BBC Future

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The Yugoslavian bunker fit for a president

An hour outside of Sarajevo, a bunker hidden beneath a mountain boasts spacious conference rooms, operating theatres and satellite television - it's a bolthole fit for a president.<p>In 1953, President Tito of Yugoslavia ordered a massive nuclear bunker to be built. The called Atomska Ratna Komanda …

University College London

How an abandoned lab could show us the future

The Amani Hill Research Station in Tanzania was once one of East Africa’s leading laboratories – now it is a shadow of its past glory. Rachel Nuwer visited to find out what happened, and discovered lessons about the fragility of scientific progress that the whole world should consider.<p>Pushing open …

War

The hidden health benefits of coffee

The impact of coffee on productivity is well established, but can it actually benefit more than just your mood and energy?<p>A work day without a dose of caffeine seems unimaginable to many. But you may be sipping more than just a brew of energy.<p>It appears that the humble cup of coffee has …

Coffee

We don’t need nearly as much protein as we consume

Many of us consciously eat a high-protein diet, with protein-rich products readily available, but how much protein do we really need? And does it actually help us lose weight?<p>In the early 20th Century, Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson spent a collective five years eating just meat. This meant …

Nutrition

The unique challenges of living at sea for 63 days

How do you prepare enough food? And what if something breaks? To find out, Vivien Cumming and Cristiane Delfina boarded a scientific drilling vessel that doesn’t dock at port for two months.<p>When a ship is out in the open ocean, it has to function like a self-contained world. From food to sewage, …

Sailing

The tech transforming food production

From drones to autonomous vehicles, agriculture is seeing the benefits of new technology. What opportunities does this hold for farmers?<p>From fleets of trucks to drone delivery systems, automation and technology promise to change all forms of society.<p>As the global population booms, novel solutions …

University College London

The health gap: How women experience the medical system

A special series about how men and women experience the medical system – and their own health – in starkly different ways.<p>We’re all aware that healthcare can fail patients. But what if it were failing half the world’s population?<p>It’s well-established that your race, class and wealth can affect your …

Medical Technology

Can you ever change a violent psychopath’s mind?

To make our streets safer, efforts are underway to devise new treatments for repeatedly violent offenders.<p>For the purposes of this article, imagine this scenario. It’s a Saturday night in a busy city-centre pub. Feeling bored, Tony picks up the empty beer bottle on the table in front of him and …

Psychology

Pain bias: The health inequality rarely discussed

When they’re in pain, women wait longer in emergency departments and are less likely to be given effective painkillers than men. BBC Future investigates for our new series the Health Gap.<p>In 2009, my doctor told me that, like “a lot of women”, I was paying too much attention to my body. Saying there …

Medicine

Britain's new digital railway network

Britain's rail lines are at capacity with more people travelling than ever before. But what can be done?<p>The UK railway network is at breaking point. Each year there are more people using it; last year there were 1.6 bn passenger journeys.<p>There has to be a drastic increase in capacity. This usually …

University College London

The ‘river people’ under threat

The islands of the Brahmaputra are remote, unmapped, under threat — and home to 2.5 million people. BBC Future travelled with a visiting hospital boat to see what is at stake.<p>Monai Doley is telling me how he cures snake bites.<p>We are standing in a paddy field: scorching sun, cloudless sky. This is …

Chai

Why you eat more when you’re in company

Eat with a friend instead of alone and you might find that you can’t say no to dessert. Why does dining with friends affect our appetite?<p>How well do you remember the dinners you enjoyed with your friends, the ones where you left feeling as if you had eaten more than you could manage? Or in the …

Holistic Medicine

What happens to the brain during a concussion?

Concussion is a common brain injury. Sports stars suffer from this condition on a weekly basis. But what actually happens to the brain when we are concussed?<p>Concussions happen often, especially in contact sports such as rugby and American football.<p>Our video explores what happens in the brain after …

The Brain

The myth behind long prison sentences

Does spending ‘100 years’ behind bars actually help deter crime? BBC Future explores the impact of long prison sentences, and looks at how Norway is taking an opposite approach.<p>In December 2017, a Thai man named Phudit Kittitradilok was convicted of swindling 2,400 people out of 574 million baht …

Crime

The crime scene investigators solving dolphin deaths

Each year, some 600 porpoises, dolphins and whales wash up on UK shores – and these crime scene investigators want to know why.<p>In a white-tiled lab at London Zoo, just across the street from the giraffes, two investigators are slowly and painstakingly dissecting a porpoise.<p>Rescue workers recovered …

Marine Mammals

Iceland could one day be the data capital of the world

We generate enormous amounts of data, raising the question of where to locate the servers to store all this information. Iceland is tipped to become the data hub of the future.<p>Digital societies run on information and organisations are having to think carefully about powering their data requirements.<p>…

Digital Culture

A combat machine built to jump over enemy lines

Bruce Wayne's obstacle-leaping 'Tumbler' has its origins in a remarkable vehicle from World War Two.<p>The Batmobile might seem like a far-fetched concept, but its origins can be found in some real pieces of military tech.<p>'The Tumbler', made famous in the Dark Knight series, had the ability to jump …

Batmobile

Why our facial expressions don’t reflect our feelings

For centuries, we’ve believed that facial expressions mirror our innermost emotions. But recent research has found that may be far from the truth.<p>While conducting research on emotions and facial expressions in Papua New Guinea in 2015, psychologist Carlos Crivelli discovered something startling.<p>He …

Psychology

Is there a link between mass shootings and mental illness?

In Stephen King’s The Shining, the character Jack Torrance epitomises the popular horror trope of crazed killer who can no longer distinguish reality from hallucination. As Jack slowly descends into madness, he befriends a number of murderous spirits who eventually convince him to kill his wife and …

Mental Health

Some foods that are good for us are terrible for the planet

To maximise the actual health benefits of food, we must look beyond just their nutritional contents.<p>Almost every day we are told about a new health benefits that certain types of food can provide us with.<p>It's not always that simple however as some foods have an impact on our welfare in far more …

Health

Why analogue design still endures

The digital revolution was supposed to bury everything from film cameras to record players to pen and paper. But after a long, slow slide many of these analogue objects are undergoing a renaissance.<p>Last summer, I was stuck. I had just started working on a proposal for a new book, and despite …

Film Photography

Mindfulness may have been over-hyped

Mindfulness meditation has been practiced for millennia – and today is a billion-dollar business. But how much does the practice really change our health?<p>In late 1971, US Navy veteran Stephen Islas returned from Vietnam, but the war continued to rage in his head. “I came very close to committing …

Mindfulness

A titanic network to monitor the ocean

Our oceans make up around 70% of the Earth's surface, but until recently, they remained a deep mystery. Now researchers are able to monitor them over the internet in real time.<p>Laying down fibre-optic cables to your house is tricky enough, but imagine the difficulties encountered when trying to get …

Titanic

Feeling litt? The five hotspots driving English forward

An analysis of nearly one billion Tweets maps the emergence of new words across the USA in unprecedented detail.<p>Feeling <i>scute</i> with your <i>on fleek</i> eyebrows or with your new <i>balayage</i>? Or are you <i>rekt</i> and <i>baeless</i>?<p>The English language is forever in flux, as new words are born and old ones die. But where do …

Language

The surprising benefits of electroconvulsive therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy helps patients with their symptoms in more than 80% of cases – but its stigma means it may not be helping the people it could.<p>Eighty years ago at the University of Rome La Sapienza, doctors sent 100 volts of electricity through the head of a 39-year-old man. A week …

Memory Loss

What it's like to live in Nasa's new spacecraft

Crowded, smelly and seasick – life inside Nasa’s new spacecraft won’t be much fun.<p>In 1959, when Nasa’s original seven astronauts first saw their tiny single-man Mercury space capsule, they weren’t impressed. It appeared to have no windows and few controls – the elite test pilots complained that …

Space Exploration

Can carrots improve our eyesight?

There is some truth in the belief that carrots will lead to better vision.<p>The idea that a vegetable improves your vision may sound like folklore, but there is a good scientific basis for the idea, as the video above explains.<p><i>Body of Evidence is a video series from BBC Future unravelling medical</i> …

Carrots

How prison changes people

Longer and harsher prison sentences can mean that prisoners’ personalities will be changed in ways that make their reintegration difficult, finds Christian Jarrett.<p>Day after day, year after year, imagine having no space to call your own, no choice over who to be with, what to eat, or where to go. …

Psychology

Are algorithms better lawyers than humans?

For the first time AI has proven more accurate than humans in assessing legal contracts. The next generation of lawyers will be relying on robots to do the tedious tasks.<p>Artificial Intelligence is tipped to disrupt virtually all industries and law is no exception. The world of paralegals involves …

Artificial Intelligence

Why pristine lakes are filled with toxins

Much of the focus on plastic pollution centres on our oceans. Emerging evidence shows it’s also a problem in freshwater, which may even be the source.<p>In 2016 a team of scientists scoured a dozen beaches around the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland – not for flora or fauna, but for litter. In …

Pollution