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Don't be fooled by the closing gender gap in science PhDs

Career advancement is often described metaphorically as a pipeline. In many fields – law, film, business, journalism and academia, to name just a few – the pipeline leaks. And most of all, it leaks women. As we move further along the career path, we usually find an increasing percentage of men and...
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As a Mars One candidate I can reach for the stars

I became a scientist on 26 October 1980 on the floor of the family room in the house where I grew up. I had just turned nine years old and my conversion was prompted by a broadcast of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. The episode, hauntingly titled Blues for a Red Planet, summarised human exploration of Mars,...
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Why I want to be a passenger on Mars One

I have always been in awe of the night sky, trying to comprehend the vastness of space and the countless wonders it contains. But I have always felt a certain dissatisfaction with only being able to see it at a distance. One day I imagine that humanity will be able to visit other planets in the...
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Women have been oversold HRT for decades

On my desk I keep a copy of Feminine Forever, a book promoting hormone replacement therapy (HRT), published in 1966, by Robert A Wilson. On the front, it proclaims that it is “a fully documented discussion of one of medicine’s most revolutionary breakthroughs – the discovery that the menopause is...
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Sir Tim Berners- Lee: how the web went from idea to reality

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, discusses his early career at CERN and how the web evolved from its initial concept. Watch the full interview with Sir Tim in our 'Where I Went Right' video interactive, which also features three more films exploring the formative moments in...
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Exposure to sun poses risk of skin cancer even in the dark, study finds

Damage to skin cells continues for hours after spending time in the sun, according to research that uncovers a new link between sun exposure and cancer. The discovery that some of the most serious damage to skin cells may be occurring in the dark raises the prospect of new “evening after” lotions...
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Drug-resistant malaria threatens to spread from Burma, say researchers

Malaria with total resistance to the antimalarial drug artemisinin has taken hold in Burma and spread close to the border with India, threatening to render crucial medicines useless, scientists have warned. If the resistant parasite reached India it would pose a serious threat to the chances of...
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Neuroplasticity: how the brain heals - podcast

Norman Doidge is a Canadian psychiatrist on the faculty of both the University of Toronto and of Columbia University in New York. He started out as a poet and a student of philosophy, before moving into psychiatry. He authored guidelines for the practice of intensive psychotherapy, before working...
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Let’s stop pretending going to Mars is for mankind

I read the news of the proposed one-way trip to Mars for up to 40 lucky Earthlings with curious fascination. First, I browsed through the 100 candidates who had made the shortlist. Of course there was a Nigerian, a certain Ighodalo whose upbeat personableness came across well in his application...
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Where does the sun go? Ukip candidates' science questions predicted

The Grimsby UKIP candidate Victoria Ayling recently asked the following question at a public debate: what happens when renewable energy runs out? This resulted in much amusement and mockery, suggesting that Ayling isn’t familiar with the properties of renewable energy. Or a dictionary. But is this...
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