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BBC Science Focus Magazine

BBC Science Focus Magazine August 2020

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.

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United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor

From Interstellar to Lost In Space to Event Horizon, black holes have inspired a wealth of science fiction. But now there’s a new idea in cosmology that’s so out there it seems as though it could have been plucked from an episode of Star Trek itself. In the hunt for alien life, some scientists think we might be taking an approach that’s too conventional. Usually, we look for solar systems like our own: a set of planets basking in the warmth of star. But we might have overlooked a potential location that’s a bit more… heavy metal. What if black holes, which are known for being forces of destruction, could harbour life in their midst? What if the matter and energy swirling towards the event horizon could actually provide enough warmth to…

1 min.
on the bbc this month…

Planet Earth: A Celebration Featuring eight breathtaking scenes from Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II, this special programme will be accompanied by a brand new score from Hans Zimmer and the string section of the BBC Concert Orchestra. BBC One, check Radio Times for details The Life Scientific This month, Prof Jim Al-Khalili is discussing bones with Prof Alice Roberts (pictured below), marine conservation with Dr Heather Koldewey, and how to feed the world’s growing population with plant scientist Prof Dale Sanders. BBC Radio 4, Tuesdays at 9 am Animal Park It has been 20 years since Ben Fogle and Kate Humble first introduced us to the team from Longleat Estate and Safari Park, and this summer we’re invited behind the scenes once again. Find out how the pandemic has affected the park, witness newborn armadillos’…

1 min.

The lockdown has meant my step count has dropped. Should I be worried? → p80 DR HELEN SCALES The underwater world is still a mystery. Marine biologist Helen meets the innovative scientists who are using the latest technology to unlock the ocean’s secrets. → p70 DR RITU RAMAN The future of robotics is biological. Mechanical engineer Ritu has designed all manner of amazing devices, including a walking robot made with muscle tissue. → p66 DR PRAGYA AGARWAL As the world addresses public memorials, behavioural scientist Pragya explains how things in our environment influence our national identity. → p36 DR RACHEL BROWN A recent study has linked COVID-19 to a number of neurological conditions. We speak to researcher Rachel to explain these syndromes. → p26 CONTACT US → Advertising sam.jones@immediate.co.uk 0117 300 8145 → Letters for publication reply@sciencefocus.com → Editorial enquiries editorialenquiries@sciencefocus.com 0117…

1 min.
want more?

Don’t forget that BBC Science Focus is also available on all major digital platforms. We have versions for Android, Kindle Fire and Kindle e-reader, as well as an iOS app for the iPad and iPhone. Can’t wait until next month to get your fix of science and tech? Our website is packed with news, articles and Q&As to keep your brain satisfied. sciencefocus.com SPECIAL ISSUE THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF MIND-BLOWING ANSWERS In this special edition, the experts from BBC Science Focus reveal the mind-blowing answers to the perplexing questions that baffle the brightest of brains. buysubscriptions.com/focuscollection…

2 min.
eye opener

Hubble bubble HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE This brightly coloured, glowing bubble of gas and dust is the planetary nebula, NGC 7027. It measures just 0.2 by 0.1 light-years in size, and is one of the smallest and brightest planetary nebulae. It is located some 3,000 light-years away in the Cygnus constellation. Planetary nebulae are formed when ageing stars shed their outer layers of gas into space. New images from the Hubble Space Telescope will allow researchers to study NGC 7027 in the near-ultraviolet wavelength for the first time, which may help unlock some of the mysteries of this object. One theory is that a closely orbiting binary star has been sloughing off material for thousands of years, seen here as blue rings, but now the nebula has entered a more violent phase. It’s ejecting hot…

1 min.
letter of the month

Ride and dine At the risk of sounding at best a bit weird and at worst completely barking, I have always been fascinated by cheese, ever since I was forced to watch White Christmas as a child and Bing Crosby explained how different cheeses can affect your dreams. I have, in the past, eaten particularly pungent cheeses at bedtime in the hope of dreaming the winning lottery numbers. In your July issue (p66), Dr Farrimond explained why some people like strong cheeses and why we have a ‘taste’ for danger foods. This idea linked to the dopamines mentioned in the piece on rollercoasters in that same issue (p70). Perhaps I could launch a gourmet thrill experience in partnership with a theme park. Puffer fish (illegal in the UK), then a stinky cheese…