Category archives: Science

The imaginary friend

The imaginary friend

Psychology

By José Ramón Alonso

The imaginary friend is “an invisible character or personified object that takes part in children’s conversations or plays with them for a long period of time, at least several months”. The relationships are not identical; with personified objects the relationship is usually hierarchical, while with imaginary friends it is an egalitarian relationship. Peers tend to […]

Gene editing could help reverse fast ageing in progeria

Gene editing could help reverse fast ageing in progeria

BiomedicineGenetics

By Rosa García-Verdugo

Gene editing could be the solution to progeria, a genetic disease, characterized by extremely fast ageing. Progeria causes fast ageing and premature death in people carrying a single-point mutation in the LMNA gene, which basically leads to the production of a toxic protein which slowly damages the cells, ageing the bodies. This simple misspelling of […]

The next pandemic is already happening – targeted disease surveillance can help prevent it

The next pandemic is already happening – targeted disease surveillance can help prevent it

BiomedicineMedicine

By Invited Researcher

As more and more people around the world are getting vaccinated, one can almost hear the collective sigh of relief. But the next pandemic threat is likely already making its way through the population right now. My research as an infectious disease epidemiologist has found that there is a simple strategy to mitigate emerging outbreaks: […]

The anisotropic behaviour of ultrafast electron transfer at the metal/organic interface

The anisotropic behaviour of ultrafast electron transfer at the metal/organic interface

Condensed matterDIPC Attosecond PhysicsMaterials

By DIPC

Quantum objects are not abstract entities. On the contrary, they are quite real, As such, individual quantum objects can be detected, manipulated and their characteristics analysed using the appropriate techniques. Take the case of a single molecule adsorbed on a substrate. Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) would reveal electron densities of molecular orbitals, could be used […]

Seti: how microbes could communicate with alien species

Seti: how microbes could communicate with alien species

AstronomyBiologyMicrobiologyPhysics

By Invited Researcher

Authors: Predrag Slijepcevic, Senior Lecturer in Biology, Brunel University London and Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe, Honorary Professor, University of Buckingham Are we alone in the universe? The famous Seti (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) programme has been trying to answer this question since 1959. American astronomer Carl Sagan, and many others, believed that other human-like civilisations must […]

Mitochondrial gene editing is now possible, thanks to a bacterium

Mitochondrial gene editing is now possible, thanks to a bacterium

Genetics

By Rosa García-Verdugo

Mitochondria are the energy-making machines in the cell. Also, since evolutionarily they are thought to evolve from symbiotic bacteria, they have their own little genomes, which are mainly evolved through the maternal side, and also maybe because of their important function, mutations in genes affecting them are very damaging, and even lethal. However, mitochondrial DNA […]

Evolution of a smile

Evolution of a smile

Biology

By Invited Researcher

Teeth play a central role in the ecology of most vertebrates – for catching prey, processing food and even attracting a mate. It’s no surprise that scientists such as ourselves have long been interested in how teeth first evolved. For many years we regarded shark teeth, with their conveyor belt system of tooth replacement, as […]