Some articles written by Nicola Temple

Not all it’s cracked up to be

I’ve been trying to make a fake egg for two weeks. My kitchen counter, now a make-shift laboratory, is covered in various white powders – all perfectly legitimate chemicals used by the food industry, I assure you. Kitchen scales, bowls, mixers and an egg poacher are my tools – nothing out of the ordinary here. I have mastered the yolk and egg white and I can even get it into an approximate egg-shape but a perfectly crackable shell still eludes me.

Read the whole article here: Big Issue article

Fish Fraud: Bait and switch at the grocery store

In 2007 a Chicago woman bought some monkfish from an Asian market, cooked it up in a soup, ate it, and shortly thereafter began vomiting. Yet when the Food and Drug Administration investigated the incident, they found that this wasn’t a case of bad monkfish. In fact, it wasn’t monkfish at all.

Read the whole story in the December 2015 issue of The Walrus .

Measuring social influence for business and government

Our decisions are often far less informed and far more socially driven than we would like to think. Big data, such as sales figures, record where and when the decision to buy a product was made, but they don’t measure social influence directly. Research by Professor Alex Bentley and his colleagues in the University of Bristol’s Department of Anthropology and Archaeology has helped unlock what these datasets can say indirectly about how decisions are made and how this may change with time and across communities.

Read the full article on the University of Bristol website

Cabot Institute Magazine 2015

This was my third year as editor for the Cabot Institute Magazine and I think it has got better with each year.

Have a look inside the full magazine →

The strawberry timebomb: how plant biology can help you store your produce

What to do when you buy an alarmingly large amount of British strawberries – knowing the difference between your climacteric and non-climacteric fruits.

Read the full article on the Botanic Garden blog 

Beans and bacteria – a complex story of communication

The intimate details of how legumes communicate with their symbiotic soil bacteria.

Read the full article on the Botanic Garden blog 

Finding the individuals within the school: personality in fish

When UK scientists released research findings that sharks have individual personalities, I was not surprised. For those of us who have spent many hours under water or staring into fish tanks, observing fish, this is no more news-worthy than a headline that dogs have personalities. Yet, as the editors at CSWA reminded me, not everyone has wasted away hours watching fish!

Read the full article on the CSWA blog →

Ground force

As the controversy over fracking rumbles on, attention is turning to another, cleaner underground energy source: geothermal. But its greatest potential is in areas where drilling can be risky. Dr Juliet Biggs is investigating one such area: the East African Rift in Ethiopia.

Read the full article in Nonesuch magazine  →

Volcanic unrest in Ethiopia

Scientific monitoring provides advanced warning.

It’s mid-morning and smoke is rising through the thatched roof of the mud hut far below; coffee beans are being roasted. Matt stands perilously on the edge of a cliff, balancing as he drills into an outcropping of black, volcanic rock. He pauses to check whether the hole is big enough to fit the metal cylinder he has tucked into his back pocket. It’s not. He adjusts his hat against the Ethiopian sun, leaving prints of sweat and rock dust, and starts the roar of the hammer drill again.

Read the full article on pages 53-54 in the Nov/December issue of Selamta Magazine →

Ground monitoring equipment is deployed on two Ethiopian volcanoes showing signs of unrest

Images taken from space have indicated that some of the world’s unmonitored volcanoes may not be as peaceful as we might like to think. Satellite radar has shown that the surfaces of a number of volcanoes within the East African Rift are deforming – inflating and deflating.

Read the entire article on the University of Bristol website →