Parkinson’s disease: Stimulation of brain, feet may help people overcome freezing episodes

More than half of people with advanced Parkinson's disease experience freezing of gait, which can lead to falls.

Paolo Sanvito would often freeze like a statue after entering a meeting room when he was working as a manager in a multinational company. Known as freezing of gait, it’s a disabling symptom of Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative brain disorder that he suffers from. During a freezing episode, a patient feels like their feet are … Read more

Sewage, rivers and soils provide missing link in antibiotic resistance story

In poorer countries, using raw wastewater to irrigate urban farms could be an underlying cause of antibiotic resistance.

If you think that the key to beating antibiotic resistance is only for doctors to prescribe less and scientists to find new drug candidates, you are probably wrong. The fundamental solutions may lie far from medicine – in managing our rivers and soils. That is the view of scientists who have uncovered disturbing amounts of … Read more

Dried-out tardigrades could point way to drug preservation, resilient crops

Scientists are trying to work out how tardigrades survive extreme environments such as heat and drought. Image credit - Frank Fox, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

by Gareth Willmer New insights into how tardigrades survive extremely dry environments could reveal new ways of preserving drugs, boosting crops’ tolerance to drought or fighting disease, but so far there is no simple answer to how these tiny creatures endure desiccation. Despite being nicknamed moss piglets, tardigrades do an awful lot more than just … Read more

Why people’s misperceptions about climate change, vaccinations are so hard to shake

Misperceptions can be difficult to tackle because they become tied to people's identities, says Prof. Reifler. Image credit - Pixabay/ congerdesign, licensed under Pixabay license

by Kelly Oakes The most powerful source of misperceptions about important issues such as immigration and climate change are false beliefs rooted in people’s political or social preferences, but having people who question authority is also important for a society, according to Professor Jason Reifler, a political scientist at the University of Exeter, UK. Prof. … Read more

Can we reverse antibiotic resistance?

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have had their antibiotic resistance reversed in Prof. Almqvist's lab. Image credit - Pixnio/ Janice Haney Carr, Jeff Hageman, M.H.S, USCDCP, licensed under CC0

by Vittoria D’Alessio In the battle against antibiotic resistance, some scientists are trying a new approach: re-sensitising bacteria to drugs they no longer respond to so that existing antibiotics can hit their target once more. ‘This is a sustainable and straightforward approach to the problem of antibiotic resistance,’ said Fredrik Almqvist, professor of organic chemistry … Read more