Approved

Triumph or disaster?

THAT space flight is as much show business as science was confirmed on the evening of October 19th, when members of the ExoMars team put on the bravest of faces for a broadcast from their mission control in Darmstadt, Germany, about the arrival of the project’s craft at Mars. ExoMars Read more…

By Brian Poncelet, ago
Approved

Novel drugs for depression

IT STARTED out as LY110141. Its inventor, Eli Lilly, was not sure what to do with it. Eventually the company found that it seemed to make depressed people happier. So, with much publicity and clever branding, Prozac was born. Prozac would transform the treatment of depression and become the most Read more…

By Brian Poncelet, ago
Approved

Stopping bridge collapses

Scoured away ON AUGUST 2nd a century-old bridge carrying the road from Mumbai to Goa over the Savitri river collapsed (see picture), killing at least 20 people. The probable cause was that the river, swollen by monsoon rains, had scoured away the foundations of the bridge’s piers. Such erosion-induced collapses Read more…

By Brian Poncelet, ago
Approved

Manufacturing ultracapacitors

ALMOST every week seems to bring reports in scientific journals of new electricity-storage devices—batteries and capacitors—being invented in laboratories around the world. The journey from bench-top to assembly line, though, is fraught with hazard and few of these ideas end up as products able to withstand the rough and tumble Read more…

By Brian Poncelet, ago
Production

Prosthetic medicine

ARTIFICIAL limbs are nothing new. An ersatz toe, made of wood and leather and found attached to the mummified body of an Egyptian noblewoman in Cairo, in 2000, is thought to be between 2,500 and 3,000 years old. Things have moved on since then. Modern prostheses sport things like articulated Read more…

By Brian Poncelet, ago