Time Flies

Philip Myers tells us how scientists unravelled the secrets of time telling using the humble vinegar fly You cannot win a Nobel Prize if you are dead. Last year, the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine was awarded for the ‘elucidation of the molecular mechanisms controlling circadian rhythms’, and the living received the credit. But some missed out – some who had passed away, who had been central to the

Why Limit Ourselves to Silverware?

Think goldware, zincware and copperware! Bianca Provost explains what Professor Mark Miodownik’s work can tell us about materials and food With every spoonful of food you eat, you are 
also consuming billions of atoms worth of the spoon’s material. It should therefore come as no surprise that your spoon’s composition affects the taste of your
meal. Dr Mark Miodownik, Professor of Materials and Society as well as director of the Institute

Review: Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

“… reveals the insidious impact that Big Data algorithms
– in her words, ‘Weapons of Math Destruction’ – have on our society“ What do job recruitment, teachers’ yearly evaluations, bank loans, probation decisions, health insurance and online advertising have in common? They are increasingly decided not by humans, but by algorithms. At first, this may sound like a good idea; we are notoriously bad at being objective and unbiased. What better

Medicine’s Forgotten Warriors

Laura Upstone tells the story of virus based medicine in the war against bacteria, the wonder drug that almost was In this age of modern medicine it is easy to
forget that only a century ago, an infected scratch from a bramble could have cost you your life. Alexander Fleming’s discovery of the first antibiotic – penicillin – opened up a wealth of opportunities. Now an infected cut is just a

Review: The Secret Language of Anatomy

“… with a sense of wonder and whimsy, this book reveals the thoughtfulness of anatomists through the ages” Did you know you have a harp in your heart (chordae tendinae), a snail in your ear (cochlea) and a beehive in your lungs (alveoli)? In their newly released book The Secret Language of Anatomy, Cecilia Brassett, Emily Evans and Isla Fay explore the etymological roots of anatomical terms in an elegant

Breaking up at Sea:
 The Great Collapse of an Ice Shelf

Dr Alison Banwell tells Silas Yeem Kai Ean and Seán Thór Herron how ice shelves break up In 2002, the Larsen B ice shelf disintegrated into the Antarctic ocean in a mere span of two weeks. A floating mass of ice about the size of Cambridgeshire simply disappeared into the sea. This spectacular event not only inspired the lyrics to a British Sea Power song and sparked mass panic amongst