EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Science
How It Works Book of Incredible Science

How It Works Book of Incredible Science

How It Works Book of Incredible Science

It's no secret that humankind has come a long way since Homo sapiens first emerged from among our ape-like ancestors around 13O,OOO years ago. Yet despite all of our progress to date, many questions remain. What are we exactly? How do our brains really work? How have we achieved so much in the field of science, and where are we heading next? In this bookazine you'll journey from our early beginnings as a species, exploring how we came to be and how our immune systems, emotions and even fears develop. You'll then meet some of science’s greatest minds and discover for yourself how humans have created vaccines, illuminated the light spectrum and explained phenomena from ‘vampires’ to out-of-body experiences. Finally, you'll explore the power behind nuclear fusion and the endless possibilities offered by quantum mechanics before stepping into a future where many diseases are a thing of the past and cloning yourself could be more than just the stuff of science fiction. A world of incredible science is just over the page.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Future Publishing Ltd
Frequency:
One-off
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in this issue

1 min.
incredible science

It's no secret that humankind has come along way since Homo sapiens first emerged from among our ape-like ancestors around 130,000 years ago. Yet despite all of our progress to date, many questions remain. What are we exactly? How do our brains really work? How have we achieved so much in the field of science, and where are we heading next? In this bookazine you'll journey from our early beginnings as a species, exploring how we came to be and how our immune systems, emotions and even fears develop. You'll then meet some of science’s greatest minds and discover for yourself how humans have created vaccines, illuminated the light spectrum and explained phenomena from ‘vampires’ to out-of-body experiences. Finally, you'll explore the power behind nuclear fusion and the endless possibilities offered by…

2 min.
evolution myths busted

Evolution is one of the most significant scientific ideas of all time. It describes how species change over time or diverge to create more than one descendant species. It explains how humans became so brainy, why giraffes are so tall and how bacteria can develop antibiotic resistance in just days. The race to explain the web of life started in earnest in the 1800s. For decades, naturalists had been fascinated by the similarities between different animals, and during the 19th century more and more ancient fossils were pulled from the ground. Earth scientists were beginning to reveal that the planet was much older than previously thought. It became clear that humans hadn’t been around for all that long and that huge animals had once lived but were now extinct. A naturalist called…

2 min.
we are descended from monkeys

This is perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions about evolution – that humans are descended, step-by-step, from modern monkeys or apes. It may be that the well-known ‘evolution of man’ image, showing a series of apes that become ever-more upright and human-like, has helped to spread this myth. First, we should be absolutely clear that monkeys and apes are not the same thing. Modern monkeys are divided into New World and Old World monkeys, both of which are separate groups of species to apes. The apes are then divided again into lesser apes (gibbons) and great apes, which include humans. So we certainly aren’t descended from monkeys, but what about apes? We share many traits with the other great apes – chimpanzees, orangutans, bonobos and gorillas – and they are our closest…

2 min.
you can’t test evolution

Evolution usually happens over millions of years, and even in several human lifetimes we can’t hope to see anything as dramatic as dinosaurs evolving into birds. The trouble with tracking evolution is that genetic changes have to be passed on for many generations before the effects become obvious. If animals live a long time, it’s hard to watch them evolve before our eyes, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t see evolution happening in real time. During the Industrial Revolution, Britain went through a rapid period of environmental change. Factories churned out soot, which coated the trees. Peppered moths had previously used birch trees for camouflage, and it was an advantage to be pale, because dark moths stood out against the bark and were quickly spotted and eaten by birds. But,…

1 min.
everything is an adaptation

It’s tempting to imagine that there is a story behind every trait, but not everything is an adaptation. Much of what you see today happened by chance or as a side-effect of something else that turned out to be useful. Others are just remnants of traits that used to be useful but are not really needed any more. Evolution often involves trade-offs and compromises, and it is constrained by the adaptations that an organism already has. CHANCE MUTATIONS Many traits don’t have an obvious reason or advantage and aren’t an adaptation. For example, around 25 per cent of the population are ‘supertasters’, with far more taste buds than others. SIDE-EFFECTS Some traits are side-effects of others. The colour of our blood isn’t an adaptation; instead, it is a side-effect of the molecule that transports…

1 min.
evolution explains the origins of life

Evolution can tell us a lot about why life is the way it is and how life changes and adapts over time, but it doesn’t claim to explain how it started. Evolution has already taken us back as far as LUCA: the Last Universal Common Ancestor. This is the organism from which all life on Earth evolved. Using gene tracking and comparing the genes of organisms in the two most ancient branches of the tree of life (archaea and bacteria), it is estimated that LUCA lived around 3.8 billion years ago and had at least 100 genes. The science of evolution can give us clues about what would have been needed for life to begin, but this puzzle has yet to be solved and is currently being tackled by a range of…