Understanding immune system switches will spark new drugs

Image credit - magnaram, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Identifying the chemical switches that turn different parts of our immune system on and off is opening up new avenues for treating diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis – and potential new uses for discarded drugs, according to Professor Luke O’Neill, an immunologist at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Your work focuses on … Read more

Noise and motion links to dyslexia pave way for early diagnosis

Image credit - Jay Inslee, CC BY-ND 2.0

Most children are able to learn language almost effortlessly. But for those with communication disorders such as dyslexia, mastering their native tongue can be a challenge. Researchers are exploring how links with noise, language and motion could help diagnose problems earlier and pave the way for better treatment. Dyslexia is a learning disorder affecting 5% … Read more

From robotic companions to third thumbs, machines can change the human brain

Image credit - Ruud Hortensius and Emily Cross

People’s interactions with machines, from robots that throw tantrums when they lose a colour-matching game against a human opponent to the bionic limbs that could give us extra abilities, are not just revealing more about how our brains are wired – they are also altering them. by Frieda Klotz Emily Cross is a professor of … Read more

Extended napping could cause cognitive decline in older people

Image credit: Silver Santé Study

Regular naps may be one of the privileges of retirement but research is pointing to napping as a contributor to cognitive decline. Scientists are now testing the idea that older people should instead meditate or learn a language to preserve brainpower and wellbeing. Sleep serves a crucial function in brain health and maintenance, but regular, … Read more

Scientists can predict rare leukaemia 8 years before symptoms begin

Image Credit: National Cancer Institute

A study of more than half a million blood samples has allowed scientists to pinpoint the risk factors for a rare type of leukaemia, enabling them to predict if someone will develop the disease eight years before symptoms appear and opening the door to preventative treatments. Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a rare cancer usually … Read more

The video games that improve kids’ social skills

Image credit - Pixabay/ StockSnap, licensed under CCO

Video games that are specifically designed to test and improve children’s social and emotional skills could enable parents and teachers to spot issues and help children improve their behaviour and performance at school as well as in later life. Imagine racing through a virtual labyrinth against an alien and losing. Given the chance to rerun … Read more