When I was three, I knocked a bucket of tadpoles all over on the patio. I remember the incident very clearly, so it must have been a relatively stressful one. It all happened Continue reading
Every person was once a sperm and an egg. Those two unique germ cells fused together, and in nine months they turned into a living, breathing, human being. Each of us emerged from the same Continue reading
Music, whispers, phone calls, the alarm clock, the cry of a baby – the ear mediates our auditory interactions with the world. The things we hear may make us laugh or cry, enhance a film or make a subtle point without words, cheer us up or soothe an angry mood. The interpretation of sound and what it means to us is the responsibility of the brain, but the pathway that takes Continue reading
It is easy to forget that we human beings are not the be all and end all of God’s magnificent creation. From one perspective we are simply creatures in it. From another perspective we are unique in his creation in being made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). However, both the beauty and abundance of marine life and the biblical passages concerned with the sea show that Continue reading
There are many amazing complex systems in our bodies, but the immune system beats them all, recognising foreign invaders like bacteria, viruses and parasites and fighting them off.
How do our bodies manage to recognise virtually any kind of foreign invader that we might meet anywhere in the world? Continue reading
This spring, I experienced old-growth forest for the first time. I’m not sure that we have such undisturbed woodlands left in the UK, but on a visit to Vancouver Island I saw the most incredible temperate rainforest that made recent tree plantations look completely and utterly sterile. Owing to the relatively mild, wet climate of British Columbia, mosses and ferns cover nearly every available surface, and the undergrowth is close to impenetrable. Continue reading
Most scientists get excited when talking about science in general. But they get really animated when talking about their own area of research. I spent my PhD years studying microtubules, which are microscopic filaments inside living cells, and even now I get a little misty-eyed when thinking about them. To some people, microtubules might not be beautiful – in some images they look rather like a writhing hairball or bowl of spaghetti – but Continue reading