A warning sign at a former Royal Mail sorting office in London. Photo: Getty
Killer dust: why is asbestos still killing people?
By Nic Fleming - 18 March 11:55

Nic Fleming finds out in a twisting tale of industry cover-ups and misinformation that spans decades.

Could a plane like this disappear? Photo: Getty.
Five theories to explain how Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 could have disappeared
By Michael Oakes - 13 March 14:41

With no mayday call, no data and no wreckage found, conspiracy-style theories as to how Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared seem increasingly plausible. Planes don't disappear. Or do they?

Sandra Bullock goes for a spacewalk in Gravity. (Photo: Warner Bros)
In search of the notorious Big G: why we still know so little about gravity
By Michael Brooks - 13 March 9:00

Gravity is pathetic and so is our understanding of it.

Florence Nightingale in Scutari hospital during the Crimean War. Photo: Getty Images
Beautiful Science at the British Library: a history of the portrayal of data
By Michael Brooks - 06 March 10:00

A highlight is Florence Nightingale’s rose diagram, showing how dirty hospitals were killing more soldiers than war.

The mystery tan and the snore that threatened a marriage
By Phil Whitaker - 06 February 8:41

Two needles in the haystack of general practice.

How to get ants to solve a chess problem
By Graham Kendall - 30 January 14:59

Ants use a certain pattern, or algorithm, to forage for food, and this can be used to solve the famous “knight’s tour” chess problem.

Apes with big brains: Richard Dawkins on what makes us human
By Richard Dawkins - 06 January 10:27

Superficially we humans have much in common with other species - but no other species makes cars, computers, and combine harvesters.

Petri dish.
Why eating bacteria could be the future of medicine
By Michael Brooks - 20 December 13:19

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have found that ingesting the right kinds of bacteria can have a positive influence on ailments as diverse as obesity and autism.

Children's Hospital.
Why don't we care about children's pain?
By Patrick McGrath - 13 December 14:34

Until the 1980s children were given no anaesthesia during open heart surgery - and we still don't manage their pain properly now.

Marco Müller.
Do smart people drink more? Here's some science to ease your hangover
By Alice Robb - 04 December 10:54

Alcohol consumption has been found to correlate positively with verbal ability, evolutionary adaptability and going to university.

In the lab.
Scientific journals should stop trying to be exciting - and focus on being right
By Martha Gill - 28 November 12:19

Scientists desperate to have an "impact" in their field are cherry-picking and misrepresenting their results. It's the natural result of a desperate scramble to publish.

Debunking the myths: what is sex really like for ordinary people?
By Kirstin Mitchell - 27 November 10:18

"Few people enjoy a perfect sexual relationship - we need to encourage those people to access the services and support they need."

Stopping 23andMe will only delay the revolution medicine needs
By Gholson Lyon - 26 November 9:29

We need to collect billions of data points for analysis by computers, and the only company in major contention to do this soon is 23andMe.

New Statesman
Are rich countries taking too many antidepressants?
By Sophie McBain - 21 November 12:14

One in 10 people in Iceland are on antidepressants, and prescription rates across the OECD have dramatically increased.

How much of “Doctor Who” might really be possible?
By Alasdair Richmond - 21 November 9:49

Science shows why Doctor Who is so special.

How YouTube can save the world
By Michael Brooks - 19 November 13:13

Janet Jackson's accidental breast exposure has led indirectly to earth avoiding deadly asteroids.

A market that won't go pop: why helium balloons could one day cost £100 each
By Michael Brooks - 07 November 14:08

Once the US - which supplies 80 per cent of the world's helium - stops selling off its store at an artificially low price, we have a problem.

You can't learn about morality from brain scans
By Thomas Nagel - 04 November 17:09

The problem with moral psychology.

How and why do we use animals in research?
By Nancy Lee - 04 November 12:44

There are few topics as emotive as the use of animals in research, and few topics where public trust is so essential. This is your chance to have your say.

Moral psychology's failure: brain scans teach us nothing of morality
By Thomas Nagel - 03 November 16:33

Relying on our natural intuitions about what is right and what is wrong isn't enough for building an coherent system of ethics.

Richard Dawkins.
Richard Dawkins interview: On Pope Francis, poetry and why Jews win so many Nobel Prizes
By Isaac Chotiner - 29 October 10:40

The controversial biologist Richard Dawkins talks unrepentantly to Isaac Chotiner about Muslim scientists, the uses of literature, Pope Francis, and Darwinian altruism.

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

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.