The man with a thousand brains

31 Oct 2014

Forty million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s and this is only set to increase. But tiny brains grown in culture could help scientists learn more about this mysterious disease – and test new drugs.

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Does it help conservation to put a price on nature?

30 Oct 2014

Assigning an economic value to the benefits which nature provides might not always promote the conservation of biodiversity, and in some cases may lead to species loss and conflict, argues a University of Cambridge researcher.

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Travellers under open skies: writers, artists and gypsies

30 Oct 2014

In her new book Representations of the Gypsy in the Romantic Period, Sarah Houghton-Walker provides a fascinating insight into writers’ and artists’ portrayals of wanderers. Her study focuses on a period when gypsies’ fragile place in the landscape, and on the margins of society, came increasingly under threat.  

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The ‘ultimate’ stem cell

29 Oct 2014

In the earliest moments of a mammal’s life, the developing ball of cells formed shortly after fertilisation ‘does as mother says’ – it follows a course that has been pre-programmed in the egg by the mother. Extraordinary as this is, what happens then is even more remarkable.

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Return of the new gods: Jedis, auras and online witch schools

24 Oct 2014

Research by a digital anthropologist is looking at how new religious movements are harnessing online platforms. These ‘invented religions’ take inspiration from ancient philosophy and recent cultural events to develop doctrine and communities of believers in digital spaces.

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