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CONTENTS

REGULARS

06 EYE OPENER

Fascinating images from around the world.

36 INNOVATIONS

The latest tech and gadgets news.

12 CONVERSATION

This month’s letters and emails f rom our readers.

15 DISCOVERIES

This month’s science news: world-first study maps how the brain changes as we age; DNA study offers clues about cancer mutations; humans selectively bred dogs to have puppy-dog eyes; wider genetic testing could be on the horizon; Pluto’s weird landscape may have been shaped by ice volcanoes.

30 REALITY CHECK

The science behind the headlines. Is peat-free compost bad for the environment, and what are the alternatives? Does microbiome-friendly skincare work? Is the W boson about to rewrite physics?

42 SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

65 MICHAEL MOSLEY

Beetroot – that muchmaligned vegetable – can supercharge your athletic performance and boost your heart health. Better start forcing it down…

66 ALEKS KROTOSKI

Why to-do lists are better than search engines.

79 Q& A

Our experts answer this month’s tricky questions. If I fell out of a commercial aircraft, would I be dead before I hit the ground? I regularly worm my pets, should I worm myself, too? How often should I reboot my computer? Why do trees have such shallow root systems? How do tearless onions work? Can a vasectomy be reversed? Do dogs know when they fart? What is sleep inertia? What is ball lightning? Why do kids get hyperactive when it ’s windy?

88 CROSSWORD

Our tr ick y crossword is like a gym for your brain!

Get two free issues when you take out a subscription to BBC Science Focus!

88 NEXT MONTH

See what’s coming up in the next issue of BBC

Science Focus.

90 POPCORN SCIENCE

Is it possible to build a lightsaber, just like Obi-Wan Kenobi’s?

4

15

DISCOVERIES

34

REALITY CHECK

Huge human brain study maps the organ between our ears, to reveal clues about how we age.

79 Q&A

Is the W boson, a subatomic particle, about to break physics as we know it?

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