The body must work to maintain the multitasking brain we developed over long evolutionary time and if the brain is not actively exercised on an ongoing basis its capacity tends to decline. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Probably the single most effective thing you can do to improve your general health is to take plenty of aerobic exercise. It is well established that (...)

Fire and Rescue personal run to move their truck as a bushfire burns next to a major road and homes on the outskirts of the town of Bilpin on December 19th, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. Photograph: David Gray/Getty Images

The recent bushfires in Australia were exacerbated not only by global warming but also by other factors. There is no doubt climate change must be tack(...)

Albert Einstein. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images

About one year ago a Twitter post dismissed something I wrote as a “typical contribution from an old white man”. This got me pondering the “dead white(...)

Our Milky Way galaxy is at least 10 billion years old and 1000,000 light years across, contains up to 300 billion stars and more than 10 billion planets with temperate, possibly life-friendly surface conditions. Photograph: Babek Tafreshi/SSPL/Getty Images

Whether or not we are alone in the universe is one of the biggest questions confronting science. The fact that we have detected no evidence of alien i(...)

Sir Alexander Fleming,  discoverer of penicillin, studying  mould cultures at  his laboratory  in London. Photograph:   Peter Purdy/BIPs/Getty Images

Serendipity is unplanned fortunate discovery and occurs commonly in scientific discovery and product invention. It has played a prominent part in the (...)

William Harvey demonstrating the circulation of the blood. Photograph: Getty

William Harvey (1578-1657) performed the greatest-ever medical experiments, giving birth to the science of physiology, when he discovered the circulat(...)

Traditional burial remains the choice for dealing with the majority of deaths (almost 80 per cent) in Ireland. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

I am of an age that calls on me to attend funerals more frequently than I would like. This has sharpened my interest in how human bodies are handled a(...)

By the horns: mathematician Bruce Boghosian of Tufts University and others have developed a mathematical model that accurately reproduces real-life wealth inequalities in a wide range of free-market countries

An amazing article called The Inescapable Casino, written by mathematician Bruce Boghosian of Tufts University in the November edition of Scientific A(...)

Jazz hands: what is actually needed instead is the fostering of psychological resilience. Photograph: iStock

I recently heard a radio discussion of Oxford University Student Union’s decision to discourage clapping at all union events to make them less overwhe(...)

A processed food is a natural food that has been treated to enhance a particular quality, eg smoking meat to add flavour and extend storage life, adding sugar or salt to enhance flavour. Photograph: Getty Images

We are suffering a worldwide epidemic of obesity and accompanying heart disease and diabetes – incidence of obesity almost tripled between 1975 and 20(...)

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