In French, taille means “cut” and fer is “iron,” so Louis Taillefer’s name literally means “cut iron.” One evening at Cambridge University in England, working in the famous Cavendish physics laboratory, Taillefer was making an alloy with special magnetic properties for his doctoral research. He had to melt a combination of platinum and iron in a high-tech...

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In the news

Take two parasites and call me in the morning

July 26, 2014

Two recent papers suggest that some parasites may be good for us. UBC botanist Laura Wegener-Parfrey and Julius Lukeš of the Canadian Centre for Advanced Research question our traditional perception of intestinal parasites. The papers offer a systematic review of cases where humans have deliberately ingested parasites for research and suggest that certain parasites could have beneficial effects on conditions such as Crohn's disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. More at Science Media Centre of Canada.

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