Researchers say that new ‘mini-placentas’ – a cellular model of the early stages of the placenta – could provide a window into early pregnancy and help transform our understanding of reproductive disorders. Details of this new research are published today in the journal Nature.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford have discovered a new molecule that plays a key role in the immune response that is triggered by influenza infections. The molecule, a so-called mini viral RNA, is capable of inducing inflammation and cell death, and was produced at high levels by the 1918 pandemic influenza virus. The findings appeared in Nature Microbiology yesterday (September 17).
An innovative new study takes a network theory approach to targeted treatment in rural Africa, and finds that a simple algorithm may be more effective than current policies, as well as easier to deploy, when it comes to preventing disease spread – by finding those with “most connections to sick people”.
Scientists have uncovered why Zika virus may specifically target neural stem cells in the developing brain, potentially leading to microcephaly – a potentially serious birth defect where the brain fails to develop properly, leading to a smaller head.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have succeeded in growing miniature functional models of the lining of the womb (uterus) in culture. These organoids, as they are known, could provide new insights into the early stages of pregnancy and conditions such as endometriosis, a painful condition that affects as many as two million women in the UK.
We are still part-virus, writes Edward Emmott, Research Associate in Virology, for The Conversation. Human DNA plays host to a range of different viruses. And this could help explain why it has been so difficult to develop effective antiviral drugs.
A complication of pregnancy that causes the mother’s blood pressure to rise – often fatally – is more common in women of African descent than any other. Research in Uganda by African and Cambridge researchers is helping to uncover why.
Iron deficiency can be fatal. But in countries where patients are also likely to have other serious diseases, so too can the iron supplements used to treat it. Nearly 12 years ago, Dora Pereira – sometimes referred to as ‘The Iron Lady’ – was part of the team who had an idea for a new supplement. She now leads its clinical trial in The Gambia.
Working in a lab as a basic scientist can often seem far removed from the real world. A year since the World Health Organization declared the Ebola outbreak over, one researcher tells how the skills he learned working in a lab in Cambridge turned out to be surprisingly useful in fighting one of the most terrifying disease outbreaks of recent times.