What goes up must come down: a brief history of the codpiece

30 Apr 2015

Only briefly in vogue, the codpiece has left a rich legacy in art, literature and – most recently – in televised costume drama. In focusing her attention on this ostentatious male accessory, PhD candidate Victoria Miller has developed some new ideas about its evolution (and demise) as a symbol of virility.

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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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