Most talked about New Scientist stories

Arachnophobia chopped out of a man's brain

newscientist.com — Scared of the dark? Terrified of heights? Spiders make you scream? For the first time, a person's lifelong phobia has been completely abolished overnight. Unfortunately, it required removing a tiny bit of the man's brain, so for now, most people will have to find another way to dispel their fears.
Oct 31, 2014

RT @newscientist: Good news: man's arachnophobia was completely cured! Bad news: a bit of his brain had to be cut out... ow.ly/DCLQg

Oct 31, 2014

Good news: man's arachnophobia was completely cured! Bad news: a bit of his brain had to be cut out... ow.ly/DCLQe

Earth's blue beauty glimpsed from far side of the moon

newscientist.com — The blue marble that is Earth looks more fragile than ever in this photograph taken by China's Chang'e 5-T1 spacecraft as it rounded the far side of the moon. Chang'e 5-T1 is doing a tour of the moon to test heat-shield technology for a more advanced mission planned for 2017.

How vampires evolved to live on blood alone

newscientist.com — Any mad scientists planning to genetically engineer Dracula this Halloween should look to the vampire bat for inspiration. New research pinpoints some of the genetic changes that allowed them to evolve to subsist on a diet of pure blood. Key among those is a knack for keeping their meals from coagulating.

Ghoulish gallery of Halloween horror animals

newscientist.com — It's not just ghosts and goblins that will give you a scare this Halloween - the animal kingdom puts on quite a horrifying show. New Scientist picks our fright-night favourites from the gross to the downright gory, zombie cockroaches brought back from the dead to a lizard that squirts tears of blood.

Spoiler-free guide to the science of Interstellar

newscientist.com — Continue reading page |1| 2 As Christopher Nolan's epic new film opens on an Earth of the near future, it's not quite apocalypse now, but it will be soon. Crops are failing all over the planet. Humanity's final generation has already been born. We've got to get off the planet.

Instant Expert: Alan Turing's legacy

newscientist.com — Alan Turing: The enigma by Andrew Hodges, Vintage, Random House, 1983 The Annotated Turing by Charles Petzold, John Wiley & Sons, 2008 The Essential Turing by B. Jack Copeland, Clarendon Press, 2004 Alan M.

Smoke without fire: What's the truth on e-cigarettes?

newscientist.com — Scroll down to download this guide to the major facts and figures about e-cigarettes They've been called safe, dangerous, a way to quit smoking - and a way to start.
Oct 30, 2014

RT @newscientist: Safe? Dangerous? A way to quit - or a way to start? Get the straight dope on e-cigarettes: ow.ly/DzUve pic.twitter.com/gzUVZzebvy

Heart ops shrink thanks to surgeon in your vein

newscientist.com — LAST year, a tiny heart surgeon entered the neck of a pig, slipped down its jugular vein and into its still-beating heart. With the pig's heart pumping, the device cut a small hole in the wall between the two upper chambers before being removed.
Oct 30, 2014

This robot can slip into your still-beating heart and do surgery with a tiny circular saw newscientist.com/article/mg2242…

Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice

newscientist.com — As you read this, your neurons are firing - that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That's no longer the case - researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time.
Oct 30, 2014

Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice - - New Scientist, My inner voice says, 'Eat lunch now." newscientist.com/article/mg2242…

Oct 30, 2014

How to lose friends. Anyone tuning in to my thoughts would prob. be appalled: newscientist.com/article/mg2242… Not just me, either. Poker anyone?

Oct 30, 2014

RT @mims: Brain recording device decodes your inner monologue, because that is a GREAT idea. newscientist.com/article/mg2242…

Oct 30, 2014

RT @mims: Brain recording device decodes your inner monologue, because that is a GREAT idea. newscientist.com/article/mg2242…

Show 4 more tweets from Helen Thomson, Christopher Mims and others...

Gold origami exerts strange power over light

newscientist.com — SHEETS of gold one nano-particle thick have been folded into tiny origami. Dubbed plasmene, the material has some of the weirdest optical properties around. It could someday enable things like invisibility cloaks and super-efficient solar cells. Plasmonic materials, such as gold and silver, capture light and transmit it along their surfaces as waves of electrons called plasmons.
Oct 30, 2014

Today's big-hitting story: gold origami has mysterious optical properties ow.ly/DyUtr

Instant Expert: General relativity

newscientist.com — Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity is one of the towering achievements of 20th-century physics. Published in 1916, it explains that what we perceive as the force of gravity in fact arises from the curvature of space and time. Einstein proposed that objects such as the sun and the Earth change this geometry.
Oct 30, 2014

planning to see the Interstellar movie? You'll want out expert guide to general relativity first newscientist.com/special/instan… @InterstellarUK

States lead the US toward a new era in its war on drugs

newscientist.com — It isn't the end of the war on drugs. But it may be the beginning of the end for a punitive approach to sentencing that sees the US imprison more of its people than any other nation. On 12 August, when US attorney general Eric Holder announced a plan to reduce lengthy minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders, it was a watershed moment.
Oct 30, 2014

Odd that in this "war on drugs" argument no one mentioned use of scientific evidence in some US states ow.ly/DymiJ @BBCr4today

Goodbye, paper: What we miss when we read on screen

newscientist.com — (Image: Richard Wilkinson) Digital technology is transforming the way we read and write. Is it changing our minds too - and if so, for better or worse? WE READ more than ever - three times as much as we did in 1980, according to one study. But we're reading differently.
Oct 31, 2014

does typing rather than writing change the way we think? For young children, the answer is yes newscientist.com/article/mg2242…

Oct 30, 2014

RT @newscientist: Writing letters by hand produces measurable changes in brain activity compared with typing ow.ly/DyZcJ pic.twitter.com/23z6aTJxg1

Oct 30, 2014

You're reading this on a screen, not a paper. Does it make any difference? ow.ly/DyZcJ by @OCallaghanT £ (edited by moi)

Computer with human-like learning will program itself

newscientist.com — The Neural Turing Machine will combine the best of number-crunching with the human-like adaptability of neural networks - so it can invent its own programs YOUR smartphone is amazing, but ask it to do something it doesn't have an app for and it just sits there. Without programmers to write apps, computers are useless.
Oct 31, 2014

RT @newscientist: Pah, who needs puny humans? Computers are learning to do things by themselves - fast ow.ly/DwzzG pic.twitter.com/RlqYkegCtX

Oct 29, 2014

Self-programming computers - neural Turing machines ow.ly/DwzzG fascinating, ahead-of-the-curve stuff from @jjaron

Cellular alchemy turns skin cells into brain cells

newscientist.com — Move over stem cells. A different kind of cellular alchemy is allowing cells to be converted directly into other tissues to treat disease or mend injuries. Stem cells have long been touted as the future of regenerative medicine as they can multiply indefinitely and be turned into many different cell types.
Oct 30, 2014

Forget #stem cells. Now skin cells can be turned directly into other tissues bit.ly/1E562Cz #transdifferentiation

Seabed feeding frenzy proves dead jellyfish get eaten

newscientist.com — Home | Life | News Deep in the North Sea off Norway, a jelly-feast is under way - and it's the last thing researchers expected to find. Daniel Jones of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK, and his colleagues lowered dead jellyfish down to the seabed on a platter fitted with a time-lapse camera.
Oct 29, 2014

Does anything eat jellyfish? Yes, lots, & even when they're dead ow.ly/DwKck video of the feast>> youtu.be/IVRzLgpB1iQ

Plan to save Great Barrier Reef doomed to failure

newscientist.com — The Australian government's plan to maintain the quality of the Great Barrier Reef is doomed to failure. That's the opinion of the Australian Academy of Science, the country's equivalent of the Royal Society of London.

Massive flares erupt from largest sunspot in 25 years

newscientist.com — A massive solar eruption on 26 October was the sixth large flare since 19 October, all emanating from one gigantic sunspot called AR 12192. Measuring 129,000 kilometres across, it's the largest sunspot since 1990. For comparison, that's a spot 10 times the diameter of Earth. Does it pose dangers to us?