Ruairi J Mackenzie
Senior Science Writer
Ruairi started with Technology Networks in January 2018 after completing an undergraduate degree in neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh and a master’s degree in clinical neuroscience from the University of Cambridge. As senior science writer, Ruairi covers a range of scientific news and articles, with a focus on the complexities and curiosities of the brain. Ruairi also looks after search engine optimization (SEO) efforts on Technology Networks and created the site’s podcast, Opinionated Science, in 2020.
Genetic Mutation That Causes Common Type of High Blood Pressure Identified
Researchers at Queen Mary University of London and Barts Hospital have found the genetic cause of a common form of high blood pressure and shown how it can be cured. Their research is now published in Nature Genetics.
Nutrient Found in Shellfish and Energy Drinks May Extend Lifespan in Mice
Taurine, a chemical found in shellfish, meat and energy drinks, may extend lifespan and healthspan – the length of life spent not suffering from disease – in mice and monkeys, suggests new research.
Masturbation’s Evolutionary Purpose Identified in Primate Study
Biology has developed billion-dollar cancer atlases and sophisticated genomic techniques. It has answered countless questions about the beauty and mystery of human experience. But one key conundrum remains unsolved: why do we masturbate?
Coos and Snooze: Scientists Decode Pigeons’ Dreams
The boundless and bizarre content of human dreams has attracted the interest of biological researchers for decades. A new study by German scientists shows that pigeons dream too. The team used a technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to look at bird brain areas that lit up during sleep.
Study Shows How Psychedelic Drugs Rewire the Brain
A new study has revealed details about how the psychedelic drugs LSD and psilocin – the active ingredient in magic mushrooms – bind to receptors in the brain.
Brain Stimulation During Deep Sleep May Boost Recall Memory
Researchers have long suspected that a good night’s sleep can improve our memory. The mechanism behind this link has remained unclear. A new study has provided records from inside the brain that support one of the leading theories of memory consolidation during sleep.
Cane Sugar-Derived Plastic Alternatives May Also Alter Animal Behavior
The threat of microplastics – plastic particles less than 5 mm in diameter – to the environment has prompted researchers to develop alternatives that break down more easily. A new study suggests that a sugar cane-derived substitute may still have enduring effect on animals.
A Single Atom’s X-Ray Signature Has Been Recorded for the First Time
Scientists have measured the X-ray signature from a single atom for the first time. The study could have a huge impact on how scientists detect the chemical makeup of materials.
Controversial Study Claims That Diets Lacking in Key Nutrients Could Contribute to Later-Life Memory Loss
A new study has claimed that a diet lacking nutrients normally found in certain vegetables and fruits, called flavanols, may influence our risk of developing age-related memory loss. However, the findings suggest that dietary supplements may provide only modest benefits, if any.
Breakthrough Reveals How Botox Infiltrates Brain Cells
Scientists at the University of Queensland have made a breakthrough in understanding how the drug and ubiquitous cosmetic treatment Botox penetrates brain cells. Their study was published in The EMBO Journal.