37°C is the oft-quoted number for ‘normal human temperature’, but modern humans run a little colder than that.
‘Freezing‘ time to save lives – a groundbreaking treatment or a risky gamble, asks Serene Dhawan From the enchanted slumbers of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White to the cryogenic chambers of Prometheus and Passengers, we have long been fascinated by the concept of suspended animation. Now, in a ground-breaking clinical trial at the University of Maryland Medical Centre, doctors are using this fantastical technique as an experimental therapy for patients who have
“Every word and sentence contribute to the engaging narrative – the book is just impossible to put down!” Sam Kean matches his bestselling predecessor – “The Disappearing Spoon” in the vibrancy of storytelling and may even supersede it. The book proves once again that Sam Kean can explain difficult concepts in a simple but not simplistic way, and to make science entertaining for any audience. Exploring the wonders of DNA, this book answers perplexing questions on heredity and
Pills containing live bacteria on the horizon Taking a pill full of live bacteria does not sound like a medicine that your doctor would, or could, prescribe – but it might soon be. In the last decade, gut microbiome research has drawn a lot of attention and funding, but it was not clear whether any therapies would come out of it any time soon. Synlogic, Inc in Cambridge, MA developed a live bacterial therapy to treat phenylketonuria,
Scientists work together to create more effective medicines Advances continue to progress personalised medicine, a field in which drugs are tailored to patients’ needs based on their genetic information. Historically, simply screening patients’ genomes enabled this trend but more recently, synthetic nucleotide-based medicines have taken this a step further. Nucleotide-based medicines use artificial DNA and RNA (nucleotides) to target cellular genetic information directly, shutting off genetic diseases at their source.
Philip Myers tells us how scientists unravelled the secrets of time telling using the humble vinegar fly You cannot win a Nobel Prize if you are dead. Last year, the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine was awarded for the ‘elucidation of the molecular mechanisms controlling circadian rhythms’, and the living received the credit. But some missed out – some who had passed away, who had been central to the
Laura Upstone tells the story of virus based medicine in the war against bacteria, the wonder drug that almost was In this age of modern medicine it is easy to forget that only a century ago, an infected scratch from a bramble could have cost you your life. Alexander Fleming’s discovery of the first antibiotic – penicillin – opened up a wealth of opportunities. Now an infected cut is just a
“… with a sense of wonder and whimsy, this book reveals the thoughtfulness of anatomists through the ages” Did you know you have a harp in your heart (chordae tendinae), a snail in your ear (cochlea) and a beehive in your lungs (alveoli)? In their newly released book The Secret Language of Anatomy, Cecilia Brassett, Emily Evans and Isla Fay explore the etymological roots of anatomical terms in an elegant
Jack McMinn investigates pterosaur parenting Pterosaurs were the the dominant airborne animals of the Mesozoic Era (252-66 million years ago), dying out alongside the dinosaurs and being ecologically replaced by birds. However, a new study by Xiaolin Wang et al. seems to suggest that pterosaurs often used the same evolutionary strategies as their avian replacements. Fossilised embryos of Hamipterus, a Chinese cousin of the famous Pteranodon, were found still inside
Katherine Dudman introduces genetic discrimination, the sly cousin of racism and sexism Have you ever spared a thought for the value of the information encoded in your genes? Have others? We are constantly bombarded with headlines about the latest research to link behaviour, appearance or disease to variations in our genetic makeup. You may even have considered your own chances of developing cancer, escaping Alzheimer’s or making it through to