New findings about how a human egg matures may help prevent infertility and birth defects

DNA or chromosome errors are found in 20% of women in their early 20s, say researchers.

by Vittoria d’Alessio Decoding how the human egg matures and how this process can go wrong could lead to ways of preventing genetic errors leading to infertility, birth defects or pregnancy loss. Physiological changes known to trigger miscarriages and to increase the likelihood of carrying a child with a genetic condition start in a woman’s … Read more

Scientists aim for new weapons in fight against superbugs

Image credit - Flickr/ Sheep purple, licensed under CC BY 2.0

by Rex Merrifield New weapons are needed to fight drug-resistant bacteria, one of the biggest threats to global health. By working on new antibiotics or finding ways to revive existing ones in our medical arsenal, scientists aim to avoid a return to a world where even everyday infections may mean death. Antibiotics have saved hundreds of … Read more

Non-antibiotic cures for cows could speed up treatments for people

Mastitis, a bacterial infection that leads to inflammation of a cow's mammary glands and udders, has long been a scourge of the dairy industry. Image credit - Tomasz Jagielski, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

by Gareth Willmer As the global antibiotic resistance crisis grows, chemical-based aerosol sprays and electrical signals to wake up the immune system are being developed to treat cow infections. These non-antibiotic therapies for livestock could also help to limit the spread of antibiotic resistance through the human food chain. The animal sector, which uses drugs … Read more

Is 5G bad for your health? It’s complicated, say researchers

The radiation emitted by 5G will largely be the same as previous networks, except that it will be exposing us to something called milimetre waves for the first time. Image credit - Flickr/ Kārlis Dambrāns, licensed under CC BY 2.0

by Tom Cassauwers The fifth generation of mobile internet is fast approaching. Countries such as Switzerland, the UK and Germany are already rolling out next generation networks. 5G is projected to be 100 times faster than 4G and would allow new technologies such as connected cars and augmented reality to flourish. But despite the big … Read more

Antibiotic resistance: How did we get here?

When bacteria develop antibiotic resistance (in the dish on the right), they can grow even in the presence of antibiotics (in the white discs). Image credit - Dr Graham Beards, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Finding ways to enlist the bacteria living in our bodies to defend against infections while better understanding their role in promoting antibiotic resistance are key to fighting this growing problem, says Dr Nassos Typas, a microbiologist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany. Antibiotic resistance is now regarded as one of the largest … Read more

Bacteria passed from mother to baby may play a role in later health

It is believed that the composition of gut bacteria in newborn babies is a strong indicator of future health. Image credit - Pixabay/ blankita_ua, image under Pixabay license

by Vittoria d’Alessio The bacteria and viruses a baby inherit from its mother play a crucial role in determining the child’s health in later life, according to research that could lead to new interventions to tackle conditions like obesity, allergies and colic. If your mother was obese, there is a good chance you will be … Read more