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Guardian (UK) Science Blog

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Notes and Theories: Dispatches from the Science desk.

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Why humans are optimised for endurance running, not speed
Other animals have us beat over short distances, but in an interspecies Olympic ultramarathon, Homo sapiens would likely take all the medalsRoger Bannister's four-minute mile, while a remarkable human milestone, is noteworthy from a comparative physi...
Guardian (UK) Science Blog
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

From spy novels to Skripal: the myth of the untraceable poison
The idea of a poison that can't be detected is terrifying, but there is no such thingThe news of the apparent poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia produced a lot of speculation over what might have made two people very ill so suddenly. ...
Guardian (UK) Science Blog
Thursday, March 8, 2018

Counter-mapping: cartography that lets the powerless speak
How a subversive form of mapmaking charts the stories and customs of those who would traditionally be ignored Sara is a 32-year-old mother of four from Honduras. After leaving her children in the care of relatives, she travelled across three state bo...
Guardian (UK) Science Blog
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Babies' sleep patterns can be challenging - here's why you shouldn't despair
On Baby Sleep Day, here are some insights that might help get you through the long, broken nightsPairing the words "baby" and "sleep" can evoke strong emotions. Those who have had limited contact with little ones might interpret this word-combination...
Guardian (UK) Science Blog
Thursday, March 1, 2018

Mirrors have revealed something new about manta rays - and it reflects badly on us
Humans make huge use of marine vertebrates, but manta rays may pass the self-awareness test and fish potentially could too. Ethically, where does that leave us?As a shark biologist, I enjoy nothing more than going scuba diving with sharks in the wild...
Guardian (UK) Science Blog
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

How to make a monster: what's the science behind Shelley's Frankenstein?
A look at the problems Victor Frankenstein would have faced, from preservation of tissue to developing new surgical techniquesThe bicentenary of the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: or the Modern Prometheus has meant a lot of people are re...
Guardian (UK) Science Blog
Thursday, February 22, 2018

Life after death: how we hatched live shark pups from dead parents
Six years ago, researchers asked a radical question: could eggcases taken from trawler-caught sharks still hatch live, healthy young?Back in December 2012, I met up with Greg Nowell, co-founder of Sharklab-Malta, a non-profit NGO founded in 2008. Sha...
Guardian (UK) Science Blog
Monday, February 19, 2018

Hot stuff: the thermal cameras giving us a new way of seeing our bodies
How do our bodies regulate themselves - and is it even true that we have a single body temperature? New technology will tell usI'm one of those people who always feels cold. Maybe it's my upbringing in the chilly north, or maybe it's down the quirks ...
Guardian (UK) Science Blog
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Girl, interrupted: the science behind my stutter - and what not to say to me
People tend to be misinformed about stammering. Here's why finishing my sentences or telling me to ‘slow down' doesn't helpI've heard the misconceptions for most of my life."Just slow down," a stranger told me as a child. "You're talking too fast - t...
Guardian (UK) Science Blog
Thursday, February 8, 2018

Why communication from a ‘locked-in' child is a miracle we must question
If Jonathan Bryan can communicate we should celebrate, but hard evidence is needed before we change how severely disabled children are cared forThere has been much coverage lately - including in the Times, the Mirror, the Daily Mail, and tonight's CB...
Guardian (UK) Science Blog
Monday, February 5, 2018

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