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New Scientist The Collection

New Scientist The Collection Even Better You

New Scientist covers discoveries and ideas in science and technology that will change your life and the way you understand the world. New Scientist employs and commissions the best writers in their fields to provide in-depth but accessible coverage of the developments that matter. New Scientist: The Collection is a themed compilation of recent articles and special reports from our back catalogue, providing a book-length examination of some of the deepest questions known to humanity.

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United Kingdom
New Scientist Ltd
Back issues only

in this issue

3 min.
live your life to the fullest

EVERY day we are bombarded with suggestions for making ourselves better: ways to be fitter, healthier, smarter, more attractive and more productive. We are a species driven by constant self-improvement, but even when the spirit is willing, the flesh is often weak. It takes discipline and scientific expertise to navigate the mass of frequently contradictory information. One minute we are told to eat five servings of fruit and vegetables each day, the next we are prescribed 10. Antibacterial soaps are sold in every supermarket, but we are told that excessive cleanliness could be contributing to a rise in allergies. Depending on who you speak to, gluten-free diets are the best thing since sliced bread or a passing fad. The list goes on. In 2014, New Scientist published The Scientific Guide to…

16 min.
circuit train your brain

PUMPING iron to sculpt your biceps. Yoga poses to stretch and relax. Running to whittle your waistline and get fit fast. There are loads of reasons why it’s smart to exercise, and most of us are familiar with the menu of options and how each can shape and benefit your body. But we are discovering that there are numerous ways in which exercise makes you smart too. Many of its effects have been going unnoticed, but if you were to peer inside the heads of people who like to keep active, you would see that different exercises strengthen, sculpt and shape the brain in myriad ways. That the brains of exercisers look different to those of their more sedentary counterparts is, in itself, not new. We have been hearing for years that…

13 min.
know it all

EVEN when school exams are just a distant memory, our thirst for knowledge goes on. Whether we are after a new skill or fluency in another language, want to play a musical instrument or explore a new passion, we are lifelong learners. Even if we simply need to bone up on trivia to win the pub quiz or impress someone we fancy, our need to know is never-ending. So you would think we’d have learning down to a fine art. In fact, some of the most common techniques are pretty useless (see “What doesn’t work”, page 14). But the good news is we can share some of the secrets of successful learning, and no matter what your age or ability, they can work for you. 01 KNOW WHEN TO LEARN Older adults…

9 min.
the power of your mind

“ Our capacity often is unrealised as we are not in a position to take advantage” DURING the second world war, the US government found itself wrestling with a meaty problem. It was trying to encourage citizens to eat offal so that better cuts of meat could be shipped to the troops abroad. But the message wasn’t getting through. So the government recruited some serious brainpower: renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead and the father of social psychology, Kurt Lewin. Instead of telling people that eating offal was a patriotic duty, Mead and Lewin tried to understand their psychological resistance to eating it in the first place. They found that offal was stigmatised as the food of the poor, and also that people were unsure how to cook it. So they launched a campaign…

4 min.
you can heal yourself with hypnosis

PROFILE Laurence Sugarman directs the Center for Applied Psychophysiology and Self-regulation at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. He is a former president of the American Board of Medical Hypnosis and on the faculty of the National Pediatric Hypnosis Training Institute You believe hypnosis can transform healthcare. How so? Many problems we bring to our doctors have a psychophysiological component: irritable bowel syndrome, recurrent migraines, anxiety symptoms. And we know that people can somehow keep powerful medications from being effective. Clinical hypnosis is about educating the patient to be a better boss of their body and mind. That is improving care. So, what is hypnosis and how do you think it works? My colleagues and I propose that hypnosis is simply a skill set for influencing people. It involves facial expression, language, body movement, tone…

9 min.
a blueberry a day...

SUPERFOOD VS FOOD When it comes to delivering the active ingredients thought to do you good, how do so-called superfoods stack up against ordinary fare? We compare 100-gram portions. KALE Blended in smoothies, baked into crisps, blanched or raw in salads: once dowdy kale has become fashionable. Its main selling point is a family of sulphur-containing plant chemicals called glucosinolates that give all dark-green vegetables their characteristic bitter taste. Glucosinolates are broken down in the gut to release glucose and isothiocyanates, which have been shown to stimulate enzymes whose job it is to eliminate cancer-causing chemicals. This much has been shown in animal research and it is supported by studies linking higher consumption of glucosinolate-rich brassicas to a lowered risk of cancer in humans, particularly that of the gut and lungs. Given that all brassicas…