Capsules containing ketamine. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP
Could ketamine stop suicide?
By Michael Brooks - 29 January 8:00

The drug has been proven as a reliever of suicidal thoughts. With some doctors reluctant to prescribe SSRIs, it could provide the answer.

A doctor at work. Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images
Osteoporosis is medicine’s Cinderella diagnosis. It rarely gets a look-in
By Phil Whitaker - 22 January 10:29

Osteoporosis gets less attention than the "big, ugly stepsisters' -- yet roughly three million in the UK are affected.

A light bulb. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
How harnessing the strangeness of light allows science to shine
By Michael Brooks - 22 January 10:10

From eyecare to creating the coldest thing in the universe, lasers show science at its most illuminating.

Hawking in 1991. Photo: Rex/Tom Pilston/The Independent
Stephen Hawking’s life is a triumph of intellect over adversity
By Martin Rees - 21 January 11:19

Stephen Hawking received his "death sentence" more than 50 years ago. The Astronomer Royal pays tribute to him.

23andMe Co-Founder Anne Wojcicki. Photo: Kimberly White/Getty Images
23andMe: Why bother with predictions about yourself when you are almost certainly average?
By Michael Brooks - 15 January 9:06

Want to understand your genes? Call your parents.

Tuck in: a 1955 Christmas dinner. Photo: Getty
Why festive indulgence is good for you
By Michael Brooks - 22 December 15:11

What should you do to stay happy and healthy this Christmas? You’ll like the first piece of advice: if you want to relax, you could try eating a big meal.

© Luke Evans
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?

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. 

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. 

Vanishing act: the Italian physicist Ettore Majorana, who disappeared in 1938. Photo: Kanijoman/Flickr
The vanishing particle physicist and the puzzle he left behind
By Michael Brooks - 30 October 9:00

Ettore Majorana was an Italian physicist, the best of his generation, who disappeared in mysterious circumstances in 1938.

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.

Illustration: Darrel Rees/Heart
Apocalypse soon: the scientists preparing for the end times
By Sophie McBain - 25 September 11:00

A growing community of scientists, philosophers and tech billionaires believe we need to start thinking seriously about the threat of human extinction.

A scientist looks for microbiological pathogens in samples of water. (Photo credit Patrick Kovarik /AFP/GettyImages)
Science journal Nature Communications joins the open access movement
By Fiona Rutherford - 23 September 9:41

Nature Communications will be the first Nature-branded open access-only journal - a huge step in the right direction for the progression of scientific communication.

Part of a new permanent exhibition at the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie in Paris dedicated to the human brain. Photo: Getty
How it is possible to live fairly normally with half your brain missing
By Michael Brooks - 22 September 11:10

Chinese researchers have recently reported a case of a woman found to have no cerebellum, a part of the brain that usually contains half of its neurons.

Staffs at Ainsworth Pharmacy make up homeopathic remedies (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
It's unscientific for a medical regulatory body to give accreditation to homeopaths
By Fiona Rutherford - 18 September 17:12

Homeopaths can now get their "medicine" accredited by an official regulatory body, to the dismay of critics.

Students follow a lesson in a biology laboratory at the Roma Tre university (Photo credit: Tizani/AFP/Getty Images)
Scientists criticise new “open access” journal which limits research-sharing with copyright
By Fiona Rutherford - 29 August 13:22

Restrictive copyright licenses and expensive submission fees have led to a significant number of scientists to criticise Science Advances, a new journal due to launch next year, for failing to live up to its open access principles.

A Fermilab scientist works on the laser beams at the heart of the Holometer experiment. Photo: Fermilab
Particle accelerator experiment begins search for evidence that we live in a hologram
By Fiona Rutherford - 28 August 12:46

A US particle physics and accelerator laboratory recently announced an exciting new project to answer the question of whether our universe is a giant two-dimensional hologram.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes in December 2011. Photo: Getty
Short men make better boyfriends and husbands
By Alice Robb - 27 August 17:14

They’re less likely to divorce and they do an extra hour of housework each week.

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.

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