Thinking inside the box

31 Mar 2015

New research into the phenomenon of design fixation – allowing prior experience to blind us to new possibilities – may help in the development of new tools and strategies that help to stimulate the creative process without inadvertently limiting it.

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Health-conscious concrete

23 Mar 2015

Roads that self-repair, bridges filled with first-aid bubbles, buildings with arteries… not some futuristic fantasy but a very real possibility with ‘smart’ concrete.

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Spatula to poison darts, Malaysia

Poisons, plants and Palaeolithic hunters

21 Mar 2015

Dozens of common plants are toxic. Archaeologists have long suspected that our Palaeolithic ancestors used plant poisons to make their hunting weapons more lethal.  Now Dr Valentina Borgia has teamed up with a forensic chemist to develop a technique for detecting residues of deadly substances on archaeological objects.

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Music in the tree of life

Music in the tree of life

18 Mar 2015

Modern scientific methods for mapping the evolution of species are being applied to centuries-old hand-copied music, providing new inspiration for how it is performed.

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Families with a difference: the reality behind the hype

12 Mar 2015

Families come in many guises. Some parents are same-sex; others are single by choice. Growing numbers of children are conceived through assistive reproductive technology. What do these developments mean for the parents and children involved? Professor Susan Golombok’s book, Modern Families, examines ‘new family forms’ within a context of four decades of empirical research. 

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On the trail of history’s biggest killers

06 Mar 2015

As well as telling us more about earlier societies, the study of diseases in the past is proving an invaluable tool for modern science, as a new book by the historian of medicine Mary Dobson reveals.

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