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At 18 months old, Aurea Yenmai Smigrodzki is inquisitive like any other toddler. She likes peanut butter, the beach, and mobile phones—or any toys that look like phones. She likes to copy her mum and dad, Thuy and Rafal, when they are using theirs. Aurea doesn’t know it yet, but …
What the DNA of Ancient Humans Reveals About Pandemics
As an earth scientist specializing in ancient remains, Christopher Hunt is used to making unusual trips in the name of archaeology. But one of his most memorable has to be the time he traveled back from Iraq with a Neanderthal in the plane seat next to him. “She was packed …
To Fight Climate Change, First You Need to Measure It
From devastating wildfires to polar bears clinging to melting ice floes, there’s no shortage of shocking images to illustrate the need for action on climate change. But collecting reliable data to track the rate of change—and help determine how to tackle it—is much less straightforward. Scientists at the National Physical …
Missing Forests Are Messing With Climate Targets
In late 2018, the Vietnamese government submitted a document it thought would be worth $51.5 million. The country was expecting to be paid through a UN-backed scheme called REDD+ that pays countries if they reduce emissions by keeping forests standing. By the reckoning of the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and …
The Untold Story of the Contraceptive Pill
ALICE PELTON WAS 16 years old when she first went on the pill. Like many teenagers, she found the thought of becoming pregnant terrifying, and starting a course of the combined hormonal contraceptive pill, prescribed by her GP, felt like a logical step. In the months that followed, Pelton’s mood …
Spain had a plan to fix the gig economy. It didn’t work
Couriers say their working conditions are worse than ever as gig companies scramble to avoid calling them employees
We don’t need to eat insects, but we could feed them to animals
Among rolling vineyards in the south of France lies a farm like no other. Forget cattle and crops, this flagship project from French company Ÿnsect is home to billions of Tenebrio molitor – mealworm beetles and their larvae. Nurtured from eggs until fully grown, the beetles are eventually harvested for …
What happens when you have a heart attack on the way to Mars?
Millions of kilometres from Earth, even a minor health scare could be fatal.
The cursed demise of Habbo Hotel
Before Habbo’s end-of-year chaos, the platform had experienced a player surge as lockdowns came into force during the early months of 2020. The platform’s population soared by 213 per cent between late February and late March, and the influx of nostalgic returnees revitalised the game’s comparatively stagnant economy. “When a …
Neurodiverse talent is good for business. This company gets why
Twenty-seven-year-old Jordan Jones joined CubeLynx as its first neurodiverse financial modeller this August. Jones, who is autistic, says he applied for between 50 and 100 finance jobs after graduating with a degree in Economics from Manchester Metropolitan University six years ago, but struggled to get a foothold in the industry …
We still need Covid-19 treatments as well as vaccines
Summers is also vocal on the pressure the pandemic poses to working mothers; she has a nine-year-old son. “My husband has been at home full-time because that’s what works best for everyone,” she says. “But imagine if he wasn’t? Covid is having a disproportionate impact on women because they're the …
What poker can teach us about navigating risk in a pandemic
Humans are terrible at navigating risk. Just look at some of the things we choose to do with our time: we fly helicopters and drive motorbikes, despite the fact accidents happen every day. Around 20 per cent of adults smoke, despite being aware of the well-known links to cancer. During …
Our obsession with unconscious bias created a diversity disaster
Experts have long looked on unconscious bias training as a futile exercise that cannot change people's behaviour. Solutions that actually can help have been overlooked.
Artificial intelligence is making the beauty industry work for everyone
Atima Lui was in primary school when she first learned that “nude” is not universal. Now 30, she's using artificial intelligence to bring the full spectrum of skin tones to the makeup counter.
BTS are on the brink of enrolling in a major military nightmare
BTS's spectacular momentum will soon be abruptly curtailed when the band has to abandon their army of fans, in favour of the actual South Korean army – and it could see them pitched into an international political row
Inside the race to save Big Lipstick
For many beauty brands, fighting losses spurred by the pandemic has meant refocusing their attention on the one place people were still shopping: the internet.
The UK’s A-level fiasco has left thousands without grades
When the government announced its u-turn on A-level grades, school pupils across the UK breathed a collective sigh of relief. With exams cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, students had initially been awarded centre assessed grades (CAGs) based on an algorithm, throwing up mixed and controversial results. But the outcry …
Brexit plus coronavirus could spell disaster for Britain's universities
With the dawn of 2020 came one of the biggest questions UK universities has ever faced: what will their campuses look like after Brexit? Universities have long been proudly European in their approach: more than 143,000 EU students from outside the UK are enrolled in British institutions, and EU citizens …
Behind the scenes at the FBI’s gruesome forensics laboratory
Max Aguilera-Hellweg is a rare breed of photographer who feels at home in the hospital as much as the dark room – because he is also a medically trained physician. “I can read the monitors,” he says. “I know the pathology and the diseases. Patients and doctors know they can …
Protesters are weaponising memes to fight police surveillance
Since May 26, demonstrations against anti-blackness and police brutality in the wake of the killing of George Floyd have dominated the headlines. But alongside those efforts, a second front has opened up online.
New organ donation laws could help fix the BAME donor crisis
In previous years, donor kidneys that became available on the NHS transplant scheme were matched primarily due to their blood and tissue type, and often assigned in accordance with the easiest or most quickly-found matching recipient. Recent reviews have made for a more sophisticated matching system with the help of …
We put The Sims on coronavirus lockdown. It didn’t end well
When the UK went into lockdown on March 23, I did what any inquisitive person with nowhere to go and an indefinite number of free hours ahead of them would do: I downloaded The Sims 4.
With sport on lockdown, match-fixers are targeting esports stars
These new tournaments are plastered across betting sites such as Bet365 and Paddy Power. With the Premier League postponed, the Olympics cancelled and the race tracks closed, bookmakers have gone from having a free-flowing 24-hour cycle of sporting events to choose from to finding themselves in desperate need of alternatives. …
Why is Baby Yoda cute and Sonic horrific? Blame your dumb brain
Obsessed with Baby Yoda? The secret to cuteness, it turns out, is a fine art.
Dead bodies are revealing the secrets of how cancer kills
At the Francis Crick Institute in central London, Andrew Rowan is labelling test tubes filled with chunks of human brain. The pieces are brown and spongy-looking, as if they would be springy to the touch; the rest of the brain sits to his right, in a large, smoking polystyrene box …
Inside the dirty digital battle for Harrow East's crucial Indian votes
The Kashmir conflict has shifted a North London suburb into the eye of an international storm
'We are at war': How the Brexit Party's viral hit factory upended British politics
The Brexit Party has run amok in the European Parliament. Now it's gearing up for an altogether more serious campaign