A manhole exploded hundreds of feet into the air – what's the science behind this?
By Tosin Thompson - 16 April 13:51

A manhole exploded on a road in Buffalo, New York, last weekend. Odd, sure, but that's the science behind this? 

Astronauts explore a new world in Interstellar. Photo: Paramount/Warner Bros.
Near-light speed travel increasingly impossible, according to maths
By Tosin Thompson - 13 April 17:58

Travelling at close to the speed of light may be necessary for humans to colonise the galaxy, but the maths show it'd be like flying through a cloud of bombs - but also that we should notice the explosions here on Earth, if any other civilisation has managed the feat.

Venus appears near the crescent moon. Photo: Getty
Nasa chief scientist says we're (possibly) only a decade away from finding alien life
By Ian Steadman - 08 April 16:22

It's increasingly clear that the Solar System is more life-friendly than we'd previously suspected.

Chicken sit in a farm near Jamasa city. Photo: Getty Images
Good news for farmers as study finds what it is that makes chicken farts smell bad
By Tosin Thompson - 08 April 11:59

Small changes in a chicken's diet can grossly violate the nostrils of the unsuspecting - unless certain types of food are avoided, researchers find.

Deep in the roar: Niagara Falls, from an 1860 painting by Frederic Church. Photo: GETTY IMAGES
The lost landscape of America: chasing the vanishing sublime
By John Burnside - 08 April 9:10

While the landscapes of Thoreau and Watkins have been preserved by their art, John Burnside finds the wilderness that once covered America neutralised.

John Oliver gets to the crux of why the Snowden leaks matter: mass surveillance of dick pics
By Ian Steadman - 07 April 12:59

"I guess I never thought about putting it in the context of your junk."

A man collects plastic bottles to sell for recycling, in a landfill of Managua, Nicaragua, on January 11, 2013. Photo: Getty Images
Scientists buried biodegradeable plastics for three years, found it doesn't degrade
By Ian Steadman - 31 March 15:43

Common method of making plastic "biodegradeable" seems to be useless, in some types.

Fish swimming through the coral on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Getty Images
Coral reefs are an irreplaceable environmental and economic treasure, in need of help
By Tosin Thompson - 26 March 16:23

"Losing the world's coral reefs would be like burning every Impressionist painting - you won't get them back." A new exhibiton at the Natural History Museum shows just what a tragedy these natural wonders' loss would be.

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.

Zombies, off-duty. Photo: Getty Images
Good news: if you survive the first week of the zombie outbreak, chances are you'll survive it all
By Ian Steadman - 25 March 13:55

Great news for fans of not being eaten alive, less good news for the clumsy and slow.

How far can you trust citizen journalism on the internet?
By Vicky Baker - 25 March 10:55

As the BBC reports that it can receive up to 10,000 pieces of user-generated content on a single day, Vicky Baker looks at the increasing need for verification and how propaganda and hoaxes have become more prevalent.

Mind games: a research volunteer is prepared for scanning
Mapping the psychedelic brain: how LSD is making a comeback
By Ian Steadman - 25 March 9:14

Can drugs help depression? Crowdfunding allows science researchers to bypass institutional reservations and study taboo subjects.

So far, it's only if you've got one of these by your username.
Twitter gives (a few) users a new filter to block abuse
By Ian Steadman - 24 March 15:40

The social network's giving its "elite" users more control over whose tweets they have to pay attention to.

Phobos in 2008, as seen by the  Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Mars' unusual moons may have been created by collision with Pluto-sized object
By Ian Steadman - 23 March 15:24

Mars' moons are unusual in the Solar System - for their size, shape and colour from their parent planet. Where did they come from? We've got some clues to work with.

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.

Beer being served in a pub. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Graham didn’t know what had hit him – he was fine when he left the pub
By Phil Whitaker - 19 March 11:50

In this week's Health Matters, a man finds he has been hurt on the way home - and Phil Whitaker suggests sometimes the best thing to do is move on.

A cutaway view of Saturn's moon Enceladus, showing possible hydrothermal activity that may be taking place on and under the seafloor of its subsurface ocean. Image: NASA/JPL
The unexpectedly watery moons of our Solar System may be friendlier to life than we thought
By Tosin Thompson - 19 March 11:47

Secret oceans on the moons Enceladus and Ganymede were discovered within days of each other, reshaping our belief that the Earth is the Solar System's most watery, life-friendly habitat.

A man at a Berlin computer hacker's congress. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Click and collect: How to become a 21st-century cyber superpower
By Francis Maude - 16 March 15:32

Companies must manage their own risks. Digital security can’t be an issue for the IT department alone: it’s an issue for the boardroom, too, writes Paymaster General Francis Maude.

Wind turbines in Boulogne-sur-mer, France. Photo: Getty Images
The UK is one of the worst nations in the EU for renewable energy
By Tosin Thompson - 12 March 17:25

The latest figures on the progress EU nations are making towards reducing their use of non-renewable energy show the UK scraping in near the bottom of the class.

Black hole Cygnus X-1. Photo: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss
Dead stars and deep secrets: we are still in the dark when it comes to black holes
By Michael Brooks - 11 March 17:20

Despite Einstein and Hawking, we still know very little about black holes.

Digital hieroglyphics: what does the buffer symbol tell us about ourselves?
By Thomas McMullan - 06 March 9:42

Staring at a buffer symbol, waiting for something on the internet to load can be both reassuring and distressing. We wait with the belief that something is happening out of sight.

Smoking. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Doom-laden ads put healthy people in a panic – but some need to worry a bit more
By Phil Whitaker - 05 March 10:02

It's hard to draw the line between inciting fear, and giving a fair warning - as Colin and Mary's story proves.

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?

The infamous dress. Photo: swiked/Tumblr
The dress of many colours: is it blue and black or white and gold?
By Tosin Thompson - 27 February 12:30

A recent debate on the colour of a dress has broken the internet. But is it all just a visual illusion? 

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.

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