The NHS Should Be Free – But Only For The Young

In celebration of this blog’s 1st birthday, I’m publishing an opinion piece. Please read it accordingly.  It’s a social marvel that provides free healthcare to our entire population regardless of class, wealth, ethnicity, sex or age. However, we all agree that the NHS is in financial trouble. Ideally this would be fixed by dramatically increased funding,…

Fools Gold

Fact: DNA evidence can be faked.  DNA fingerprinting has become the ‘gold standard’ in forensic science for the identification of criminals, and has been billed as reliable and trustworthy beyond repute. But a new study calls that all into question. Recent research has shown that in-vitro DNA synthesis – which has become so simple that any…

Mr Sandman

Fact: You could kill someone in your sleep. For most of us, dreams are just dreams.But for those with REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder (RBD), they can be much more real. Random Eye Movement (REM) is the stage of sleep in which we dream, and it is accompanied by temporary muscle paralysis. In RBD, this muscle…

Monkey See, Monkey Want

Fact: Monkeys hate inequality. In a simple yet ingeneous experiment, Frans de Waal has perfectly demonstrated how our desire for equality is rooted deep in our instincts. Two monkeys in cages next to one another are trained to perform a simple test – hand a rock to the scientist. At first, both monkeys are rewarded…

Two Frogs On A Bench

Fact: You can win $1,000,000 if you have ‘supernatural abilities’. The “Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge” is offered to anyone who can demonstrate a supernatural ability under agreed-upon scientific testing criteria. In 40 years, despite over 1000 applicants, no one ever won. The prize was offered by James Randi, a famous magician, escape artist and debunker of pseudoscience and the…

When I was Three, I Wanted To Be…

Fact: A 10-year old girl discovered a new molecule in her chemistry lesson. Anyone who did chemistry at school will remember those ball-and-stick molecule toys that teachers used to try and get everyone enthusiastic about covalent bonding. But 10 year old Clara Lazen decided she knew more than her teacher. Clara managed to arrange black,…

When The Cats Are Away, The Theoretical Physicists Will Play

Fact: There’s a cat that is co-author of a theoretical physics paper. in 1975, American mathematician and physicist Professor Jack H. Hetherington wrote an entire paper (on low temperature physics, if you were wondering) on a typewriter, only to be told by his supervisor that it would be rejected by the journal he was intending to publish it…

I Once Was Blind, But Now I See

Fact: Blind people don’t see darkness. They see nothing. I’ll admit this seems counter-intuitive; most of us would shout “I can’t see anything” when stumbling around in the pitch dark. But understanding blindness requires a bit more thought. It does depend on the type of blindness; acquired blindness seems to leave patients with light rather…