Generation Ritalin: between 10 and 30% of students are estimated to have taken ADHD medication. Photo Getty
Revising on Ritalin: the students who use ADHD meds
By Ajit Niranjan - 24 July 13:00

Between 10 and 30 per cent of British university students have taken pills such as Modafinil and Ritalin to improve their memory and heighten their concentration.

This panorama is a mosaic of images taken by the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on the NASA Mars rover Curiosity while the rover was working at a site called "Rocknest" in October and November 2012. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems
The Emirates paves way for a Middle East space programme with its mission to Mars
By Jill Stuart - 23 July 15:09

The United Arab Emirates now has its own space agency, and plans to launch a mission to Mars by 2021.

A London Underground train enters Oxford Street station, below a realtime indicator giving passengers information about delays or cancellations. Photo: Getty Images
Public transport bodies: producing lots of data, not necessarily making the most of it
By Ian Steadman - 21 July 14:06

The trend over the last few years has been for public transport authorities to accept that their data should be made public - while at the same time letting the private sector absorb the cost of making use of it.

Flattened mountains, poisoned rivers: China's engineers face off against engineer-created problems
By Ajit Niranjan - 18 July 16:29

China's rapid industrialisation has not been accompanied by a respect for the natural environment - but, as pollution problems become so severe that they can no longer be ignored, engineers are beginning to dream up ambitious solutions to problems created by ambitious modernity.

All-seeing: new legislation could entrench and extend the ablility of the state to monitor us. Image: Herbert Bayer/Private Collection/Christie's Images/Bridgeman Images
The deep state: data surveillance is about power, not safety
By Anthony Barnett - 17 July 11:15

All three of Britain’s main parties insist that data surveillance is for our protection – but this “emergency” is about power and control.

French electricity pylons. Photo: Getty
Shock horror: people will take serious pain over phoneless boredom
By Michael Brooks - 17 July 10:00

Left alone in a sparsely furnished room for 15 minutes, stripped of all electronic distractions but one, boredom made the electric-shock machine irresistible.

Medaupload founder Kim Dotcom, who has compared his arrest and prosecution for facilitating filesharing as similar to the civil rights struggle. Photo: Getty Images
“Fifteen years of utter bollocks”: how a generation’s freeloading has starved creativity
By Chris Ruen - 16 July 12:14

Arguments for digital piracy are drivel – it's high time we steered away from this cultural cliff, argues author Chris Ruen.

America is demanding enhanced security checks at international airports. Photo: Daniel Lobo / Flickr
Light scanners are set to get rid of that annoying ban on liquids on planes
By Ajit Niranjan - 09 July 10:37

An Oxfordshire-based company has developed hi-tech scanners which can rapidly analyse the chemical make-up of liquids inside containers.

Participants at the Wellcome Trust and New Statesman round table.
Antibiotic resistance: the greatest public health threat of our time?
By Charlotte Simmonds - 08 July 18:02

A world without antimicrobials would be a world without modern medicine, so why is there not more urgency in addressing the global rise of drug resistance? The New Statesman brought leading health experts together to discuss the problem.

 Bottles of antibiotics line a shelf at a Publix Supermarket pharmacy August 7, 2007 in Miami, Florida. Photo: Getty Images
What next, when the drugs won’t work?
By Zac Goldsmith - 08 July 17:06

The government has made progress on the urgent crisis of antimicrobial resistance, but sustained public pressure is still needed, says Zac Goldsmith.

No, it's not the same. Photo: Ken Piorkowski / Flickr
Study shows people prefer pain to their own thoughts – except it doesn’t
By Ajit Niranjan - 04 July 13:16

"A few bored students gave themselves an unpleasant tingle, but most preferred to sit around instead." Snappy or what?

Founders Gal Sont and Dan Russ. Photo: SwiftKey
Innovative eye-tracking technology could transform communication for those paralysed
By Ajit Niranjan - 02 July 18:04

An Israeli start-up backed by predictive-keyboard-pioneer SwiftKey is offering hope for severely disabled individuals.

Not the best way to banish gender stereotypes from engineering. Photo: Poster from the Women's Engineering Society
Fixing the gender divide in engineering is slow, incremental work
By Ajit Niranjan - 02 July 13:34

Women are vastly under-represented in engineering and little has been done about it. National Women in Engineering Day is one of many initiatives to counter this imbalance.

Tee time: at some point the universe blew up in size from subatomic to golf ball size. Photo: Getty
Making ripples: another Big Bang theory bites the dust
By Michael Brooks - 30 June 15:00

In March, the team of astronomers working on the Bicep2 telescope announced that they had seen ripples caused by the universe’s inflation. 

Residents stand near a giant rubber duck on a lake at the newly developped town of Phu My Hung in Ho Chi Minh city on April 28, 2014. Photo: Getty Images
Our plastic waste is changing the geology of the Earth's rocks
By Emma Woollacott - 27 June 15:28

The tiny pieces of plastic that we throw away every year are forming a new layer of sedentary rock across the planet - just another sign of our careless attitude to waste.

"Sky cars" are coming to Tel Aviv
By Barbara Speed - 27 June 13:59

Flying cars! Sort of.

Neanderthals were omnivores. Photo: Erich Ferdinand / Flickr
Further evidence emerges suggesting Neanderthals weren't so different to us
By Ajit Niranjan - 27 June 13:36

The extinction of any species makes for headline news, but none more so than the Neanderthals. The death of our hominid relatives tens of thousands of years ago instils a particularly morbid fear that we're about to share their fate. 

The murky surface of Ligeia Mare, Titan's second largest lake. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/Cornell
An island appeared in a lake on a moon around Saturn, then disappeared
By Ajit Niranjan - 25 June 15:42

A mysterious island has materialised in a methane lake on Saturn’s largest moon – only to vanish just weeks later.

Google Glass - now available as shades. Photo: Ajit Niranjan / The New Statesman
Google Glass launches in the UK, but don't expect to be wearing them anytime soon
By Ajit Niranjan - 24 June 13:52

Google just launched their prototype smartglasses in the UK, two years after they hit the US.

Mane event: horse placenta has been used to treat footballers’ injuries. Photo: Getty
The placenta is a marvel that scientists can’t match
By Michael Brooks - 24 June 9:25

Nothing we can engineer has come close to replicating the placenta’s ability to act as the kidney, lungs, hormone source, nutrition channel and waste disposal unit for a growing foetus.

The frontispiece from a volume of articles entitled “The Passenger Pigeon”, published 1907. Image: Wikimedia Commons
Humans not entirely at fault for passenger pigeon extinction
By Safya Khan-Ruf - 23 June 15:15

New research suggests that the human impact coincided with a natural decrease in population size.

A worryingly flippant advert for a riot control drone. Photo: screenshot of "the Skunk" from Desert Wolf's website
South African mining firm is the first to purchase riot control drone
By Ajit Niranjan - 23 June 13:23

The first purchase orders have been made for the Skunk Riot Control Copter, a terrifying unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with paintballs, pepper spray and blinding flashlights.

A step too far? Photo: screenshot of logo from Yo's website
Yo, the one-word viral app that somehow raised $1m (and already got hacked)
By Ajit Niranjan - 19 June 17:33

New app Yo takes our phobia of interaction to a new level – digital communication is now bored of words.

Human presence in Antarctica poses a threat for the inhabitants. Photo: Christopher Michel / Flickr
Antarctic life is under threat by increased human activity, study finds
By Ajit Niranjan - 19 June 11:33

We're increasing our presence on the last uncolonised continent on Earth for the sake of science, but recent research claims greater measures are needed to protect the Antarctic.

A cobra in India. Photo: Getty
No one will die of a snakebite in Britain this summer. Why?
By Michael Brooks - 19 June 10:00

The most recent snakebite death in the UK was in 1975. If only that were true elsewhere: snakebites kill up to 94,000 people and necessitate hundreds of thousands of amputations every year.

Biz Stone: rose-tinted visions of a techie future. Photo: Bloomberg
Biz Stone: the Californian who flew the Twitter nest
By Josh Spero - 19 June 10:00

Biz Stone clearly left some libertarian coding in Twitter’s DNA. Following Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA, Twitter could proudly say that it had not co-operated. 

This is an aggressive expansion into a new market for Amazon. Photo: Getty
Amazon's smartphone launch offers a prudent platform for growth
By Annabelle Gawer - 18 June 11:11

What the launch of Amazon’s smartphone tells us about the company’s future strategy.

An alternative to the Kyoto Protocol? Photo: Breville USA / Flickr
Study finds broccoli-sprout juice helps the body flush carcinogens (but don't call it a "detox")
By Ajit Niranjan - 17 June 15:59

New study suggests broccoli-sprout beverages help the body detoxify airborne pollutants, though it's not quite a "detox".

Economic hardship is characterised by loss of jobs and homes, a big influence on mental health. Photo: Getty
Study finds Great Recession linked with more than 10,000 extra suicides in the EU and US
By Ajit Niranjan - 16 June 16:22

Thousands of "potentially avoidable" suicides occurred during the first two years of the recession in Europe and North America, according to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Good cause for worry... Photo: Michelle Walz / Flickr
Crayfish may be smarter than we thought, as a study finds they can experience "anxiety"
By Ajit Niranjan - 13 June 18:13

Crustaceans really are spineless, according to a recent study in the journal Science.