How incurable mitochondrial diseases strike previously unaffected families

15 Jan 2018

Researchers have shown for the first time how children can inherit a severe – potentially fatal – mitochondrial disease from a healthy mother. The study, led by researchers from the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit at the University of Cambridge, reveals that healthy people harbour mutations in their mitochondrial DNA and explains how cases of severe mitochondrial disease can appear unexpectedly in previously unaffected families.

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Machine learning used to predict earthquakes in a lab setting

23 Oct 2017

A group of researchers from the UK and the US have used machine learning techniques to successfully predict earthquakes. Although their work was performed in a laboratory setting, the experiment closely mimics real-life conditions, and the results could be used to predict the timing of a real earthquake. 

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Boy, girl... or intersex? Law and gender

19 Oct 2017

Boy or girl? This is one of the first questions all new parents are asked. In a small percentage of cases, the answer isn’t straightforward: the child is intersex. In a highly gendered society, how does the law apply to people whose physiology doesn’t fit the binary categories of male and female? 

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Opinion: Parliament and Brexit

30 Jun 2017

The general election result increases leverage for Parliament when it comes to Brexit. Here, Baroness Smith of Newnham, a lecturer in the Department of POLIS, reflects on recent turmoil and the tightening of Commons votes as Brexit edges closer.    

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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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