks - 27 November 10:00

The ESA wants to test a 3D printer in orbit because this is likely to be the best place and method of building the equipment that will take us further out.

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