Link between music and speech rhythm in brain could provide language insight

When a piece of music is played at the wrong tempo it is difficult to recognise because our brain uses rhythm to help make sense of sounds. Image credit - flickr/ Brian Richardson, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Neuroscientist Dr Domenica Bueti often plays an altered version of the classic aria La donna è mobile when she gives talks about the importance of time perception. Her friend’s piano rendition of Giuseppe Verdi’s composition uses the same notes but is played at different speeds. Rarely does anyone ever identify the tune. ‘When I play it with … Read more

‘Browning’ white fat cells opens new avenue to obesity prevention

by: Vittoria D’Alessio Scientists are getting closer to understanding how to turn the body’s energy-storing white fat cells into energy-burning beige fat cells, opening up hopes that fat deposits could one day be deliberately manipulated to prevent obesity and related health conditions. Professor Mirko Trajkovski from the Laboratory of Metabolic Health at Geneva University, Switzerland, … Read more

Transplant recipients may soon have a test to protect against organ rejection

In 2017, 34,000 transplants were carried out in the EU, while 60,000 people were on a waiting list for a transplant by the end of the year. Image credit - Flickr/Lars Plougmann, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

To help prevent organ rejection, transplant recipients could receive drug cocktails personalised to their own immune systems if a new test, which has passed early trials, is successful. And new methods for scrubbing animal tissue could enable humans to benefit from other species’ organs in the future. In the EU alone, there were 60,000 people on … Read more

Schools and media literacy critical for teen refugees’ social wellbeing

A quarter of the refugees who entered Europe in 2018 were children, and 40% of these were unaccompanied by adults. Image credit - Kylo/ Unsplash

by Gareth Willmer For a teenage refugee starting a new life in Europe, going to school and using digital media form a big part of navigating an unfamiliar society. But appropriate interventions at school and online could help them feel more at home in a new country. A quarter of the migrants and refugees who entered Europe … Read more

In a picture: Filming the immune system in action – Prof. Georg Fantner

This video shows the body's immune system attacking a bacterial membrane. It punches one hole in the surface before pausing and then punching more. Video source - nature communications ( DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10058-7

By assembling a camera that can record video at nanometre resolution, scientists have filmed how the immune system kills bacteria by poking holes into it. Professor Georg Fantner tells us about how this was achieved and why his next challenge is to build a video camera that can film the inside of a living cell. We … Read more