Scientists plan oxygen factory on the Moon
The European Space Agency is working on a scheme to support human settlements on the Moon. It aims to build an oxygen plant to make rocket fuel and breathable air.
Trees can help predict famines and wars
Scientists are finding that tree ring patterns are a time-map of rainfall and drought, accurately going back thousands of years. These might help us predict future famine and conflict.
Priceless oil painting ‘ruined’ by repairs
One of the world’s most famous paintings has been carefully restored by experts to look as it would have looked when it was new, 600 years ago. But many experts think it has been spoilt.
‘Smart skin’ makes virtual touch a reality
Should touch become digital? A new thin, wireless skin could allow us to reach through a computer and touch what is on the other side. Is it wonderful or disturbing?
- Reading Band 14+
Everything we know about maths could be wrong
What is maths? A maths expert has said that advanced maths is so complicated that no one in the world really understands it. This means that many equations could be wrong.
- Reading Band 8
The living robot! Part-frog, part-machine
Using the cells of a frog and artificial intelligence, scientists have made a creature small enough to travel inside a human body. Half-machine, half-animal, it is an entirely new life form.
Optical illusions reveal secrets of the brain
Do our brains create an alternative reality? Optical illusions are designed to trick our minds, but a group of scientists has proved that the brain could “see things wrong” for a reason.
Soapy bubbles pop pollen on to fruit trees
Are bees replaceable? As numbers of the insects drop worldwide, a team has been searching for alternative approaches to pollination. Now, they have succeeded with the help of a bubble gun.
Most likely number of alien worlds is 36
Will we ever meet aliens? According to a recent calculation, it is very probable that other life exists somewhere in the Universe – but it could be too far away for us to get in contact.
Mice have ‘low power mode’ for their brains
Could mice help us live forever? The rodents can shut their bodies down to save energy. If researchers can find a way to produce similar states in people, it could extend human life.
Historic mission paves way for space tourism
Should humans go and live in space? Inventor Elon Musk has just sent a manned, reusable rocket into space. It could make space travel a reality for all – but some would rather stay on Earth.
How bumblebees make flowers bloom
Can we learn from bees? Honeybees are organised and work in teams. Bumblebees work alone, but are great problem solvers. They have developed an ingenious way to trick plants into flowering.
Life in lockdown leads to extended lie-ins
Should we get up later? Over 50% of children are waking up later while in lockdown. These changes to our sleep could improve our mood, but might make returning to normal life difficult.
The secret social life of snakes
Do snakes have personalities? A recent study has found that snakes form tight social bonds. The discovery suggests that the creatures might be more similar to humans than we thought.
Meet Moxie the robot: your new best friend
Could a robot be a friend? A new machine designed to build social skills can listen to your stories, play games with you, and even understands when you are upset and need cheering up.