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BBC Science Focus MagazineBBC Science Focus Magazine

BBC Science Focus Magazine December 2018

With accessible features illustrated with the world’s best photography, BBC Focus Magazine explains the theory behind scientific phenomena and really brings science to life. In every issue you’ll find news of the latest major scientific developments, a lively Q&A section plus exclusive and astonishing photographic reports that range from the breathtaking to the downright odd.

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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US$ 38,77
13 Números


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The Red Planet is about to get a new resident robot: the Mars InSight lander. InSight doesn’t have wheels like Opportunity or Spirit, but when it touches down on Elysium Planitia on 26 November, it will show us a place that’s never been explored before: subterranean Mars. Relatively little is known about what goes on beneath the Red Planet’s rocky ranges. But we do know one thing: the planet rumbles. These Marsquakes send vibrations coursing through the planet’s rock and InSight will be there, with some of the most delicate equipment ever launched into space, to listen to what they sound like. In a similar way to how you knock on a wall to tell if it’s hollow, the waves, recorded as seismographs along with other data, will paint a picture…

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in this issue

ALEKS KROTOSKI With the Christmas party season approaching, Aleks looks into the benefits of being alone, and how this differs from social isolation p31 NICK LYON Producer Nick describes the challenges of filming the competing packs of painted wolves that feature in BBC One’s new natural history series Dynasties p74 DR DARREN NAISH Palaeontologist Darren meets the geneticist collecting DNA floating in Loch Ness in the hope of answering whether or not a monster lurks there p66…

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contact us

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eye opener

Aerosol planet Our atmosphere is awash with aerosols – microscopic specks of matter including dust, smoke, ash and salt. Humans are responsible for some of these particles, but most come from natural sources, such as volcanoes, dust storms and forest fires. This NASA visualisation gives a snapshot of Earth’s aerosols on 23 August 2018. It was created by a computer model that combines readings taken by satellites and ground sensors, then overlays them on an image of Earth at night. The oranges are a sooty material called ‘black carbon’. The vast swathe across the northwestern US mostly comes from wildfire smoke, while the plume over central Africa is caused by agricultural burning. The purples are dust particles blowing over deserts in Africa and Asia, while the blues are sea salt particles, lofted into…

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clear as mud

I was excited to read Michael Mosely’s column about beating air pollution by bike in the September issue. I cycle to work every day, and worry about the air quality in London, but I find masks uncomfortable and ineffective. My route takes me along mainly back roads, so I was predisposed to like Michael’s conclusion that a back streets cycle route is the best way to avoid as much pollution as possible. However, I’m afraid the method of ‘experiment’ was too problematic, even for me. Michael’s test included the following: a walking route on main roads, a cycle route on back roads, and a taxi route on main roads. He then concluded that cycling on back routes was the least polluted journey. I suppose if those are your only choices, then…

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Bugged out BBC Focus has been my favourite magazine for a long time, I love the mix of articles and the balance of photos to writing. Recently, a few people I know have had KPHGEVKQPU››VYQ|QH›YJKEJ›YGTG› after operations. They needed a load of antibiotics to cure them. Whenever I hear about these stories, I end up worrying about antibiotic-resistant superbugs. It’s probably because I’ve read too many articles from different magazines about bacterial natural selection, antibiotic resistance and incurable superbugs. Could we create a ‘super antibiotic’ that attacks a bacteria in so many ways that bacterial natural selection can’t make the jump to resistance, even if you used it a lot? Brian Bliss, via email At the moment doctors use antibiotic cocktails to reduce the chance that infectious bacteria become resistant to one drug. Looking…