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Colour to dye for: how much do we really know about the risks of colouring our hair?
By Rebecca Guenard - 16 December 12:14

The basic chemistry of hair dyes has changed little over the last century, but what do we know about the risks of colouring our hair, and why do we do it?

A woman poses in front of photowall showing a fantasy library at the 2013 Frankfurt Book Fair. Photo: Thomas Lohnes/Getty
To build a fan base, it helps to know what it’s like to be a fan
By Elizabeth Minkel - 12 December 10:00

The online book world is about gathering around a book, or a love of books generally. If publishers want to capitalise on this, they would do well to promote authors who are fans themselves.

The Betatron, which was used in the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Photo: Getty
Protecting planet earth from killer electrons
By Michael Brooks - 11 December 9:37

Our planet has hidden life-protection systems that continue to surprise us.

Photo: Getty
Why we should resist antibiotics
By Michael Brooks - 10 December 18:01

Recent analysis of a bacterium that killed a First World War soldier showed that this bug was resistant to attacks by penicillin and erythromycin, even before we had discovered either of these antibiotic drugs. 

Dark skies: a view of the milky way during a meteor shower, Myanmar. Photo: Getty
Dark energy vs dark matter: a battle of two cosmic monsters
By Michael Brooks - 04 December 10:00

Michael Brooks’s Science Column.

Jeff Bezos poses on a lorry after handing over a two billion dollar cheque to Indian Vice President and Country Manager of Amazon.in, Amit Agarwal, in Bangalore. Photo: Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty
The party is over for Amazon
By Danny Vinik - 03 December 11:05

The retail giant was unstoppable – until this year. What happened?

Sangeang Api, a volcano off the coast of Sumbawa Island, Indonesia, as it erupted on May 30, 2014. Volcanic dust can cool the Earth. Image: Nasa
The problem with keeping the Earth cool with space mirrors and fake volcanic eruptions
By Ian Steadman - 01 December 11:46

Reflecting heat back into space, seeding the ocean with iron, simulating the effects of volcanic dust - the problem with thinking big about fixing the climate is that the massive risks are far more expensive than the known costs of simply not screwing the planet up in the first place.

Footballer Gavin Swankie (left), just one of the players whose every goal is recorded by the Whitehall fan. Photo: Getty Images
Who's the Whitehall civil servant spending hours each week editing footballers' Wikipedia pages?
By Ian Steadman - 27 November 15:59

Someone, somewhere in government, is spending a considerable amount of time keeping Wikipedia's entries on Scottish football up-to-date.

Powerful you have become: a 3D-printed model of Star Wars' Yoda. Photo: Getty
Made in space: Sending 3D printers into orbit
By Michael Brooks - 27 November 10:00

The ESA wants to test a 3D printer in orbit because this is likely to be the best place and method of building the equipment that will take us further out.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the head of the ISC, has said companies like Facebook offer terrorists a "safe haven". Photo: Getty Images
Making Facebook an arm of MI5 won't be a guarantee against terrorism
By Ian Steadman - 26 November 13:42

The security services want social networks like Facebook to be more forthcoming with material posted by users that might indicate a threat to national security. But the root causes of terrorism will never be fixed with data alone.

French Guiana's Amazonia region. What happens here affects the climate of the entire world. Photo: Jody Amiet/AFP/Getty
Martin Rees: The world in 2050 and beyond
By Martin Rees - 26 November 11:22

In today’s runaway world, we can’t aspire to leave a monument lasting 1,000 years, but it would surely be shameful if we persisted in policies that denied future generations a fair inheritance and left them with a more depleted and more hazardous world.

High voltage: Hinkley power stations near Bristol. Photo: Getty
Path of least resistance: the quest for room-temperature superconductors
By Michael Brooks - 20 November 10:00

Michael Brooks’s Science Column. 

Strange fish: Lake Malawi is home to some unique species. Photo: Getty
Genes are not as important as you might think
By Michael Brooks - 13 November 10:00

Michael Brooks’s Science Column. 

Collateral damage? Debris from Virgin Galactic's crashed SpaceShipTwo
Space incorporated: lessons from the deadly Virgin Galactic crash
By Ian Steadman - 13 November 10:00

Governments are setting their sights on missions to Mars and the moon but private companies are focused on shorter excursions into space. Their motivation is simple: there’s money in it.

Amanda Palmer at Glastonbury. Photo: Getty Images
Standing naked in front of an audience: Amanda Palmer and a new way to make art
By Cory Doctorow - 11 November 16:17

Cory Doctorow on the singer and performer Amanda Palmer's first book, "a manifesto and a confessional of an artist uniquely suited to her time and place".

Speeding ahead: the Lockheed stand at an aviation trade show in 2012. Photo: Getty
Forever 20 years away: will we ever have a working nuclear fusion reactor?
By Michael Brooks - 06 November 10:00

Lockheed Martin has announced that it already has a small-scale fusion energy generator. In ten years’ time, it says, it will have developed a reactor large enough to power a city and small enough to sit on the back of a truck.

Free capital: a winning design for one of Peter Thiel's floating cities. Image: Andras Gyorfi
Peter Thiel: we must stop fearing the future
By Ian Steadman - 30 October 12:35

The co-founder of PayPal, Facebook board member and hugely successful venture capitalist is disappointed in the future. He doesn’t think we’re ambitious enough.

Hostile planet: Echus Chasma, one of the largest water source regions on Mars, is pictured from ESA's Mars Express. Photo: Getty
68 Days Later: why the Mars One mission would end in disaster
By Ian Steadman - 23 October 10:00

A team from MIT estimated how long it would take for the mission to experience its first fatality. The answer: 68 days. The second group would arrive to find the first pioneers had been dead for more than a year and a half.

A tyre washed up on the beach at Prestwick, Scotland. Photo: Getty
Meet the women sailing across oceans to understand what toxins are really doing to our bodies
By Caroline Criado-Perez - 22 October 16:21

The aim of the voyage, and the play inspired by it, is to make “the unseen seen” and enhance understanding of what the chemicals we put into the sea and our own bodies are actually doing.

Face off: Hong Kong residents wear Sars masks while watching a funeral procession. Photo: Getty
The plague index: which diseases could still cause chaos?
By Michael Barrett - 22 October 15:20

We defeated or tamed many fatal diseases in the 20th century but many remain a threat. Michael Barrett assesses the contenders for the next pandemic. 

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott(L) and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper laugh as they address the media during a joint press conference in Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canda on June 9, 2014. Photo: Getty Images
The world's worst climate change villains? Step forward, prime ministers of Australia and Canada
By Rebecca Leber - 21 October 15:08

These two world leaders are laughing while the world burns up - and they don't look like stopping any time soon.

A scientist looks at a blood sample. Photo: Getty
The man with the golden blood
By Penny Bailey - 21 October 11:22

Meet the donors, patients, doctors and scientists involved in the complex global network of rare – and very rare – blood.

Autumn rain: being damp is inferred rather than truly felt. Photo: Getty
On our nerves: what makes us itch or feel wet?
By Michael Brooks - 16 October 10:00

Michael Brooks’s science column. 

Lovely grub: are insects the future of food?
By Emily Anthes - 15 October 10:26

Emily Anthes braves locusts, beetles, mealworms and more as she asks whether eating insects is the answer to feeding ever more humans and livestock.

An 1899 illustration for H G Wells’ “When the Sleeper Wakes”. Image: Hulton Archive / Stringer / Getty Images
Can science fiction writers predict trends in technology’s future?
By Peter F Hamilton - 13 October 13:32

From Arthur C Clarke’s “Extra Terrestrial Relays” (now called satellites) to H G Wells’ “ironclads” (tanks), science fiction writers have form when it comes to pre-empting the future of technology.

Free again: Doctorow signals the danger of states pushing tech boundaries. Photo: Rex/Will Ireland/Future Publishing
Betrayed by your smartphone: Cory Doctorow on the future of internet censorship
By Ian Steadman - 09 October 10:00

“Information doesn’t want to be free,” writes the sci-fi novelist and activist Cory Doctorow, “people want to be free.”

Hope injection: women with their pets at a rabies vaccination centre in India. Photo: Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images
Preventing rabies: the dog jabs that can save humans
By Michael Brooks - 09 October 10:00

Responsibility for treatment of infected people falls on human health services. It is difficult to create an alliance against rabies until animal and human health experts co-ordinate.

The High Line in New York. Photo: Getty
New York’s High Line was the city planner’s Holy Grail. SkyCycle could be the answer for London
By Ed Smith - 03 October 9:10

London may be better served by embracing a different transport infrastructure project, one that follows the High Line principle of transforming what is already there.

Workers on Crossrail breakthrough into the Whitechapel station which forms part of the Crossrail network on April 04, 2014 in London, England. Photo: Getty Images
Britain needs to stop discouraging women from choosing engineering as a career
By Fiona Rutherford - 02 October 17:47

A new report suggests that women are lost to a potential career in engineering at the age of 16, when A-level and vocational subject choices are made – More needs to be done to challenge society’s clichéd attitudes and expectations of “masculine” and “feminine” career paths.

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