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Ann Hunt obituary

Ann Hunt, who has died aged 75, was instrumental in stimulating research into genetic conditions, as an active researcher herself and by promoting, facilitating and supporting others. In particular she had a profound impact on the international path towards finding a cure for the rare genetic …

Scientists discover the protein interaction that triggers conception

Scientists may have discovered the key to mammalian fertilization: the interaction between two proteins, Izumo and Juno, located on the surface of sperm and eggs, respectively. The finding, published in a mouse study today in the journal <i>Nature</i>, closes a gap in our understanding of how mammals …

Neurocomic: A Graphic Novel About How the Brain Works

Scientists are only just beginning to understand how the brain works — from what transpires in it while we sleep to how to optimize its memory to what love does to it to how music affects it — and the rest of us fall somewhere on the spectrum between fascinated and confused when it comes to the …

White matter might matter much more than we thought

Look up ‘myelin’ in any neuroscience textbook and you’ll find something along these lines: It is a fatty substance that forms a sheath around axons, and gives the fibre bundles their white appearance when viewed under the microscope. The myelin sheath insulates the fibres, and helps them to carry …

Epigenetics 101: a beginner’s guide to explaining everything

Epigenetics is one of the hottest fields in the life sciences. It’s a phenomenon with wide-ranging, powerful effects on many aspects of biology, and enormous potential in human medicine. As such, its ability to fill in some of the gaps in our scientific knowledge is mentioned everywhere from …

Doctor's Diary: A milestone in heart bypass surgery

Technical developments in coronary angioplasty have made it safer and more effective<p>Twenty years ago, when skiing down a mountain in Oregon, an American heart surgeon in his mid-fifties experienced a bout of chest pain that he promptly recognised as typical of angina. He carried on to the bottom of …

Medicine