How It Works

How It Works No. 138

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.

“The challenge is generating hundreds of billions of cells to make a heart”Human heart: power pump It might be one of the hardest working organs in the body, but most of us take our heart for granted as it beats thousands of times of day, pumping gallons of life-giving blood around our bodies. It’s only when something goes wrong with your heart that you can truly appreciate how important it is. In this issue of How It Works we explore the function of this fist-sized ball of muscle in your chest and how its ‘mini-brain’ acts as an organic pacemaker to keep a steady rhythm. We’ve also spoken to a scientist whose research could mean that we’ll be able to grow replacement hearts for human patients in the future. I hope…

1 min.
meet the team…

Nikole Production Editor We’re constantly discovering strange phenomena in our vast universe. Learn about some of the weirdest over on page 60. Scott Staff Writer Meet Earth’s many primates and follow their 65-million-year evolutionary journey across the changing planet on page 38. Baljeet Research Editor On page 28 we explore a variety of autoimmune diseases and how they affect and compromise the human body. Duncan Senior Art Editor Would you modify your body with an implanted identity chip? Discover this and other cybernetic enhancements on page 66. Ailsa Staff Writer Nearly 200 years ago, Charles Darwin set out on a voyage that would change how we view life on Earth. Follow his journey on page 46.…

1 min.
power-storing spaghetti

This image may just appear to be the folds of a cosy blanket, but it is in fact a forest of millions of nanotubes each only 20 to 30 micrometres tall. They all work together as a novel type of supercapacitor that has been engineered by researchers at both Duke University and Michigan State University in the US. A supercapacitor is a way to store energy like a battery does, but without using chemical energy for power production. Each nanotube supercapacitor patch is around the same size of a stamp and can carry more than two volts. The intention of these stretchable patches is to explore the possibility of future wearable technologies.…

1 min.
dandelion seed spreading

Plants have evolved various methods to spread themselves around the world. One innovative way is to take advantage of the wind. Ensuring their fruit travel further afield, individual seeds are designed to act as feathery parachutes to hitch a ride on the breeze. Each parachute is called a pappus, from the Greek word for grandfather, due to their resemblance to a white beard. Often dropping within a few metres of their mother plant, research has found that some seeds can travel over a kilometre before finally landing.…

2 min.
baby stars could destroy the ‘pillars of creation’

Spearing the sky like monolithic elephant trunks, the Pillars of Creation are a vast star-forming region located in the Eagle Nebula, about 7,000 light years from Earth. These tendrils of gas and dust, made colourful by the radiation of bright young stars smouldering within, became a Milky Way landmark thanks to an iconic visible-light image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995. Now NASA scientists have shared a new view of the pillars, focusing instead on the infrared radiation normally invisible to human eyes. In the new image, also taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, the colourful pillars fade to ghosts of their former selves, revealing a kaleidoscope of newborn stars within the dust. The pillars, which span about five light years in length – that’s about 3.5 times the diameter…

2 min.
egypt offers virtual tours of ancient sites

Virtual tours of a handful of Egypt’s archaeological marvels, including the ancient tomb of Queen Meresankh III and the fourth-century Red Monastery, are now available online. If you’re looking for a great way to ‘explore’ while stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, this might be the perfect option. The 3D tours show the ancient Egyptian sites in stunning detail, allowing viewers to virtually ‘walk through’ different parts of the ruins, much like how the navigation on Google Street View works. Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities began posting the tours as a way to share these wonders with people who are staying at home to help ‘flatten the curve’ during the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry announced on its Facebook page. One of the tours currently on offer – the tomb of…