How It Works

How It Works No. 125

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 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

“At nine gs you weigh nine times as much, everywhere is pressed down”How to be a fighter pilot, page 20 We’ve got a double-special feature issue for you in this issue of How It Works. On page 20, we’ve visited the Royal Air Force’s brand new High-G facility, where student pilots learn how to fly the latest fighter jets and cope with the enormous forces that press down on their bodies when manouevring at breakneck speeds. Then, on page 48 we ask how dangerous Chernobyl is today over 30 years after the nuclear reactor blew up. How has the radiation affected life in the exclusion zone? On page 28 we go from sky high to miles deep in underwater explorers. Experience the world, but not as you know it, on page…

1 min.
meet the team…

James Production Editor Isn’t it everyone’s dream to own their own submersible? The underwater explorers on page 28 are a fantastic way to view the deep. Scott Staff Writer Imagine being able to see in 360 degrees like a chameleon! Discover more of the animal kingdoms super senses on page 42. Baljeet Research Editor Did you know that blood accounts for seven per cent of your body weight. Find out more about what your blood does on page 36. Duncan Senior Art Editor Modern medical science is incredible. Technology can now help the blind to see. Find out how tech can improve you on page 56.…

1 min.
meet this issue’s experts…

James Horton Former HIW member James is a biochemist and biotechnologist. He is currently doing a PhD in machine learning and evolutionary theory. Jo Stass Writer and editor Jo is particularly interested in the natural world and learning about the latest in technological innovations. Jodie Tyley The former Editor of HIW and All About History has tackled many topics in her career, from science fiction to science fact, and Henry VIII to honey badgers. Charles Ginger Charlie has a passion for history and a background in history writing, with a particular interest in the nineteenth century and Industrial era. Laura Mears Biomedical scientist Laura escaped the lab to write about science and is now working towards her PhD in computational evolution. Stephen Ashby Stephen is a writer and editor with video games and computer tech expertise. He is endlessly intrigued by…

1 min.
world’s largest aircraft takes flight

A double-bodied airplane with a wingspan as long as a football field took to the skies on 13 April, from the Mojave Air & Space Port in California. This was the first flight for Stratolaunch, billed as the world’s largest aircraft. Designed by Stratolaunch Systems Corporation to carry satellites into low-Earth orbit, the craft spent 2.5 hours in the air above the Mojave Desert at altitudes of up to 5,180 metres. The aircraft is meant to carry satellites up to 10,970 metres, at which point it would become a mobile launch pad by releasing the satellites into orbit. Stratolaunch has a wingspan of 118 metres and is eight metres long, making it the world’s largest plane by wingspan.…

2 min.
‘bubble boy’ disease cured by gene therapy

Eight infants with a severe immune disorder, sometimes known as 'bubble boy' disease, appear to be cured by experimental gene therapy, according to a new study published last month. The disorder, called ‘X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency’ (SCID-X1), causes babies to be born with little to no immune protection, so they're prone to life-threatening infections. The new gene therapy involves using an altered version of HIV – the virus that attacks the immune system and causes AIDS – to deliver a correct copy of the gene causing the condition. Here, the virus was genetically engineered so it doesn't cause disease. All of the children are now producing the immune cells needed to fend off the barrage of germs that humans encounter in their everyday lives, according to the study in The New England…

1 min.
cancer cure for tasmanian devils

In recent years, the Tasmanian devil has faced a fresh new threat from a disease that causes deadly facial tumours among the species. DFTD (Devil Facial Tumour Disease) is spread from one devil to the next when they bite each other. The tumours can break facial bones and eventually kill the victim. However, during the last five years, the devils have evolved a resistance to the disease, with some individuals healing and recovering from DFTD without any human intervention. Tasmanian devils have the most powerful bite relative to its body size of any mammalian carnivore, and will frequently deploy it to establish a pecking order and in competition for food.…