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BBC Science Focus MagazineBBC Science Focus Magazine

BBC Science Focus Magazine January 2019

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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7,13 $(TVA Incluse)
54,22 $(TVA Incluse)
13 Numéros


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The Universe is strange. I sometimes think that could be BBC Focus’s motto, since I seem to learn something inherently weird every issue. It’s what makes this magazine, and working on it, so much fun. For example, this month I learned there’s a patch of the International Space Station’s orbit that astronauts describe as the Bermuda Triangle of space. It’s a spot above the Earth where the space station's instruments and computers fail and the astronauts hallucinate flashes of light. Find out what causes this and other space oddities on p40. I also discovered Formica archboldi, an ant that leaves the severed heads of its considerably larger enemies lying around its nest. The heads, and their contents, are probably collected as a snack and not as some creepy hunting lodge decor. But…

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eye opener

Tangled web LAKE VISTONIDA, GREECE Arachnophobes, look away. Hidden within this mass of cobwebs are hundreds of thousands of spiders, building a fortress on the banks of Lake Vistonida in northeast Greece. Photographed last October, the 1km-long web was the handiwork of Tetragnathaspiders. These arachnids, also known as ‘stretch spiders’ because of their elongated body shape, often build their webs in long vegetation near water. “During breeding season, the spiders produce these webs to protect themselves from predators, such as birds, small reptiles and mammals, as they mate and the females lay eggs,” says Prof Adam Hart, an entomologist at the University of Gloucestershire. “The influx of spiders this year was due to an unusually warm, wet summer, which caused an increase in gnats and other small flying insects that the spiders feed on.…

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the hope for same-sex mice-birth breakthrough

I enjoyed your news story about healthy mice born from same-sex parents (December, p19). Others may disagree but I feel this is great research. I know the technique is years away from being adapted for humans but, as a bisexual, I love the idea that should I want a child with another woman, we could have one that carries both of our genes. To learn more about the science behind the technique, I read other articles about it and was surprised by the strong opposition shown towards this research. Comments posted online indicated that some people found it to be unethical or against God. It struck me that similar arguments were used in the 1970s regarding test-tube babies. But today we take IVF for granted as an option for couples who…

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What about us older kids?! I was horrified to see that in the Q&A section of your Christmas issue you had calculated the number of Santa’s deliveries based on there being 200 to 700 million ‘children’. What about the grownups? Santa delivers presents to people of all ages in my house, and I hope that he does the same for every household! I trust that you’ll issue an apology to all the adults who were worried that they would miss out this year. Admittedly, next year may be a different proposition altogether, depending on what access Santa has to Britain after Brexit, so we’ll see! Steve Barnet, Stirling Good point, Steve. And our most heartfelt apologies to everyone over the age of 18 whose belief in the magic of Christmas was shaken by…

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treasure trove of dinosaur footprints discovered in southern england

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have identified an area of fossilised dinosaur footprints. Discovered on a section of coastal erosion along cliffs near Hastings, East Sussex, the prints are the most diverse and detailed ever found in the UK. The footprints date from the Early Cretaceous, which stretches from 101 to 145 million years ago. There are prints from Iguanodon, Ankylosaurus, a species of stegosaur, possible sauropods (the large leaf-eating group of dinosaurs that includes Diplodocus), and theropods (the group of meat-eating dinosaurs that includes Velociraptor). “SOME ARE SO BEAUTIFULLY PRESERVED THAT THE DETAILS OF THE DINOSAURS’ SKIN, SCALES AND CLAWS ARE VISIBLE” “Whole body fossils of dinosaurs are incredibly rare,” said PhD student Anthony Shillito, who took part in the research. “Usually you only get small pieces, which don’t tell you…