"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.

A desert ant with its abdomen raised. Photo: neekoh.fi / Flickr
Study finds ant sperm get ahead through synchronised swimming
By Ajit Niranjan - 13 June 12:18

Spermatozoa in desert ants bind together to increase their speed, according to researchers in Belgium.

Low's caricature of Keynes for the New Statesman, 1933
Paul Mason: what would Keynes do?
By Paul Mason - 12 June 10:00

The revolution in IT and how it is transforming our world in ways that even economists are struggling to understand.

Memorial mural to recently-deceased actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Photo: Garrett Ziegler / Flickr
The international mood on drug use and addiction is shifting from punishment to treatment
By Ajit Niranjan - 11 June 12:35

The UN has added its voice to the growing cry to rebrand substance abuse disorders as an issue of public health – a matter for doctors, not police.

Are textbooks really worth the money anymore? Photo: John Beauchamp / Flickr
Hyped language-learning apps like Duolingo may truly be useful in the classroom
By Ajit Niranjan - 10 June 11:46

The British are infamous for struggling with languages. At every level above primary school, dwindling numbers of students are choosing to study foreign languages. Innovative new apps may be set to change all that.

A sculpture of Alan Turing at Bletchley Park by Stephen Kettle. Photo: Steve Parker / Flickr
Supercomputer passes Turing Test by convincing judges it’s a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy
By Ajit Niranjan - 09 June 14:43

A computer programme has succeeded in passing the Turing Test, 65 years after it was first conceived of by the father of artificial intelligence, Alan Turing.

Acres of oilseed rape in flower amid the limestone hills of Yunnan, southern China. Photo: George Steinmetz/Corbis
There is nothing very lovely about oilseed rape
By John Burnside - 05 June 12:32

Don’t be fooled by its seas of scented acid-yellow blooms, the plant otherwise known as canola is one of the world’s most unethical crops.

Dynamite with a laser beam: artist Yvette Mattern's Global Rainbow in Whitley Bay, 2012. Photo: Getty
Firing lasers into a box made of gold – the race to turn light particles into matter
By Michael Brooks - 05 June 10:00

This could prove a neater way to investigate the fundamental building blocks of nature than examining the debris created by high-energy particle collisions.

Hash sign being drawn. Photo: Lenore Edman/Flickr
#History: the journey and many faces of the hash symbol
By Anoosh Chakelian - 04 June 15:48

From the Romans to Twitter, the hash sign – or octothorpe – has had a rich history, and now this innocuous little character has found a mighty resurgence as the hashtag. What happened along the way?

An artist's impression of SN 2006gyM, one of the brightest supernovas ever recorded. Photo: Weiss/NASA/CXC/Getty
“Supernova in a bottle” will help create matter from light
By Akshat Rathi - 02 June 10:43

The new process could provide a clean way of doing particle physics experiments.

Nothing like this one: a humanoid robot at a robotics fair in Lyon, 19 March. Photo: Getty
Should scientists be prosecuted for killings carried out by their armed robots?
By Michael Brooks - 29 May 10:00

Using technology about to be approved for medical use, we can now program computers to identify a possible target and decide whether to fire weapons at it.

Tweeting on a smartphone. Photo: Getty
Why fake Twitter accounts are a political problem
By Emma Woollacott - 28 May 10:37

The rise in the use of Twitter bots and automated accounts, particularly by politicians and campaigns, is skewing what we see as trends.

Colin Pillinger in 2004. Photo: Getty
Never forget Colin Pillinger – and all he did for the UK space industry
By Michael Brooks - 23 May 13:14

Hopefully, we'll soon be launching a mission to Mars from the UK.

Illuminating idea: volunteers light 5,000 candles in the shape of planet earth, during Earth Hour 2012, Berlin. Photo: Getty
The Gaia guy: how James Lovelock struggled to be taken seriously
By Steven Poole - 16 May 11:24

Nowadays, the area of study called “earth systems science” uses many ideas originally championed by Lovelock, though people are still allergic to the name Gaia.

Good chemistry: a display of cupcakes iced with chemical element symbols. Photo: Flickr
The Periodic table versus the Apocalypse
By Michael Brooks - 15 May 13:22

Not just a faded poster on a lab wall, but “as impressive as the Pyramids or any of the other wonders of the world”. The table also holds the key to finding replacements for antibiotics. 

Hang on a second: clocks at a Hong Kong clock and watch fair. Photo: Getty
The pros and cons of leap seconds
By Michael Brooks - 08 May 10:00

The slowing pace of the earth’s spin means that occasionally we have to add on a second – but should this practice continue?

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