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.

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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.

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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.

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fact: gene editing saves baby girl

Gene editing has been used for the first time to successfully treat a human patient – a baby girl with leukaemia – after conventional treatments failed.

Re-writing genes is no longer science fiction thanks to gene-editing technologies called CRISPR and TALENs. Scientists can now alter any gene in any animal and have been using these techniques to cure genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy in animal models. This year, Chinese scientists even edited genes in human embryos in a very controversial study.  Continue reading “fact: gene editing saves baby girl”

Ageing is a state of mind

Scientists have found one gene that can change brain signalling and slow ageing.

ageing manEven though we are very different from worms, fish and mice, we have a lot of the same genes as these animals. This is because we are actually very similar on a basic cellular level. That’s why scientists use animals as genetic models for humans.

A group of scientists recently searched for genes that might control ageing in humans by measuring gene expression changes in ageing worms, fish and mice. They found 29 human genes that were either turned on or off with age in all three animal species.

Continue reading “Ageing is a state of mind”

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