New Statesman
Would you have any ethical qualms about controlling a cockroach's brain?
By Michael Brooks - 24 October 14:33

The RoboRoach will be marketed to US kids from November. It has always seemed mystifying that researchers struggle to see the thorny side of their technologies.

Inside the quackish cult of alternative medicine
By Jerome Groopman - 21 October 15:36

Typically absent from the claims about many “alternative treatments” are their risks. Jerome Groopman explores Dr Paul Offit's battle against charlatanism.

New Statesman
Japan’s Yankee genius, the greatest scientist you've never heard of
By Michael Brooks - 17 October 15:27

Ovshinsky created a hatful of world-changing innovations, many of which threatened the dominance of America’s great new invention: the transistor. US corporate interests rubbished his work and he ended up licensing his technologies to a few small Japanese

Engineer.
Will it take another world war to get more women into engineering?
By Elena Rodriguez-Falcon - 12 October 12:05

Competent engineers are essential to the economy, the environment and the health of the nation - so why isn't more being done to encourage competent women into the industry?

What the internet does, and doesn't, know about you
By Paul Rosenzweig - 07 October 16:39

For years, a large data aggregator has quietly, behind the scenes, been gathering your information—as one writer put it “mapping the consumer genome.” Some saw this as rather ominous; others as just curious. But it was, for all of us, mysterious. Until no

Hard Evidence: Is the teenage brain wired for addiction?
By Matt Field - 02 October 9:57

The younger you are when you have your first alcoholic drink, the more likely you are to develop problems later on in life.

New Statesman
What makes us alive? Moreover, what makes us dead?
By Michael Brooks - 02 October 8:05

When it comes to death, science is part of the problem as well as part of the solution. Deepening our understanding of the body’s processes and learning how to keep them going longer has complicated and obfuscated the end of life.

Dancers of Cuba national ballet perform during a rehearsal for Swan Lake
Ballet dancers’ brains adapt to stop them going dizzy
By Jo Adetunji - 27 September 10:18

Years of training in “spotting”, the technique of quickly and repeatedly bringing your gaze to two specific points in front and behind you, certainly helps, but new research suggests that the brain’s ability to adapt plays a powerful role.

New Statesman
The teenage hormone that triggers puberty and prevents cancer
By Michael Brooks - 26 September 16:05

The appropriately named kisspeptin was discovered by accident, and has some surprising effects.

New Statesman
The macho world of scientific research
By Kay Davies - 26 September 16:03

When I was interviewed for a lectureship at Oxford, where my husband worked, I was advised that a junior position would be more appropriate as it would enable me to go home and cook dinner.

If you know you’re right, then does it matter if you make up the numbers?
By Robert De Vries - 26 September 10:16

The Tories have always had disdain for scientific evidence - and the situation is getting worse.

New Statesman
Meet the man who wants total unemployment for all human beings in the world
By Michael Brooks - 19 September 8:45

Hugh Loebner is offering researchers $100,000 to develop a computer that thinks like a human. But is that really the best use of artificial intelligence?

New Statesman
What would you rather have measured: your IQ or your testicles?
By Holly Baxter - 10 September 18:20

Where maternity is concerned, studies are quick to generalise. But when paternity comes in, research hardly ever gets further than the testicles.

Indian farmers demonstrate during a protest
"Gut feelings" are just as valid as political rhetoric in the new Rational Parliament. And why not?
By Michael Brooks - 10 September 9:24

In ancient Athens, each citizen had to take a turn offering his governance. The Rational Parliament attempts to bring that spirit back, because certain issues are too important to leave to the professionals.

Stephen Hawking.
Think that everything in a black hole gets swallowed up, never to be seen again? Well, you're half right
By Michael Brooks - 05 September 17:30

What happens to the information in a black hole once it disappears? Stephen Hawking thought he knew, betted on it, and lost.

Forty years until we get "personal nanofactories"?
By James Evans - 03 September 18:15

A prominent futurist has predicted that in just forty years, we'll be able to produce anything from the basic building-blocks of matter itself.

On manipulating memories, we're not as far behind Hollywood as you might think
By Michael Brooks - 30 August 12:34

Deep brain stimulation is racing ahead, and the ethical issues associated with it are starting to be debated.

Man eating burger.
Yes, you can make a burger out of human stem cells - but you probably wouldn't want to
By Michael Brooks - 22 August 11:45

After the success of the test-tube burger, Michael Brooks answers the question on everyone in the NS offices lips: "Why not make burgers from human stem cells?"

We still don’t really know how bicycles work
By Michael Brooks - 06 August 11:21

Forget mysterious dark matter and the inexplicable accelerating expansion of the universe; the bicycle represents a far more embarrassing hole in the accomplishments of physics.

Medical futurology is no excuse for the UK's organ failures
By Michael Brooks - 18 July 8:51

A mouse with a human liver is extraordinary indeed, but we should do better with what science has provided.

Why can't we do anything about the weather?
By Michael Brooks - 11 July 8:39

It’s hard to fathom that the warmth you feel (or don’t feel) today was created at a time when Neanderthals were still around. Yet that is not the real mystery. . .

To be a scientist, you need a well-rounded education
By Michael Brooks - 04 July 8:28

Of late, science has demonstrated why all types of knowledge lead to discoveries.

New Statesman
George Osborne's phrasing on the welfare cuts is sly
By Martha Gill - 27 June 17:47

Martha Gill's Irrational Animals column.

Why is science doing so poorly in the fight against cancer?
By Michael Brooks - 20 June 11:07

We all know that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the outcome to change is a mark of insanity. It's time for some fresh ideas on cancer research.

It’s all gone pear-shaped
By Michael Brooks - 14 June 13:42

The Higgs boson was small beer. Exploring the properties of the fruit-shaped nucleus could finally reveal the reason for our existence.

Benjamin Britten.
Notes from a cardiologist: Unravelling the mystery of Benjamin Britten’s heart
By Hywel Davies - 14 June 9:00

Cardiologist Hywel Davies describes the origins of the syphilis claim from Paul Kildea's biography of Benjamin Britten, which began as an "ordinary conversation" in a colleague's house in the late 1980s.

Answers to war
By Juan Manuel Santos - 13 June 9:40

We have been fighting the war on drugs for 40 years at great cost. Yet sometimes we all feel that we have been aimlessly pedalling a stationary bicycle. You look to your right, you look to your left, and yet you always see the same landscape – demand for

Lee Smolin.
The time of your life
By Michael Brooks - 06 June 15:41

A discussion with Lee Smolin.

A nucleus being injected from a micropipette into an enucleated oocyte
It’s only natural – let’s make it better
By Michael Brooks - 30 May 9:04

If we can improve, we should.

The third culture: The power and glory of mathematics
By Ian Stewart - 21 May 16:36

In 1959 C P Snow delivered a celebrated lecture in which he decried the man-made gulf between the arts and the sciences. Yet there is one subject that already spans the divide and is unjustly neglected — mathematics.

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