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  • Weird & wonderful

    Weird & wonderful

    Glistening Christmas lights, shiny ornaments, tinsel – the decorating stage of the festive season truly knows no bounds. What about eccentric decorations, like radishes perhaps? Even though we’re not used to seeing decorations that would seem...

  • Has consumerism taken over Christmas?

    Has consumerism taken over Christmas?

    Christmas is a time of cheer – and shopping. For some, the commercialisation of this festive period – from column inches about Christmas adverts to the appearance of gifts and merchandise on shelves three months before – eats into the spirit of...

  • Worth the sting: Cuba's scorpion pain remedy

    Worth the sting: Cuba's scorpion pain remedy

    Once a month for the last decade, Pepe Casanas, a 78-year-old Cuban farmer, has hunted down a scorpion to sting himself with, vowing that the venom wards off his rheumatism pains. His natural remedy is no longer seen as very unusual...

  • Nature is a rich source of medicine – if we can protect it

    Nature is a rich source of medicine – if we can protect it

    The Pacific yew tree is a fairly small and slow growing conifer native to the Pacific Northwest. The Gila monster is a lizard with striking orange and black markings from the drylands of the Southwestern US and Mexico. Two very different...

  • The San Lawrenz Christmas pageant: fifty years on

    The San Lawrenz Christmas pageant: fifty years on

    The small village of San Lawrenz is this year celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Christmas pageant, held annually on Christmas Eve. The pageant has evolved during the years taking a prominent place in Gozo’s Christmas festival...

  • Vegan diets are adding to malnutrition in wealthy countries

    Vegan diets are adding to malnutrition in wealthy countries

    Hidden hunger affects over two billion people, globally. The cause is a chronic lack of essential micronutrients in the diet, such as vitamins and minerals. The effects of these nutritional deficiencies may not be seen immediately, but the...

  • Italian Mafia activities are actively expanding abroad

    Italian Mafia activities are actively expanding abroad

    Members of the Italian mafia like to travel abroad – not necessarily for pleasure, but to make money. And the harm they are doing to European economies is often underplayed, trivialised or ignored. Organised crime groups are good at exploiting...

  • Dreaming of a green Christmas

    Dreaming of a green Christmas

    Christmas is thought to be the most wonderful time of the year, what with all the time spent with family, the days off from work and school, the ample food and flowing drink, panto and of course all the presents under the tree. The Christmas...

  • Government has ‘contingency plan’ for flu season peak

    Government has ‘contingency plan’ for flu season peak

    With the flu season around the corner, Mater Dei Hospital had a “contingency plan” in place, a government spokeswoman told the Times of Malta. Flu cases doubled last year and, as a result, the hospital struggled to cope with the outbreak. At one...

  • Life in 'slavery' or as a refugee? Cuban doctors' stark choice in Brazil

    Life in 'slavery' or as a refugee? Cuban doctors' stark choice in Brazil

    I sabela, one of more than 8,000 Cuban health workers in Brazil, saw two options when her country abruptly ended the agreement that brought her there: life as a 'slave' or a refugee. She chose to defect because of what she says is a "lack of...

  • 'Ingenious' fix for Japan's empty houses - homes for single moms

    'Ingenious' fix for Japan's empty houses - homes for single moms

    A Japanese charity that turns empty homes into housing for single mothers has won a major international award, drawing attention to the stigma and challenges that such women face in the wealthy nation. Little Ones, based in Tokyo, was named a...

  • The problem of drinking in pregnancy – and what to do about it

    The problem of drinking in pregnancy – and what to do about it

    Last year, it was reported that the UK has one of the worst rates of drinking while pregnant in Europe. These figures come from a study which shows 41% of women in the UK drank alcohol during their pregnancy. (The figures for malta showed that...

  • Miss Universe's first transgender contestant revels in being role model

    Miss Universe's first transgender contestant revels in being role model

    Like many other contestants at the Miss Universe beauty pageant, Angela Ponce grew up watching the glitzy spectacle on television, dreaming of representing her country one day. This year, her wish has come true, with Ponce making history as the...

  • Geminids meteor shower on Thursday: What to look out for

    Geminids meteor shower on Thursday: What to look out for

    The Geminids meteor shower peaks on the mornings of Thursday and Friday, – but if you look up any time there’s a clear night sky up until December 17, you might just catch a glimpse of a Geminid meteor. The Geminids shower is unusual as it is one...

  • Exercise could solve erectile dysfunction

    Exercise could solve erectile dysfunction

    Men with erectile dysfunction can improve their sexual function with 40 minutes of aerobic exercise, four times a week, according to our latest review of the evidence. We reviewed all international studies carried out over the past 10 years where...

  • Start exercising your mind early to enjoy a better old age

    Start exercising your mind early to enjoy a better old age

      “Use it or lose it” is the received wisdom when it comes to cognitive ability. But is there any truth in this old saw? Our latest study suggests that it depends how much “it” you have to start with. Previous observational studies that looked at...

  • How a no-deal Brexit may affect each part of the traditional Christmas dinner

    How a no-deal Brexit may affect each part of the traditional Christmas dinner

    The traditional Christmas dinner in Britain is commonly roast turkey, roast potatoes, parsnips and carrots, Brussels sprouts with chestnuts, cranberry sauce, and pigs in blankets (sausages wrapped in bacon). Here’s how a no-deal Brexit could bring...

  • Five Maltese architecture projects nominated for top EU award

    Five Maltese architecture projects nominated for top EU award

    Five Maltese architecture projects have been nominated for the prestigious EU Mies Award.  The projects are among 383 works from 238 cities in 38 countries nominated by 76 independent experts, national architecture associations and the Prize...

  • Should we lie to children about Santa? Experts give their advice

    Should we lie to children about Santa? Experts give their advice

    Ah yes, December. Christmas trees and decorations are popping up in shop windows, the weather is warming up, and the school holiday period looms. This may be exciting or distressing, depending on your relationship with your family. Not everyone...

  • Could AI take control of human birth?

    Could AI take control of human birth?

    Instead of looking up at the sky to see whether you need an umbrella, people increasingly ask virtual assistants such as Alexa. And they may be wise to do so. AI methods are powerful – capable of anything from analysing astrophysical data to...