How It Works

How It Works No. 131

Welcome to How It Works, the magazine that explains everything you never knew you wanted to know about the world we live in. Loaded with fully illustrated guides and expert knowledge, and with sections dedicated to science, technology, transportation, space, history and the environment, no subject is too big or small for How It Works to explain.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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13 Números

en este número

1 min.

“Scientists have biohacked insects so they can listen in on conversations” If you thought 007 has some cool gadgets to play with, then this issue’s special feature is going to be an eye-opener: ever heard of spy insects? Or hacks that can read your texts simply by the way you hold your phone? We’ve delved into the secret world of private investigation, military intelligence and espionage to bring you some of the most fascinating spy technology on the planet. We’ve also cast a more scientific eye on the world of paranormal investigations in our ghost hunters feature on page 50. And you can look forward to more augmented reality features too, just follow the instructions on page 4. Enjoy! For exclusive HIW news and offers, sign up to our mailing list FOLLOW…

1 min.
meet the team…

James Production Editor On page 40, find out how the Berlin Wall cut a city in half and was the dividing line between two ideologies that were locked in conflict. Scott Staff Writer Join the real-life ghostbusters and discover the science behind paranormal investigations on page 50. Baljeet Research Editor Discover how a huge, swirling cloud of dust and gas helped to form the planets in our Solar System, over on page 62. Jon Art Editor With those huge wheels, powerful engine and rugged qualities, what’s not to love about tractors? Find out more on page 76. Ailsa Staff Writer See some of the world’s impressive rock formations and discover how nature sculpted these unique structures, on page 68.…

1 min.
deep in the upside down

Found in tropical and sub-tropical waters around the world, these jellyfish spend most of their time floating and swimming the wrong way up. Known as the upside-down jellyfish, Cassiopea xamachana spends its time waving its underparts towards the sky. Living upside-down offers an advantage to this jellyfish because of the symbiotic algae living on its light-bathed limbs. The algae gain energy through photosynthesis, and the jellyfish receives an extra source of nutrition. This image was taken by Mary Anne for The Royal Photographic Society’s science photography competition. Discover more about this year’s entries at…

2 min.
bacteria share dna to create superbug

Antibiotic resistance is spreading fast. When infectious bacteria mutate in a certain way and multiply, they can become resistant to even the most powerful drugs. But research has revealed a worrying alternative way that antibiotic resistance can spread: an organism that passes its resistance to other living bacteria. In 2012, a 35-year-old man contracted the superbug MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and treated with powerful antibiotics called vancomycin. Although typically effective against MRSA, this superbug strain remained immune. It was later discovered that this MRSA had been gifted a huge chunk of new DNA from a bacteria called Enterococcus faecalis to fight against vancomycin. E. faecalis is a commensal bacterium (one of our 'good bacteria'), which lives in our gut, causing no harm. Our digestive tracts are a hive of microbial activity, hosting…

1 min.
photo reveals turtle’s plastic plight

“Young turtles are dying from plastic impaction. The plastic plugs them up and causes them to go into septic shock” A photo of a baby loggerhead sea turtle that died after eating 104 pieces of plastic went viral on Facebook earlier this month. The photo was posted by the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton, Florida, on 1 October and shows the lifeless turtle, no bigger than the palm of your hand, next to the dozens of small pieces of plastic found in the animal's digestive tract, organised in rows. "We found a piece of a balloon. There was a wrapper that goes on the outside of bottles," Whitney Crowder, the sea turtle rehabilitation coordinator at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. This poor hatchling was a…

1 min.
fossil resurrects 350 million-year-old shark

The ancient seas once churned with strange creatures that have long since vanished, leaving behind only small traces of themselves to anchor our imaginations. But recently, palaeontologists got a rare glimpse of a primordial beast – the first nearly complete skeleton of an ancient shark belonging to the genus Phoebodus. Phoebodus sharks, which grew to about 1.2 metres long, lived over 350 million years ago, long before dinosaurs and the Megalodon came into the planetary story. Prior to this study, scientists didn't know much about what Phoebodus looked like. However, a recent chance discovery in Morocco has revealed an almost complete fossil of the ancient beast. The fossil was found in the southern region of the Anti-Atlas Mountains, in a 360 to 370-million-year-old layer of sediment that was once a marine…