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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Uninfected or asymptomatic? Diagnostic tests key to forecasting major epidemics

05 Apr 2016

Major epidemics such as the recent Ebola outbreak or the emerging Zika epidemic may be difficult to forecast because of our inability to determine whether individuals are uninfected or infected but not showing symptoms, according to a new study from the University of Cambridge. The finding emphasises the need to develop and deploy reliable diagnostic tests to detect infected individuals whether or not they are showing symptoms, say the researchers.

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‘Clogged-up’ immune cells help explain smoking risk for TB

24 Mar 2016

Smoking increases an individual’s risk of developing tuberculosis (TB) – and makes the infection worse – because it causes vital immune cells to become clogged up, slowing their movement and impeding their ability to fight infection, according to new research published in the journal Cell.

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