The smart speakers that know if you’re sick
Would you trust Alexa to diagnose you when you’re sick? Experts predict that, within 10 years, smart speakers will be able to detect illnesses by listening to our behaviour. But what about our...
‘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+
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.
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.
Technology could bring colour back to corals
Can we save the Great Barrier Reef? Scientists in Australia have found a way to protect coral reefs from the devastating effects of global warming by making them more heat resistant.
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.
Mosquito microbe puts a stop to malaria
Have we cured malaria? Scientists have announced a ground-breaking discovery that stops malaria at its source. It could help to destroy one of the world’s most deadly diseases forever.
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.
Scientists grow plants that glow in the dark
Is it wrong to interfere with nature? Using mushroom DNA, a group of researchers has successfully created plants that give out light. Some say it is wrong to meddle with the natural world.
Mice reveal moods through facial expressions
German researchers have discovered that mice move their ears, cheeks, and eyes in response to different sensory experiences, indicating that the creatures might experience emotions.
Labradoodles cute, but a terrible mistake
Are Labradoodles really a “Frankenstein’s monster”? That’s what their creator, 90-year-old Wally Conron, says. He believes the “unhealthy” dogs set a dangerous trend.
- Reading Band 11
Elephants try to help each other like humans
Do elephants have the same feelings as humans? Scientists now believe that elephants will do anything to help each other — even if it means putting themselves in danger.
- Reading Band 8