'Selfish brain' wins out when competing with muscle power, study finds

20 Oct 2017

New research on our internal trade-off when physical and mental performance are put in direct competition has found that cognition takes less of a hit, suggesting more energy is diverted to the brain than body muscle. Researchers say the findings support the ‘selfish brain’ theory of human evolution.

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Boy, girl... or intersex? Law and gender

19 Oct 2017

Boy or girl? This is one of the first questions all new parents are asked. In a small percentage of cases, the answer isn’t straightforward: the child is intersex. In a highly gendered society, how does the law apply to people whose physiology doesn’t fit the binary categories of male and female? 

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Living in a material world: why 'things' matter

18 Oct 2017

Things structure our lives. They enrich us, embellish us and express our hopes and fears. Here, to introduce a month-long focus on research on material culture, four academics from different disciplines explain why understanding how we interact with our material world can reveal unparalleled insights into what it is to be human.

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Petals produce a 'blue halo' that helps bees find flowers

18 Oct 2017

New study finds “messy” microscopic structures on petals of some flowers manipulate light to produce a blue colour effect that is easily seen by bee pollinators. Researchers say these petal grooves evolved independently multiple times across flowering plants, but produce the same result: a floral halo of blue-to-ultraviolet light.

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