ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/W. Garnier

Yuki Okoda has always been fascinated by the great mysteries of the universe. Inspired by her high school physics teacher’s stories on the theory of relativity, elementary particle experiments and exoplanets, Okoda pursued a career in astronomy. She could never have anticipated what would happen next.

In September 2018, as a second-year Master’s student at the University of Tokyo, the young astronomer became the first person to discover a dense disk of material around a newborn star. The discovery, which could shed light on the origins of our solar system, became world news.

For many, this attention could have proved…


Students at Mphompha Community Day Secondary School enjoying their new computer lab.

“I think the one thing that almost everyone can agree on from Alan Turing’s legacy is that his life experience really highlighted the injustice and unequal treatment of people around the world,” says James Turing, over a Zoom call in mid-January lockdown.

The great-nephew of the world-renowned mathematician and computer scientist is looking to keep his legacy alive — through a charitable Trust he created from his student bedroom eleven years ago.

Turing legacy

The Turing Trust aims to address the digital divide in rural communities in Africa, by reusing old computers and improving teacher training in IT. Inspired by his volunteer…


On World Sickle Cell Day, meet two women in Africa, who have dedicated their careers to saving the lives of people with sickle cell disease.

Arafa Salim at the 2017 World Sickle Cell Day launch of the sickle cell disease passport, Dar es Salaam.

Seven years ago, Arafa Salim thought she was on the verge of death. “The doctors who were treating me didn’t know how to deal with it, my bone marrow couldn’t produce blood. I needed a lot of transfusions to save my life,” she said.

Salim, who has sickle cell disease, a genetic blood disorder that can result in severe anaemia, had survived a real scare. Her story is not uncommon. More than 10,000 children with…

Alex Jackson

Journalist and digital editor. Writes about science, health and technology.

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