A shaggy dog story: The contagious cancer that conquered the world

17 May 2016

A contagious form of cancer that can spread between dogs during mating has highlighted the extent to which dogs accompanied human travellers throughout our seafaring history. But the tumours also provide surprising insights into how cancers evolve by ‘stealing’ DNA from their host.

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A real piece of work

16 Jun 2015

In 2003, researchers embarked on a project to piece together a picture of changes in British working life over the course of 600 years. The emerging results seem to demand a rewrite of the most important chapter in our social and economic history.

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Seeds to skyscrapers

24 Jun 2014

Wood is one of the oldest building materials but its use is limited by its properties. With new funding, researchers aim to stretch these properties to an unprecedented degree, creating the means to build a skyscraper out of plants.

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Cities of dreams... and death

28 Feb 2014

The fate of migrants moving to cities in 17th- and 18th-century England demonstrates how a single pathogen could dramatically alter the risks associated with migration and migratory patterns today.

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Unsafe havens? Health risks for refugees

05 Feb 2014

A new study is looking at a century of mass migrations worldwide to understand the public health consequences when people are forced to flee from war, persecution and natural disaster.

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Amy Donovan

Volcanoes: risk, uncertainty and the next big eruption

23 Oct 2012

As earthquake experts worldwide reflect on an Italian court’s ruling to convict scientists on manslaughter charges for failing to predict the L’Aquila earthquake of 2009, Dr Amy Donovan discusses the importance of a strong connection between scientists and policymakers in helping to communicate risk.

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