It’s that time of the year again. You probably think I mean Christmas, but as a virologist the sight of glitter, fairy lights and moulting pine trees immediately makes me think of the flu season. And if there’s one thing that can ruin your family’s Christmas, it’s the arrival of that particular unwanted guest.
Forget Ridley Scott’s Alien. There’s a new, real-life horror story in space. As one national newspaper headline warned, the International Space Station is ‘filled with germs’.
A study has confirmed what many of us have been saying for years: age is nothing but a number.
Cancer happens when cells in the body start growing uncontrollably. But what if the tissue surrounding a tumour could be enlisted to stop the cancer spreading?
Many countries face a mass migration every autumn. In the UK around 1.8 million young people leave their normal place of residence and move to a few hundred concentrated locations, where they often live and work at high density.
Bipolar disorder is a diagnosis given to people who experience periods of intense low mood but also periods of elation and increased energy which can lead to impaired judgement and risky behaviour.
Disgust is a universal emotion – we all get disgusted by things, just as we all experience other 'basic' emotions, such as happiness and sadness.
We are all populated by microbes – helpful or otherwise – which form a community known as a microbiome. Recent research by Ryan Newton and co-workers has shown that sewage-based analysis of the human microbiome can be used to diagnose health issues at a population level.
Rates of substance use are higher in people with mental health problems compared to the general population and particularly in people with bipolar disorder, with cannabis the street drug most frequently used. Estimates suggest that up to 64% of this group have tried cannabis at least once in their lives, against about 30% of those without the disorder, despite only being about 2% of the overall population.