Filed under science

Leprosy in Red Squirrels

Here’s an odd story from last week’s i paper: “Red squirrels in the UK and Ireland carry strains of leprosy similar to those that have afflicted disability and disfigurement on humans for centuries, a study has shown. Experts stress the chances of catching the disease from a squirrel are extremely low. Scientists tested DNA samples … Continue reading

The Dawn of Air Travel

The Dawn of Air Travel

Forget about the Wright Brothers, the first flight was in England, a beautiful machine called Ariel. This is from a lovely illustrated book on a 19th century family of publishers who are still in business, Ackermann 1783-1983, and is one of the many strange items associated with this printing house: In 1843 Ackerman & Co. published … Continue reading

Apple Stomping on the Shoulders of Giants

This is from the i paper, by Andrew Johnson, titled “Without public funding, there is no iphone” or much else, for that matter: Hands up who likes paying tax? No one? Thought so. While most of us recognise it’s a necessary burden there are others – often the very wealthy – who don’t like to … Continue reading

Public Dissections

Modern medicine tends to be divided between doctors in general practice, and those in hospitals who specialise in various fields. But for centuries there were two groups: Physicians who were educated, elite and well educated, and barber-surgeons who were mere tradesmen and often treated people by bleeding them. Apparently this in turn dates to when … Continue reading

Capturing Asteroids

This seems to be an idea from science fiction, and for no apparent useful purpose, but this article from the i on 2 June suggests otherwise: Asteroids were once viewed as the vermin of the sky, disrupting astronomical observations by leaving streaks on long-exposure photographic plates used to stay the stars. How times have changed. … Continue reading

Domestication of Dogs

Dog were the first animals our ancestors domesticated, and whether in Asia or Europe which perhaps suggests why the details are so unclear, but this article from the i paper last Friday clarifies it: New research suggests  that… two sets of dogs emerging independently from separate wolf populations on opposite sides of the Eurasian landmass. … Continue reading

Monkeying about with Medicine

This is from Thursday’s i paper which is producing some very interesting pieces on science: Despite our advances in technology and medicine we seem to be fighting a never-ending battle against diseases and ailments. As viruses become more complex an bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, it seems the lab-made drugs awe have become so dependent … Continue reading

Rhinoceros Survives Poachers

This is from last Friday’s i and shines a light on current conservation efforts in Africa: Staggering around when you’re woozy with sedatives must be particularly testing when you weigh two tonnes, like Hope. She is a five-yea-old rhinoceros in south Africa who has spent a year being treated by vets after going through a … Continue reading

Elephants Afraid of Drones

This is from yesterday’s i  paper, and is confusing reading as a recent report claimed that drones were being used to protect and monitor endangered elephants: Elephants have a deep-rooted dislike of drones, researchers have confirmed. Staff from Duke University in the USA were hoping to use the unmanned aircraft to monitor the elephant population in … Continue reading

Seafaring Red Deer

This is again from the latest Current Archaeology: Red deer reached Britain about 10,000 years ago as ice sheets withdraws, but they did not reach the Orkneys or Outer Hebrides for another 5,000 years. But recent genetic research shows the two groups were not genetically the same. More intriguingly, the deer DNA from Orkney and … Continue reading