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BBC Science Focus MagazineBBC Science Focus Magazine

BBC Science Focus Magazine April 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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from the editor

At a certain scale, the Universe is a pretty tidy place. This isn’t just a brilliant excuse to put off the spring cleaning, but a problem that physicists have been working on for the last 20 years. The Universe, specifically the amount of heat and matter in it, is spread out evenly. Too evenly, in fact, to be accounted for by our existing models of physics. For decades, this neatness has been attributed to the idea of inflation: a period where gravity, matter and energy behaved in bizarre yet plausible ways, giving rise to a Universe where everything is uniformly spread out. But now some physicists are beginning to ponder whether there might be another way to explain how it all began. The brilliant Marcus Chown helps us navigate their…

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SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH The greatest voice on Earth talks about his new show Our Planet and why, despite imminent climate chaos, he’s still hopeful for the future. p60 DR SUZANNE GAGE Suzi, who studies the relationship between recreational drugs and behaviour, examines whether the online world is turning us all into addicts. p78 DR ALEKS KROTOSKI The way we talk about leprosy needs to change, argues Aleks, who grew up around people suffering from what’s known medically as Hansen’s disease. p68 PROF PETER SONKSON OBE A retired professor of endocrinology, Peter developed the test to detect growth hormone abuse for the London Olympics that caught two athletes. p40…

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eye opener

Vibrant fibres DUKE UNIVERSITY, USA This rainbow explosion is a map of a mouse kidney, as revealed by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) – a type of magnetic resonance imaging. DTI tracks the motions of water molecules as they pass through the fine tubes inside the kidney. The fluid that travels through these ‘tubules’ has nutrients removed and waste products added as it’s turned into urine. The colours of the fibres in this image represent their orientation, building a three-dimensional representation of the architecture of the kidney. MRI scans produce images by applying strong magnetic fields to tissue, and can be performed safely on living organisms. This photo is the winner of 2018's BMC Research In Progress photo competition. Bat cave TEXAS,USA Bracken Cave, outside San Antonio, Texas, hosts the world’s largest maternity bat colony. Over 15 million Mexican…

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letter of the month

Dancing poles I read with great interest the article about the magnetic poles moving in the March issue of BBC Science Focus (p28). It reminded me of a question that pops into my mind whenever I come across a mention of the magnetic north pole. We are all taught that opposite poles attract each other and like poles repel. Why is it then that, ignoring deviation, the north pole of a magnet or compass points to geographic north? Surely either the Earth’s magnetic north pole is in the southern hemisphere or our magnets have north and south wrongly identified. The article states that magnetic north is near geographic north, somewhere over Canada, so something must be amiss. Also, when we draw lines of magnetic flux from the north pole of a magnet to…

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Good with faces? As we enter more deeply into the age of the algorithm, technology is advancing at a pace so rapid that it’s easy to imagine it running ahead of human control. One area where technology is already progressing at such a rate is facial recognition systems, which are often criticised in the media due to their ostensibly high error rates. I expect many of your readers will have experienced some sort of drama while using an airport’s e-passport gate. A solution to this issue is to ensure that we retain skilled humans as the ultimate verifiers of the technology’s function, correcting any errors and maintaining a credible decision-making process. These people are essential for maintaining security at borders and ensuring that human rights and freedom of movement are not violated. The…

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focus bbc

THE TEAM EDITORIAL EditorDaniel Bennett ProductioneditorAlice Lipscombe-Southwell CommissioningeditorJason Goodyer OnlineeditorAlexander McNamara StaffwriterJames Lloyd EditorialassistantHelen Glenny Online assistantSara Rigby ScienceconsultantRobert Matthews ART ArteditorJoe Eden Deputyart editorSteve Boswell PictureeditorJames Cutmore CONTRIBUTORS Kate Adams, Robert Banino, Hayley Bennett, Peter Bentley, Dan Bright, Paul Butt, Marcus Chown, Charlotte Corney, Emma Davies, Sam Falconer, Alexandra Franklin-Cheung, Malcolm Ferguson-Smith, Suzi Gage, Alice Gregory, Alastair Gunn, Jules Howard, Jinhwa Jang, Christian Jarrett, Jeff Johnson, Aleks Krotoski, Michael Mosley, Darren Naish, Other Peter, Helen Pilcher, Dean Purnell, Jason Raish, James Round, Helen Scales, Peter Sonksen, Luis Villazon, Joe Waldron, Elena Xausa ADVERTISING&MARKETING GroupadvertisingmanagerTom Drew AdvertisingmanagerNeil Lloyd Senior brandsalesexecutiveJonathan Horwood SeniorsalesexecutiveAnastasia Jones NewstrademanagerRob Brock SubscriptionsdirectorJacky Perales-Morris DirectmarketingmanagerKellie Lane MOBILE Headofapps anddigitaledition marketing Mark Summerton INSERTS Laurence Robertson 00353 876 902208 LICENSING&SYNDICATION Director oflicensing andsyndicationTim Hudson InternationalpartnersmanagerAnna Brown PRODUCTION ProductiondirectorSarah Powell SeniorproductioncoordinatorDerrick Andrews AdservicesmanagerPaul Thornton Ad coordinatorJade O’Halloran Ad designerJulia Young PUBLISHING CommercialdirectorJemima Dixon ContentdirectorDave Musgrove ManagingdirectorAndy Healy GroupmanagingdirectorAndy Marshall CEOTom Bureau…