Author: Ailsa Harvey

Who won the first Nobel Prize and why?

Question from Reggie Doyle When he died, the Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel left instructions that his vast wealth should provide annual prizes in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace, for individuals who “during the...

Carbohydrates explained

These biological building blocks are an essential food group that we need to eat to survive Carbohydrates are sugars, starches and fibres, and the word ‘carbohydrate’ gives a bit of a clue about their...

The eyes of animals

Ever wondered why sheep have oblong pupils and foxes have cat-like slits? It’s all to do with lifestyle The pupil is the opening in the eye’s iris that lets in light. It appears black...

What do the pedals on a piano do?

Question from Gemma Reed When you press a piano key, a hammer inside hits the corresponding strings, just as a device called a damper is lifted. This enables the strings to vibrate, producing a...

Top 5 amazing caves

Delve deep underground and explore some of the planet’s hidden natural wonders 1. Hang Son Doong Cave Location: Quang Binh Province, Vietnam (Image credit: Dave Bunnell) The world’s largest cave was only discovered in...

Daredevil stunt drivers

We investigate some of the most tyre-smoking, death-defying stunts that seem to fly in the face of physics It’s hard to watch the incredible vehicular stunts in films such as Fast and Furious and...

Why can parrots talk?

Question from Moira Jones The noises made by most birds are hard-wired into their brains, but three types of birds –hummingbirds, songbirds and parrots – are capable of learning new vocalisations.  Scientists believe that...

What is the ‘internet of things’?

Question from Jenny Aldridge The internet of things (IOT) is the networking of different sorts of electronic devices through the internet, allowing them to collect data and communicate. For example, at home, Wi-Fi light...

Top 10 deadliest dinosaurs

Discover ten of the most terrifying beasts that ever lived 1) Tyrannosaurus rex Tyrannosaurus rex (“tie-RAN-a-SORE-uss rex”) needs no introduction; its reputation as the ultimate carnivore and most badass dinosaur ever to roam the Earth...

The future of smart roads

One stretch of highway has been transformed into a test-bed for cutting-edge road technologies Motorways around the world are being tested to the limit. With more vehicles on the roads than ever before and new technologies changing...