Science & technology

#1061 Did you ever hear a rat laugh?

Black and white rats

Rats are seriously unimpressed by human jokes, but you can make them laugh. How? Tickle them. The scientist who is credited with that discovery is neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp. He and his colleagues discovered that not only did rats engage in…


#1043 Britain’s first woman Nobel Prize winner

Molecular model of penicillin

Fifty years ago Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in chemistry, yet most people have never heard of her. Hodgkin was one of the founders of protein crystallography. Thanks to her research, we know the structure of…


#989 The wizard of plastic recycling

Akinori Ito and the Blest machine

Ingenuity and dismay are the driving forces behind an invention that is turning plastic into oil. Recycling plastic will never be enough. We have to reduce. But that is much easier said than done, which is why we need people…