fiction: a dream come true

I haven’t slept for days and I’m terrified of falling asleep tonight. It’s my 30th birthday and tonight my dreams, whatever they happen to be, will come true. And I know they will be bad.

dreams

My friend Maggie dreamt her daughter to death. She woke up screaming to find her baby lying on the bedroom floor, dead. Trampled by unseen elephants. Ron’s wife left him, lured away by an imaginary man.

Some people wake up rich. Or beautiful. Or as a man when they used to be a woman. Some people get their wishes. But many more don’t. It all comes down to how well you can control your brain.  Continue reading “fiction: a dream come true”

fiction: a matter of time

meteoriteIt was a matter of days now, the astronomers said.  We were on track to pass by Comet Swift-Tuttle but this year there would be no celestial side-stepping and spectacular Perseid meteor shower, no, this year a meteor fragment would hit Earth.

Where would it hit? The question reverberated around the world, whispered in corridors and kitchens, boardrooms and bedrooms.

No one knew.

Continue reading “fiction: a matter of time”

fact: the secret to tardigrade super powers

Tardigrades, or water bears, are everywhere. They lurk in your gardens and neighbourhood parks. They live on top of mountains and in deep ocean trenches, in hot springs and underneath ice. All they need is a little moisture.

Adult_tardigrade

They are the world’s great survivors. They can survive living in space, high levels of radiation, extreme temperatures (from -273 °C to almost 100 °C), pressures up to 7.5GPa, or no pressure–they can live in a vacuum.

Continue reading “fact: the secret to tardigrade super powers”

five minute sci fi stories

five minute sci fi storiesMy first book, a collection of short stories called ‘five minute sci-fi stories’, is now out on Amazon.

Each story only takes five minutes to read, so you can enjoy them anywhere, anytime.

From genetic lotteries and murderous felines to face transplants and dating your own clone – these bite sized pieces explore how we use our scientific knowledge to change ourselves and the universe around us. I was once a veterinarian and a scientist, so unsurprisingly, they are about science, animals and what it means to be human.

While each story can be enjoyed as a stand alone tale, ‘virtually obsolete’ and ‘russian roulette’ are linked. The last three stories – ‘we’ll all be immortal’, ‘you will never grow old’ and ‘Harnessing DNA for Long-Term Memory Storage’ – are also linked and come from the upcoming novella ‘Immortal Mistakes’.

You can find the book here.

fiction: the gift of life

In a cold basement underneath a church on a busy inner city street, printers whirred and clanked turning simulated women into flesh and bones, into thoughts and desires – desires for unspeakable things, for acts drawn from the depths of worshippers’ minds. The worshippers would never remember these thoughts. They could not have possibly come from their heads. They were people of God after all, not deviants.

Continue reading “fiction: the gift of life”

fact: how cats went from wild animals to internet stars

I like to back up my fiction with some science fact, so here is some new cat science (the best kind).

How did cats go from wild animals to internet stars? A new study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution suggests that kitties held out for as long as they could.

Scientists analysed mitochondrial DNA from the bones and teeth of 200 ancient cat remains found across Europe, Africa and the Middle East trying to understand when cats started taking over the world and snuggling their way into our hearts.

Continue reading “fact: how cats went from wild animals to internet stars”

fact: human seahorses

Unlike humans, male seahorses are the ones who make the babies. Soon any human: male, female, transgender may also be able to become pregnant as we now have all the tools needed to grow female reproductive organs in the lab and to successfully implant them into patients. This offers hope to many people who up until now have been unable to have babies.file1261343862812 Continue reading “fact: human seahorses”

fact: smart medicine

Our bodies are made up of a series of hydrogels. At our most basic we are just water and polymers. So it makes sense to use hydrogels to monitor and treat our diseases.

Engineers at MIT have made a stretchy robust hydrogel that is 70-95% water and can be embedded with different electronics or drugs to treat diseases and medical conditions.

Continue reading “fact: smart medicine”

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