In Search of the Smell of Rain

Madhavankutty Pillai

A group of art students learnt synthetic biology to make bacteria produce the smell of rain in a lab. They almost succeeded.

Walking in Circles

Research says people cannot walk in a straight line if they do not have absolute references

The DNA of Sleep

Scientists have discovered the first gene involved in regulating the optimal length of human sleep

Hidden Portals

Platform 9¾ from the Potter books may still elude us Muggles, but scientists are working on a circuitous route that may yet get us there

Taking the Pain out of Itching

Scientists have been able to use a neurotoxin to reduce the urge to scratch in mice

Optical Cues from Jewel Beetles

A small green beetle may have some interesting lessons to teach scientists about optics and liquid crystals

Speared by Humans

A study of a 50,000 year old wound suggests a possible reason for the extinction of Neanderthals

Detecting Fraud

A fascinating statistical law was brought into play to substantiate claims that the Iran election was rigged

Stretching the Mind

Dr Howard Gardner at Harvard University has had a profound impact on thinking and education. In an exclusive interview with Open, he shares his latest thoughts about the mind and its functioning

How to Get Smart. Really

Yes, you can. You can tweak your brains to perform better


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