How It Works Feed your mind with fascinating facts about the world around you

How do ticks cause lyme disease?

The vampiric ectoparasite that can only survive by drinking blood One of the most adaptive and resilient hitchhikers of the gruesome world of parasites is the hard-bodied tick. These hard-shelled masterminds rely on your...

Did life come from comets?

Mounting evidence suggests our origins may have been out of this world How life on Earth began is a mystery. It is not clear whether the building blocks for life arose on our planet...

Heroes of Environment: Jane Goodall

The woman who went to live with chimpanzees From a very young age, Jane Goodall showed a natural fascination for animals and their behaviour. When she was just five years old she went missing...

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...

Issue 133 preview: Quantum Computers

A new generation of number-crunchers are harnessing the power of particles: How are these super-fast computers changing our world? Also inside: Animal armour, floating laboratory, human origins and so much more! Kick-start 2020 with...

Why do lemurs only live on the island of Madagascar?

Question from Kelly Evans Around 160 million years ago, Madagascar broke away from Africa. Records of lemur-like primate fossils date back approximately 60 million years have been found in mainland Africa, and further records show thatthey soon made...

How fire extinguishers work

The science helping people to fight fires fast To fight fire, first you need to understand what makes it burn. There are three main components that help keep a fi re going: fuel, oxygen and heat. Fuels...

Who invented roller skates?

Question from Joe McKinley The first recorded use of roller skates was in the 1760s, when Belgian-born John Joseph Merlin decided to demonstrate his new invention at a fancy masquerade party in London. After donning his inline skates...

The science and tech of Doctor Who

From the Daleks to Dyson spheres, discover the science and tech behind the Time Lord The Doctor has always stretched the boundaries of space and time, literally. Since it first hit the TV screens...

The history of Central Park

How did such a huge area of New York become a green space? f you look at the huge, sprawling space in New York that is occupied by Central Park, you probably won’t realise quite how...