Here comes the science bit

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Why it's time for plain cigarette packaging
By Michael Brooks - 12 December 14:47

The take-home message on smoking from science? Quit now.

New Statesman
After the disaster in the Philippines, what can we say about climate change?
By Michael Brooks - 28 November 13:05

The truth may not make for a headline-grabbing story, but it's important.

New Statesman
Why Comet Ison is not an epic fail
By Michael Brooks - 27 November 15:00

Who’d be a comet in this era of rolling news coverage and internet commentary?

A market that won't go pop: why helium balloons could one day cost £100 each
By Michael Brooks - 07 November 14:08

Once the US - which supplies 80 per cent of the world's helium - stops selling off its store at an artificially low price, we have a problem.

New Statesman
Why we could soon see a revolution in our understanding of the universe
By Michael Brooks - 31 October 13:35

The biggest known star in the universe is about to blow. This kind of thing doesn't happen every day - and when it does, something extremely interesting usually happens.

New Statesman
Where does the moon come from?
By Michael Brooks - 10 October 15:16

Whether we’re trying to find out where it came from, or how to siphon off some of its energy, grappling with the moon is harder than it looks.

New Statesman
What makes us alive? Moreover, what makes us dead?
By Michael Brooks - 02 October 8:05

When it comes to death, science is part of the problem as well as part of the solution. Deepening our understanding of the body’s processes and learning how to keep them going longer has complicated and obfuscated the end of life.

New Statesman
The teenage hormone that triggers puberty and prevents cancer
By Michael Brooks - 26 September 16:05

The appropriately named kisspeptin was discovered by accident, and has some surprising effects.

New Statesman
Meet the man who wants total unemployment for all human beings in the world
By Michael Brooks - 19 September 8:45

Hugh Loebner is offering researchers $100,000 to develop a computer that thinks like a human. But is that really the best use of artificial intelligence?

Indian farmers demonstrate during a protest
"Gut feelings" are just as valid as political rhetoric in the new Rational Parliament. And why not?
By Michael Brooks - 10 September 9:24

In ancient Athens, each citizen had to take a turn offering his governance. The Rational Parliament attempts to bring that spirit back, because certain issues are too important to leave to the professionals.

Stephen Hawking.
Think that everything in a black hole gets swallowed up, never to be seen again? Well, you're half right
By Michael Brooks - 05 September 17:30

What happens to the information in a black hole once it disappears? Stephen Hawking thought he knew, betted on it, and lost.

Transplant lab.
The Compatibility Gene by Daniel M Davis: "I am very rare but my wife is rather common"
By Michael Brooks - 05 September 10:20

The scientist Daniel M Davis has told the story of genetic compatibility - and the rejection that is its opposite - with great insight and decades of research. It's a field that may yield significant treasures in the decades to come.

On manipulating memories, we're not as far behind Hollywood as you might think
By Michael Brooks - 30 August 12:34

Deep brain stimulation is racing ahead, and the ethical issues associated with it are starting to be debated.

Man eating burger.
Yes, you can make a burger out of human stem cells - but you probably wouldn't want to
By Michael Brooks - 22 August 11:45

After the success of the test-tube burger, Michael Brooks answers the question on everyone in the NS offices lips: "Why not make burgers from human stem cells?"

Clouds.
We can thank our clouds for saving us from a fate worse than Venus's
By Michael Brooks - 15 August 8:30

Clouds are essential as they reflect and scatter sunlight back into space - but nobody knows how hot the planet can become before the clouds no longer help us.

Why can't we do anything about the weather?
By Michael Brooks - 11 July 8:39

It’s hard to fathom that the warmth you feel (or don’t feel) today was created at a time when Neanderthals were still around. Yet that is not the real mystery. . .

To be a scientist, you need a well-rounded education
By Michael Brooks - 04 July 8:28

Of late, science has demonstrated why all types of knowledge lead to discoveries.

What could the NSA do with a quantum computer?
By Michael Brooks - 27 June 14:40

After many false starts it’s a research field that is just now coming of age - when harnessed, particles can perform staggeringly powerful computation.

Why is science doing so poorly in the fight against cancer?
By Michael Brooks - 20 June 11:07

We all know that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the outcome to change is a mark of insanity. It's time for some fresh ideas on cancer research.

It’s all gone pear-shaped
By Michael Brooks - 14 June 13:42

The Higgs boson was small beer. Exploring the properties of the fruit-shaped nucleus could finally reveal the reason for our existence.

A nucleus being injected from a micropipette into an enucleated oocyte
It’s only natural – let’s make it better
By Michael Brooks - 30 May 9:04

If we can improve, we should.

How two farm-boys-done-good could change the world
By Michael Brooks - 17 May 14:24

While everyone loves Commander Chris Hadfield, it's Iowan James Hansen who really needs the attention.

Doesn’t kill you: makes you weaker
By Michael Brooks - 16 May 15:48

As things stand a scientific assessment would suggest that Britain is Bangladesh for bees.

Living off the fat of the land
By Michael Brooks - 02 May 7:30

Get mothers overeating during pregnancy and you stand to gain customers as soon as they are born.

Robot.
We need to stop worrying and trust our robot researchers
By Michael Brooks - 01 May 14:14

The work of Francis Crick and James Watson gives us a vision of what's to come.

It takes three to make this child
By Michael Brooks - 09 April 8:15

A new technique called “mitochondrial replacement” is about to be presented to ministers as a solution to a particularly thorny reproductive dilemma.

Fracking: the new gold rush
By Michael Brooks - 21 March 8:36

Can shale gas and fracking solve our energy crisis?

A picture with a zoom effect show a grafic traces of proton-proton collisions
Welcome to the ekpyrotic universe
By Michael Brooks - 14 March 13:43

No money back, no guarantee.

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