Students open their exam results at Winterbourne Academy, near Bristol. Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
GCSE results day reveals the sinister side of social media
By George Gillett - 21 August 10:30

As students across the country receive their GCSE results, many will be realising that there is no escape from comparisons with their peers thanks to the growth of social media. But does it represent the truth?

Doctor and a psychologist meet with members of a patient's family (Photo: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
Shy patients are more open about their health when talking to a robot AI, study finds
By Fiona Rutherford - 20 August 14:03

A recent study is the first study to demonstrate that 'virtual humans' could help patients overcome psychological barriers to honesty in medical interviews especially for sensitive, personal and highly stigmatized topics - these findings could prevent potentially serious consequences for the patient’s health, such as incorrect diagnosis.

DNA strands on display in a double helix model on display at the Science Museum. Photo: Getty
DIY diagnosis: how an extreme athlete uncovered her genetic flaw
By Ed Yong - 19 August 12:13

When Kim Goodsell discovered that she had two extremely rare genetic diseases, she taught herself genetics to help find out why. Ed Yong tells her story.

Part of the struggle for these men is reconciling their masculine identity with abstinence. Photo: Getty
What happens when evangelical virgin men get married? A secular female sociologist found out
By Alice Robb - 18 August 15:56

Alice Robb talks to sociologist Sarah Diefendorf about what it’s like to be a secular woman at a virginity support group for religious men. 

A medication produced by Pfizer, who announced profits of £1.3bn last year. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
NHS drugs, Aristotle and health economics: the problem of quantifying the value of life
By George Gillett - 18 August 11:05

In light of the news that new cancer medications won’t be made available to NHS patients, it’s worth exploring the difficulties of drug commissioning.

The bacteria found in our mouths could reveal early signs of illness, study finds
By Fiona Rutherford - 14 August 13:57

Microbiologists have focused on comparing different types of bacteria in healthy and diseased individuals - however, new findings about bacteria behaviour in our mouths could lead to improved ways of preventing or even reversing gum disease.

Maryam Mirzakhani, the first ever woman to win the Fields Medal. Photograph: Stanford University
Maryam Mirzakhani becomes first woman to win Fields Medal, the “Nobel” of maths
By Fiona Rutherford - 13 August 13:24

An Iranian professor in mathematics at Stanford University becomes the first woman mathematician to win the Fields Medal, in recognition of her contributions to the understanding of geometry.

Born This Way: the message of Lady Gaga's song may be empowering but it's actually quite conservative. Photo: Getty
Being gay is not a choice but it’s simplistic and conservative to say “We’re born this way”
By George Gillett - 12 August 16:25

The idea that LGBT equality should be justified on the grounds that being gay is natural is tenuous at best and harmful at worst; it actually frames being gay as a second preference to heterosexuality. 

Sportsman flips over the bullpen wall while trying to catch a foul ball. Photo By Jamie Squire/Getty Image
Study finds brain confusion causes us to laugh at the misfortune of others
By Fiona Rutherford - 12 August 13:30

When it comes to laughing at someone spilling a tray of drinks or falling down a well, research suggests a person's facial expression determines whether we find it funny or not.

A child playing the trumpet at a public event. Photo: Getty Images
When it comes to expertise, 10,000 hours of practice isn’t enough
By Fiona Rutherford - 06 August 11:53

Contrary to popular opinion, practicing a musical instrument or a sport for thousands of hours isn’t enough to produce a Mozart or a Maradona – though it still helps.

NHS staff at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
The UK’s mental health care is in crisis – the next government must act urgently
By George Gillett - 01 August 10:59

Mentally ill patients forced to travel hundreds of miles for treatment, forcible sectioning in order to get beds and medical students begging for greater teaching on psychiatry: we're not getting it right

Doctors prepare to treat patients in Guinea, one of the countries affected by the Ebola outbreak
Ebola panic reveals the balancing act between patient freedom and social safety
By George Gillett - 30 July 16:27

As the Ebola crisis in West Africa has shown, the conflict between society's best interests and a patient's own wishes can often be controversial.

A nurse with bottles of medicine. Photo: Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images
David Tredinnick's right that alternative medicine could work - but that's not reason to embrace it
By George Gillett - 29 July 16:08

Our understanding of placebo-based treatments suggests that alternative medicine could benefit patients. But the impact on medical ethics could lead to unintended consequences.

Charles Bell: Anatomy of the Brain c.1802. Photo: Shaheen Lakhan / Flickr
We don't really understand empathy, but we know business could do with a little more
By Ajit Niranjan - 28 July 9:50

Our understanding of empathy is pretty limited, but many figures are calling for change. Corporate culture is beginning to recognise the need to put yourself in someone else's shoes.

The fastest supercomputer in the world - 2000. Your toaster probably has more computing power now. Photo: Getty
Reviewed: At the Edge of Uncertainty: 11 Discoveries Taking Science by Surprise
By Ian Steadman - 25 July 10:12

Ian Steadman reviews Michael Brooks’s book on scientific discovery.

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.

Paternal instinct: a father and baby at the Rio carnival in March. Photo: Getty
In the brain of the father: why men can be just as good primary parents as women
By Michael Brooks - 24 July 10:00

Brain research shows that fathers who are secondary to a female caregiver are more engaged as thinkers and planners. But men raising a child without a female partner were found to have the same level of emotional response as a mother.

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.

Frozen in time: Sue at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago
Pete Larson, a palaeontologist with a bone to pick
By Kate Mossman - 17 July 10:00

Dinosaur 13, a forthcoming documentary, presents Larson and his team as underdogs battling against bad guys who’d rather see the T rex hidden away than on display in its home town. 

A photograph of the Large Hadron Collider in the Science Museum. Photo: Getty
Entangled in photons: the spooky behaviour of light particles
By Michael Brooks - 09 July 9:42

If you’re after science that makes you question your place in the universe, focus on that phrase “light years”, one that astronomers use so casually.

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?

A Victoria line train. Photo: Wikicommons
Lessons transit authorities shouldn't be learning from TfL
By Barbara Speed - 01 July 18:14

Like "fare hikes are a good thing". 

An architect’s drawing of the finished house. Credit: DUS
A 3D printer is building a canalhouse in Amsterdam
By Barbara Speed - 01 July 13:36

Need a house? Just hit Ctrl+P.

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. 

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.

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.

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