The new research is the work of a company called Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd, based in Ness Ziona, Israel. Photograph: VVG/Science Photo Library

As we all know, cancer is a great scourge. The Irish Cancer Society website tells us that one person dies from cancer every hour in Ireland and cancer(...)

Declining birth rates are no longer confined to the western world. Photograph: Erik De Castro/Reuters

The conventional projection by the UN is that world population, currently 7.7 billion, will increase to 11.2 billion in 2100, then stabilise before sl(...)

 We are fortunate to be meat-eaters because meat drove the evolution of our large brains and complex bodies. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

The Lancet medical journal published a comprehensive report last month on human diet and global food systems. Our food production systems are causing (...)

Pills or placebo? Science may not be the only way to understand illness and healing and that the placebo effect is a biological response to the act of caring –  the rituals involved trigger specific neurobiological pathways that modulate body sensations, symptoms and emotions

According to my Collins dictionary, a placebo is “an inactive substance or other sham form of therapy administered to a patient usually to compare its(...)

Sir Roger Scruton believes heresy is central to understanding the erosion of free speech

A principal function of the university is to conduct rational enquiry in order to discover/create new knowledge. Rational enquiry is dependent on acad(...)

Lava erupts near Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano. Experiments show that hot spring pools can sequester simple biological chemical building blocks into membrane-enclosed compartments. Photograph: Armann Hoskuldsson/Reuters

Although life began on Earth about 3.8 billion years ago, figuring out how living cells first arose from lifeless molecules remains one of the biggest(...)

Charles Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, proposed eugenics as a science in the late 1800s

Many science writers have an unfortunate tendency to present the history of science as a Whig history – an inevitable progression of discoveries leadi(...)

Many critics now blame this self-esteem movement for producing a generation of emotionally fragile young adults. Photograph: iStock

Many readers will remember the popular self-esteem movement that went viral in America in the 1980s. This movement quickly spread to Europe, although (...)

Surprisingly for a scientist, Richard Dawkins supports his charge on the long-term psychological damage of a religious upbringing with little more than anecdotes. Photograph: Alan Betson

Religion in Ireland is currently under strong and persistent criticism from liberal commentators. One frequently heard criticism is that it is serious(...)

Life began on Earth early, about 3.4 billion years ago. Photograph: Getty Images

The question of whether human beings are the only intelligent life in our galaxy continues to fascinate. The latest attempt to answer it is made by th(...)

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