Orlando Brooke was 18 and on a gap year in Africa when he was struck down by malaria. His symptoms appeared as he attempted to scale Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and, mistaking them for altitude sickness, he descended.
Sea turtles use the Earth's magnetic fields to navigate back to the area where they were born decades earlier, according to a study published recently in Current Biology. It used loggerhead turtle genetics to investigate their travels from nesting grounds in North Carolina and Florida to North Africa and back again.
Remember when you learnt about the three states of matter - solid, liquid and gas - in school? Well, things are not so simple now. There are other states - plasma and Bose-Einstein condensate and superconductors. Superconductors are materials through which electricity can flow without any resistance once they are cooled below a certain critical temperature. Resistance leads to loss of energy. No resistance means no energy lost. It is not surprising, therefore, that there are immense practical applications of superconductivity.
The volcanic eruption at the Indonesian island of Sumatra 74,000 years ago threw up enough ash to darken skies worldwide. Signs of it have been found as far as South Africa. Plants may have stopped growing and humans teetered on the brink of extinction, scientists have long thought.
Someday, ghostly subatomic particles known as antineutrinos could provide a clear view of what countries with illicit nuclear weapons programmes - such as, North Korea - are trying to hide. A collaboration of US and UK scientists announced that they are going to build a test antineutrino detector in a mine in England.
Surgery was not what it is before anaesthesia. It was a mad scramble to perform the procedure in the shortest possible time. One of the leading surgeons of London in the first half of the 19th century, Robert Liston, could do amputations in 28 seconds flat, or so his admiring contemporaries recorded. Several methods were used to induce some measure of painlessness during surgery.
Perhaps this is the most unromantic cohabitation in the living world. Nepenthes ampullaria, an unusual pitcher plant found on the islands of Southeast Asia, allows the worm of Xenoplatyura beaveri, a species of fungus, develop and grow inside the plant's mouth.
For years, a wispy strand of purple light has been seen running across Canada from east to west, sometimes flanked by neon green fingers that appear to wave. Nicknamed Steve, it looks like a piece of the Northern Lights but is beyond the bounds of normal Aurora Borealis sightings.
As a man of modern medicine, I have always believed that homeopathy is bogus though I did not openly denounce it to maintain peace at home. After he retired, my father got himself an online qualification in the subject and started a free homeo clinic at home. When he waxed eloquent on the benefits of homeopathy, I did not contradict him to avoid friction. My wife and other doctor friends too held their tongue though it must not have been easy to listen to praises of homeopathy for practitioners of evidence-based medicine.