The genetics of side-effects

Henk-Jan Guchelaar knows all too well the serious problems that the side–effects of medication can cause. As a professor of clinical pharmacy at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, he has spent the last two decades trying to get the link between medicine and our genes recognised more widely.  The stories he hears from patients and their families bring home … Read more

Q&A: How vaccines can strengthen immune response beyond a specific disease

Live vaccines can give health effects beyond just protecting us from a specific disease and may even help us combat other infections such as Covid-19, according to Christine Stabell Benn, a professor in global health at the University of Southern Denmark. We often think about vaccines protecting us against a specific disease – training the … Read more

3-D printed corals, new bioreactors to boost microalgae production for biofuels

The structure of coral polyps provide an ideal habitat for colonies of Symbiodinium sp. algae to grow. Image credit - Dr Wangpraseurt

by Fintan Burke Using light as an energy source, photosynthetic microalgae can be used to produce products like biofuels and cosmetics. But algae grown in a reactor block out the light on which they feed. New reactor designs could solve this problem and help the industry move forward. Photosynthetic algae – tiny algae that use light … Read more

Cloud shapes and formations impact global warming – but we still don’t understand them

Tropical thunderstorm clouds are unique because they self-organise even when the conditions below and above them are uniform, and do so with 'memories' of past formations. Image credit - NASA Johnson Space Center

by Sarah Wild Above the Atlantic Ocean, puffy white clouds scud across the sky buffeted by invisible trade winds. They are not ‘particularly big, impressive or extended’, says Dr Sandrine Bony, a climatologist and research director at the French National Centre for Scientific Research. ‘But they are the most ubiquitous clouds on Earth.’ Clouds are one … Read more