Your tongue is a salt detector – it dissolves the solid salt crystals sprinkled on your chips to create an intense flavour sensation. But salt is way more important than just being a food additive.
The idea of creating a physical object from a digital file is fascinating. It conjures memories of the replicators in Star Trek that can create everything from clothes to starship components to different foods. Today’s 3D printing is making impressive strides in that direction, to the great interest of many manufacturers. It is now possible to print the components for sophisticated electronic devices with fairly simple equipment, for instance – as my research team has just shown by producing what we believe to be the first 3D-printed microphone.
Our evolutionary history may explain why humans are so drawn to their smartphones, even when the devices take us out of the moment in our close relationships.
How important is it to consider a romantic partner’s genetic profile before getting married?
For thousands of years people have used cannabis for recreational, ritualistic and medicinal purposes. In the modern era, the latter property excites a lot of people, and there is no shortage of wild claims about the supposed medical benefits of the plant. Of all the claims, perhaps the most bold is the assertion that cannabis can cure cancer.
For every person in the world who receives a cornea transplant, there are 69 others who still need one. That leaves about 12.5m people with limited sight because there aren’t enough eye donors. But what if we could grow new corneas in the lab?