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BBC Science Focus Magazine

BBC Science Focus Magazine May 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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국가:
United Kingdom
언어:
English
출판사:
Immediate Media Company London Limited
빈도:
Monthly
구독
₩66,086
13 발행호

이번 호 내용

1
from the editor

In the face of a totally new threat to our way of life, it’s been inspiring to see how scientists from different disciplines and nations have worked together, night and day, to chart a route through these dangerous times. That said, despite the best efforts of those modelling the spread of COVID-19, it’s difficult to predict what the next year will look like for the UK and the rest of the world. Will lockdowns come and go? Will we find better treatments? Will anything return to ‘normal’? One thing is clear: the only thing that will bring back normality is immunity. Since January, scientists have been racing towards just that: multiple vaccines that can be manufactured quickly. Andy Ridgway met (virtually) with one team that’s leading the charge. Head to p52…

1
on the bbc this month...

The Great British Intelligence Test This Horizonspecial reveals the results of The Great British Intelligence Test, which saw 250,000 people from around the nation take part online. Dr Hannah Fry and Dr Michael Mosley discuss the science of intelligence, and what the test’s findings mean for our future. BBC Two, check Radio Times for details CrowdScience No question is too big, too small, or too silly for the CrowdScienceteam. This month, the programme answers questions from listeners on space, particles, maths, toilets and tickling. BBC World Service, new episode every Friday Between Life And Death This BAFTA-award-winning documentary from 2010 is available on BBC iPlayer. It follows doctors working in the brain injury unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, who can interrupt, and even reverse, the process of death. BBC iPlayer COVER: MAGIC TORCH THIS PAGE: GETTY IMAGES BBC X2…

1
contributors

DR STEVE BRUSATTE Dinosaurs hog the limelight, but ancient mammals were just as interesting. University of Edinburgh palaeontologist Steve reveals their secret lives. p68 PROF REBECCA SAXE A study has shown that loneliness can trigger a craving response in our brains that is similar to hunger. Rebecca Saxe, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at MIT, gives us the lowdown. p26 DR DEAN BURNETT Why is social isolation so hard? Neuroscientist and author Dean explores how our brains weren’t built for life alone. p32 DR PRAGYA AGARWAL We all have biases that hold sway over our lives. Behavioural scientist Pragya explains where these mental shortcuts stem from, and how we might build technology free from our shortcomings. p64…

2
eye opener

Medics on a mission FUYUN COUNTY, CHINA If you didn’t have access to modern technology, how would you know about the risks posed by COVID-19? Or even that a new virus had taken hold and had become a pandemic? Travelling through rough, snowy conditions on horseback to remote parts of China’s Xinjiang region in the northwest of the country, these Chinese authorities were on a mission to reach the isolated nomadic families in the Altai Mountains. Wearing face masks and hazmat suits, this was no easy journey. They travelled in February, with snow that was so deep in places that parts of the trek had to be completed on foot. The team was comprised of police officers, medical workers and military troops, and their aim was to carry out some basic health tests and…

1
letter of the month

Dropping doppelganger I was fascinated to read about the grass in South Africa’s Cape Province (March, p50) that has somehow managed to produce seeds that mimic the look and scent of antelope droppings! Now I’m no expert but I’ve never seen a plant that has eyes and a nose, so I’m left wondering what type of wizardry does it use? Mark Smith, Derby True, plants don’t experience the world like we do, but they still respond to all kinds of sensory cues, and they face the same selection pressure as animals. This grass hasn’t purposefully set out to create seeds that mimic antelope droppings, but a lucky genetic mutation in the past proved to be beneficial, and so this trait has stuck around and been honed over time. In this way, the plant…

3
conversation

“WE CANNOT JUST DO AWAY WITH ALL OUR BIASES. BUT WE CAN DO AWAY WITH THE STEREOTYPES, PREJUDICES AND DISCRIMINATION THAT IS LINKED TO SOME OF THE BIASES WE CARRY”PRAGYA AGARWAL, p64 Laws and licences I was surprised to read that Jaguar Land Rover anticipate that people may not want to drive, nor own cars, in future (March, p40). This crossed my mind recently when I applied to sit my driving test again (third time’s the charm!). However, I see that the autonomous shuttle they have developed is fitted with a “steering wheel and pedals, just in case”. My question is, will it be necessary for people who are ‘driving’ autonomous vehicles to hold a driver’s licence? Nicola Kiely Every ‘driverless’ car currently on public roads actually needs a driver. They’re fitted with standard…