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FROM THE EDITOR

Can animals be allergic to humans? �p75

CONTRIBUTORS

CONTRIBUTORS

I G H T

B R

I E L

, D A N

I O N

I T U T

I N S T

R O YA L

I N S O N /

I L K

W, PA U L

I M A G E S

, G E T T Y

: A L A M Y

PA G E

I S

T H

WA L D R O N

: J O E

C O V E R

Five-a-day, eight hours of sleep, 2,500 calories… recommended daily allowances or amounts make me anxious. It’s my fault, I rarely meet them. It’s not just these guidelines either, I don’t think that there are any ‘public health commandments’ that I follow. Exercise for 150 minutes every week? Nope. Two litres of water a day? Never. No more than 14 units of alcohol in a week? Not this month. Evidently, I’m going to fall to pieces any minute now. Or maybe not. These guidelines, many of them ingrained in the public consciousness, though wellintentioned, are clearly not the final word on how to lead a healthy life. But how well do they stand up against our current thinking? At a time of year when we collectively emerge from a turkey-fuelled stupor, we look at what kind of health targets you really ought to be setting yourself and what health ‘truths’ aren’t set in stone. Turn to p66 to find out more.

As it’s that time of year, we’ve also taken a moment to look back at the images that blew our minds in 2022. Clearly, the James Webb Space Telescope upstaged everyone in this regard this year, but there are some absolutely staggering photos that I bet you’ve never seen before (including my favourite, a robot made out of a dead spider!). Head over to p6 to see them all.

See you in the New Year!

Daniel Bennett, Editor

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ON THE BBC THIS MONTH...

The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures Okay, so we told you about this last month. But we’re still super excited to see Prof Dame Sue Black take centre stage at the Royal Institution to share the secrets of forensic science. And if you’re too busy thrashing your family at Monopoly to watch, you can always tune in on iPlayer later. BBC Four 26, 27 and 28 December, 8pm Also available on iPlayer

Sliced Bread This might be our new favourite radio show. In Sliced Bread, Greg Foot challenges the latest fads and trends in the world of science, health and technology to f ind out whether the bold claims made by advertisers really stand up. BBC Radio 4 Thursdays, 12:32pm Also available on BBC Sounds

The War Of The Worlds It ’s 125 years since the publication of HG Wells’s science f ic t ion s tor y, which was later made f amous by the broadcast by Orson Welles that caused panic among its listeners. Well if you want to recreate that experience, tune in bright and early to Radio 4 Ex tra in the New Year. BBC Radio 4 Extra Starts 2 January, 6:30am Also available on BBC Sounds

SIR PETER DONNELLY Peter, a professor of s tatis t ical science, gave us the lowdown on the new wave of genetic health tes t s that tell you your risk of developing certain disea ses in the future. ->p32

DR WENDY HALL Social media is awash with health gurus who believe that a meat-based diet is best. We asked nutritional scientist Wendy to examine the claims of the carnivore diet. ->p42

DR MICHAEL MOSLEY Are you exercising eccentrically? Michael, who presents BBC Radio 4’s Just One Thing, explains why you should pick up a top hat and invest in a unicycle… only kidding. Turn to his feature to find out more. ->p58

JHENI OSMAN For BBC Radio 4’s Costing The Earth, science writer and editor Jheni scaled the Alps to learn more about the ar tef ac t s emerging from the melting glaciers and the race to preserve them. ->p60

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