Tagged With bacteria

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Each time an epidemic of bubonic plague hit London between the 14th and 17th centuries, about 20% of the capital's population was wiped out. This led to graveyards and cemeteries becoming overcrowded and the need to bury victims of the plague in mass graves. The London Underground has often been cited as being built over or through these plague pits, but the story of these mass graves is far more interesting than that.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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You wipe your kitchen sponge all over the grossest things in your sink, so it makes sense that it would accumulate some pretty gross bacteria. But is it possible to clean or sanitise that sponge? Yes, it turns out -- but only as a short-term fix.

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Imagine this: You’re an elite athlete, and you’ve spent years working towards your shot at Olympic glory. You’ve trained hard, been totally dedicated to your sport and now, here you are in Rio, getting ready for the pinnacle of your sporting career. It’s your time to shine. But suddenly, without warning, you are hit with stomach cramps. It’s not nerves – it’s more intense than that. Vomiting and diarrhoea kick in. Slowly and devastatingly, your chances of success go down the toilet.

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As you sip a cup of coffee, enjoy a rich chocolate treat or savour the aroma of a piece of Roquefort cheese, have you ever considered the extraordinary contribution made by the microscopic creatures that have worked so hard for your pleasure? While many of us shirk at the thought of consuming bacteria or fungus, without them we wouldn't have many of our favourite foods.