Snip, snip, cure: correcting defects in the genetic blueprint

14 Jul 2017

Gene editing using ‘molecular scissors’ that snip out and replace faulty DNA could provide an almost unimaginable future for some patients: a complete cure. Cambridge researchers are working towards making the technology cheap and safe, as well as examining the ethical and legal issues surrounding one of the most exciting medical advances of recent times.

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The self-defence force awakens

04 Jul 2017

Our immune systems are meant to keep us healthy, but sometimes they turn their fire on us, with devastating results. Immunotherapies can help defend against this ‘friendly fire’ – and even weaponise it in our defence.

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Tracking inequality in India: the story of a pioneer

04 Jul 2017

India’s booming business centres and gleaming shopping malls mask a grimmer reality. While one section of the population gets richer, another section gets poorer. In the countryside, farmers and others ‘left behind’ by the economic surge find themselves in increasingly desperate circumstances. In many cases their plight, exacerbated by crippling debt, has led to suicide.

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Drugs: how to pick a winner in clinical trials

26 Jun 2017

When a drug fails late on in clinical trials it’s a major setback for launching new medicines. It can cost millions, even billions, of research and development funds. Now, an ‘adaptive’ approach to clinical trials and a genetic tool for predicting success are increasing the odds of picking a winner. 

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The bug hunters and the microbiome

21 Jun 2017

Trevor Lawley and Gordon Dougan are bug hunters, albeit not the conventional kind. The bugs they collect are invisible to the naked eye. And even though we’re teeming with them, researchers are only beginning to discover how they keep us healthy – and how we could use these bugs as drugs.

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