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Chris Baraniuk


Tunnel Vision

Swarms of Mini Robots Could Dig the Tunnels of the Future

The underground excavation industry is exploring mini robots, plasma torches, and superheated gas to replace the massive boring machines now in use.
Rare Find

Turkey Probably Hasn’t Found the Rare Earth Metals It Says It Has

The deposits discovered reportedly contain enough resources to meet global demand for 1,000 years—surpassing even China’s reserves. But experts are skeptical.
Blow by Blow

The Race to Build Wind Farms That Float on the Open Sea

There’s huge potential to generate renewable energy far out in the ocean. But designing turbines that can survive rough waters isn’t exactly a breeze.
Hot Take

This Year’s Extreme Weather Is Just Getting Started

Climate change and natural variability are making 2022 a year of big weather events—so get ready for more heat waves, droughts, and hurricanes.
Public Health

Rising Food Prices Will Make Obesity Rates Worse, Not Better

When faced with food insecurity, studies show that people gravitate toward cheap, energy-dense meals that are bad for their health.
Reproductive Rights

The Story of Abortion Pills and How They Work

Mifepristone and misoprostol are a safe and effective way to end a pregnancy, but many people around the world still don’t know these drugs exist.

Inside the Hidden Lab That’s Digging for Dark Matter

The XENONnT dark matter experiment requires a vast lab 1,400 metres below the surface, tonnes of liquid xenon and a series of precision chambers.

Why it’s so hard to stop people from panic buying

It's easy to roll your eyes at queues of cars at petrol stations, but panic buying is more rational than it might seem 

The UK’s CO2 shortage was entirely predictable

The current CO2 shortage is a perfect storm of stretched supply chains and high prices. The government could have been more prepared

Tornado investigators are unlocking the UK’s extreme weather secrets

The costs of extreme weather are likely to rise in the coming years. Weather investigators are trying to understand what we may face in the future

The hunt is on for Europe’s earliest, crucial Covid-19 deaths

Tissue samples from patients who died in the early days of the pandemic are unlocking the secrets of how Covid-19 initially spread

Doctors are finally taking esports injuries seriously

Repetitive strain injuries and mental health problems can wreck the lives of esports players – Lindsey Migliore is on a quest to make doctors take them seriously

How to stop Christmas 2020 from being a Covid-19 disaster

Covid-19 restrictions across the UK will be relaxed over Christmas, but with the virus still circulating, any festivities will pose some risk

Seven big unknowns about the breakthrough coronavirus vaccine

Early results from the Pfizer/BioNTech clinical trial are our most hopeful signs of a successful vaccine yet, but there are several things we still don't know
Long Reads

They dreamed of esports glory. Then their bodies broke down

Professional gaming is booming, with millions on offer for the best players. But esports is also taking a physical and mental toll – and some have decided that enough is enough

The government has known since June that most people aren’t self-isolating

Data available to the government for three months has shown that almost 90 per cent of people told to self-isolate for 14 days do not do so

‘A chaotic mess’: The UK’s Covid-19 testing programme is falling apart

Cases are rising rapidly and the UK’s testing infrastructure is straining at the seams

Bees could teach humans a thing or two about social distancing

Bees have all kinds of tricks to stop diseases getting into the hive. But if one gets infected, it's time to for its neighbours to drag it to its death

Coronavirus is pushing the UK towards a cancer crisis

Urgent referrals for cancer tests and diagnoses have fallen as people have stayed away from the NHS. Now doctors are worried these late diagnoses could lead to a spike in cancer deaths

How the UK’s coronavirus testing regime totally unravelled

At the very start of the coronavirus pandemic, the UK was ahead of the curve with testing. Then things started to go wrong, quickly