In a picture: Hunting down guerrilla tumour cells – Prof. Rolf Bjerkvig

Brain tumours contain many different types of cells, here stained different colours, which makes them complex to treat.

Professor Rolf Bjerkvig, a specialist in brain cancer research, tells us why guerrilla cells make the disease so hard to treat. Brain tumours are hard to treat completely with surgery because they leave behind cells that invade the brain. In this video, which covers 72 hours, you can see cells breaking off from a tumour to invade other … Read more

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

Nature or nurture: How do we end child obesity?

An estimated 224 million children worldwide are overweight or obese.

A smartphone app that challenges children to engage in healthy behaviour, and genetic studies that investigate risk factors for obesity, are taking a nature and nurture approach to tackling one of the biggest epidemics of our time – childhood obesity. Around 224 million children around the world are overweight, making obesity one of the biggest public health … Read more

Tissue engineering is no quick fix for kidney disease, but early intervention can help

Kidney disease often lacks symptoms until it is at an advanced stage.

by Frieda Klotz Recent advances in kidney research have yielded dramatic headlines touting scientists’ ability to grow kidneys in the lab. But some experts worry that hype about tissue engineering is excessively raising patients’ hopes. In 2013, US scientists announced that they had grown kidneys that could process urine in rats. The announcement was hailed as potentially … Read more

Memory-jogging robot to keep people sharp in ‘smart’ retirement homes

Sensors placed throughout a retirement home helped the ENRICHME robot to keep track of the movements and activities of residents taking part in the project’s trial.

A robot that reminds older people where they have put things and helps them exercise has been used by residents in three retirement homes in a trial to combat cognitive decline in later age. Almost a fifth of the European population are over 65 years old, but while quality of life for this age bracket is … Read more

Family’s grief sparks a quest for better bladder cancer cures

Millions of lives are lost to cancer due to late detection so scientists are working on better ways of diagnosing the disease.

‘Invasive and uncomfortable’ prodedures for detecting if someone has bladder cancer could be replaced by urine tests that not only screen for the presence of the disease but also help doctors choose the right course of treatment for a particular patient. ‘Our lives literally came to a stop when my mother was diagnosed with cancer,’ said … Read more