Hacking the brain: can DIY neuroscience make you happier – and smarter?
By Lucy Jones - 02 July 8:32

Using kit purchased on the internet for £60, trend-setters are perking up their brains with low-level blasts of electricity. Lucy Jones tries it out.

The human heart. Photo: K Sandberg via Flickr.
Blowing in the wind? The mystery of Kawasaki disease
By Jeremy Hsu - 01 July 10:09

Kawasaki disease is one of the leading causes of heart disease among children - but, with a lack of definitive diagnosis or any known cause, it's been puzzling doctors for 150 years. 

Australia Celebrates Baby Boom: A pregnant woman holds her stomach June 7, 2006 in Sydney, Australia. Image: Getty Images.
What's wrong with older mothers? Nothing. Time to dispel the "fertility cliff" myth
By Tosin Thompson - 29 June 17:16

We read between the lines of newspapers' scare stories about infertility and "late" pregnancy to find the science doesn't back them up at all.

Pope Francis: not as cuddly as he looks. Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images
It would be great to have a progressive, kind Pope. Sadly, Pope Francis isn’t it
By Sarah Ditum - 26 June 11:11

Pope Francis has been lauded for the green focus of his latest encyclical. But in his attitude to overpopulation and women’s rights, he is justifying exactly the sort of exploitation he is supposedly against.

New Zealand's Martin Guptill catches out England's Joe Root. Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images
The Kiwi cricket team thrilled us because they tried to recapture the naivety of childhood games
By Ed Smith - 26 June 10:48

Ed Smith celebrates the free spirit of the New Zealand cricket team.

Yoghurt: women love it, so lesbians must double-love it, right? Photo: YouTube screengrab
When it comes to advertising food, why do lesbians get yoghurt?
By Eleanor Margolis - 25 June 16:59

The Christian right in the US is upset by a yoghurt advert that features a lesbian couple. But what is it about dairy produce that says “queer”?

The Tyrol: the perfect spot for an empty mind. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
High in the mountains in search of an empty mind, I realise Scotland should emulate the Tyrol
By Ed Smith - 25 June 15:45

In South Tyrol, I set myself an unusual ambition: to reduce my incoming mental stimulants to the point where I became bored. I highly recommend it.

A target: "Shooting is kind of sexy, because concentration is sexy". Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
The man with the guns was the worst kind of control freak – one with a rationale
By Suzanne Moore - 25 June 15:03

The ex-cop talked a lot of Zen stuff about waiting for the perfect moment, the lining up of the cross hairs. Letting the gun tell you when to pull the trigger. Aim for the head. Or heart. What a rush.

The romantic end of punk: not required for university admissions. Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images
My Ucca form wouldn't impress today – I was loitering at bustops and listening to The Cure
By Tracey Thorn - 25 June 14:56

I’d love to go back and read that Ucca form now. Or witness the expression on the faces of those who had to consider my application.

An anti-abortion campaigner in Belfast. The 1967 Abortion Act does not apply in Nothern Ireland. Photo: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images
Since 1967, gay activists have piled up victories - but abortion rights are fragile and constantly attacked
By Helen Lewis - 25 June 13:54

In this parliament, campaigners will again attempt to chip away at abortion rights - but will the new leaders of Labour and the Lib Dems have the stomach to fight them?

Tony Little, headmaster of Eton. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Leader: The Eton reading list
By New Statesman - 25 June 12:10

We must create a culture in which all teenagers have the opportunity to read and discover the best that has been thought and written, not just the privileged few who attend the top fee-charging schools.

The alphabet of months: a year of living with multiple sclerosis
By Christian Donlan - 25 June 10:29

My daughter took her first steps on the day I was diagnosed – a juxtaposition so perfect, so trite, so filled with the tacky artifice of real life that I am generally too ashamed to tell anyone about it.

A still from Channel 4's "Dispatches: Undercover Social Worker".
"It's soul-destroying and career-destroying": social workers in the firing line
By Rachel Schraer - 24 June 18:12

The side-effect of transparency is that some innocent social workers are being demonised, with their personal details splurged on hate sites.

Abby Tomlinson's #milifandom became a surprising force in the general election coverage. Photo: Twitter/Rossalyn Warren
Life after Milifandom – and why Ed isn’t to blame if I fail my Russian history AS-level
By Abby Tomlinson - 24 June 13:21

The #milifandom leader Abby Tomlinson on A-levels, the election comedown - and why the voting age should be lowered to 16 for the EU referendum.

A flood in the graveyard at Moorland in the Somerset Levels. Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
In small communities beyond our cities, the undertaker is always a jack of all trades
By Phil Whitaker - 24 June 10:07

Cremation is our most popular mode of dealing with mortal remains: around three-quarters of British funerals are now held at crematoriums, a sea change from sixty years ago, when burial was the default option.

The Twitter hashtag #LiveTweetYourPeriod is honest and hilarious. Photo: Quinn Dombrowski on Flickr via Creative Commons
Why I’ll be livetweeting my next period
By June Eric-Udorie - 23 June 15:37

The only way we can break the stigma around periods is if we all talk about it.

Mindful pregnancy seems to advocate a dulling of the senses. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images
Why “mindful pregnancy” is just another way of turning women into compliant maternal putty
By Glosswitch - 23 June 11:04

Andy Puddicombe’s book is just one of several that aim to teach the art of calmness and acceptance to the pregnant, in case women need any more unashamedly brain-numbing guidance.

David Cameron on a visit to a Manchester mosque in 2013. Photo: Darren Staples/WPA Pool/Getty Images
Why is David Cameron using British Muslims as the scapegoat for his government’s failings?
By Myriam Francois-Cerrah - 19 June 16:51

The prime minister’s approach to radicalisation sees Muslims as somehow the pure product of their religion, not as British citizens, while also conveniently glossing over government failings.

A yawning new born baby. Photo: Getty
Will shared parental leave make for a more equal world?
By Glosswitch - 19 June 9:53

To get to grips with the drawbacks and benefits of shared parental leave, we must look past the “maternal gatekeepers”, “commando dads” and other stereotypes that muddy the debate.

Scotland's cricket team before a 2014 match against England. Photo: Ian MacNicol/AFP/Getty Images
“Ah dinnae like cricket, man. Ah love it”: in search of Scotland's willow
By Michael Barrett - 18 June 17:15

Caledonian Asians and itinerant Englishmen (myself included) complement a healthy population of diehard Scots who continue to support the national game.

South Koreans wear masks to protest against Mers. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
As Mers hits the headlines, we have to ask: is this a golden age for pathogens?
By Michael Brooks - 18 June 12:45

It’s not just people who are at risk from the 21st-century way of life. Plants are suffering, too.

Despite a hardy laptop, I've still managed to break mine. Photo: AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. Brown
I chose a laptop that even Nasa couldn’t break. Somehow, I have managed to break it
By Nicholas Lezard - 18 June 12:42

Nasa only has to worry about the fiery immolation of its crew, should anything go wrong. They do not have to take into account the treatment you give your machines.

Illustration: Jackson Rees
Call me a jerk, but I can’t get enough of biltong (and all the other stiff meat that’s been hung out to dry)
By Will Self - 18 June 12:38

I happened to walk into a shop near Richmond Park and found scores if not hundreds of withered and skinny dicks dangling from the ceiling.

Onward, Christian soldiers: preparing to perk up Oxford Street. Photo: Tom Pilston for New Statesman
As the Salvation Army turns 150, what role does it have to play in secular society?
By Martin Fletcher - 18 June 12:21

Faith is still central and the Army’s attitudes to social issues haven't changed greatly. But some of its members want to do more.

Here come the robots: tech wizards are devising algorithms that can do everything from diagnosing health problems to shaping our dreams.
Who owns the future? How the prophets of Silicon Valley took control
By Yuval Harari - 18 June 12:08

In an era when politics is bereft of grand visions, bioengineers and Silicon Valley tech geeks are claiming the mantle of leadership and prophecy. But what do they want and where are they leading us?

An activist dressed as the grim reaper with his scythe through a globe. Photo: Getty
Would climate change activists further their cause by switching from a narrative of doom to one of love?
By India Bourke - 18 June 11:48

Analysing the most effective genres of environmental storytelling.

"The girls, like all girls of that age, were bolshy and manipulative, and everything revolved around cigarettes". Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images
The girls in the prison had done some bad things, but what they did to themselves was worse
By Suzanne Moore - 18 June 10:55

The bit they don’t tell you is that agency workers are often brought in when something bad has happened.

A working class candidate can never compete with an Etonian’s “polish”. Photo: Graeme Robertson/Getty
While “poshness tests” are still in use for top jobs, social mobility will stay a national running joke
By Frances Ryan - 16 June 9:27

Until top recruiters stop thinking that a candidate’s “poshness” is an indicator of their ability, social mobility in Britain will never be more than a myth.