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 The Lancet

Ebola vaccines line up while industry calls for change. It's been a struggle to get this far. Lessons must be learned.

Lasker Foundation announces award winners for 2015. 

Ebola in west Africa: learning the lessons. The three worst-affected countries have employed different response strategies.

Discoverers of brain navigation network win Nobel prize

Collaborative research gets a health check

New era dawns for the South African MRC. Now it has an AIDS vaccine expert in charge.

MERS-CoV: in search of answers. Probing the origins of the Middle Eastern coronavirus.

Cell-free DNA screening for trisomy is rolled out in Israel. A blood test for Down’s syndrome is made available on Israel’s equivalent to the NHS.


 Nature —

Sexual arousal: Sex matters An feature about research into female sexual desire and arousal.

Funding: Austerity bites deeply A feature about the difficulties of doing science in Brazil and Argentina in the 2015-2017 period. 

Breast-milk molecule raises risk of HIV transmission. While other types of sugar protect the breast feeding babe.

Q&A with Arif Hasan. An architect who re-designs slums to bring about social change.

Making sense of the noise. The search for the genetic determinants of breast cancer risk is focusing on ever smaller effects, requiring larger groups of subjects.

Mother's milk: A rich opportunity. Research on the contents of milk and how breast-feeding benefits a growing child is surprising scientists.

Cold empties Bolivian rivers of fish. Antarctic cold snap kills millions of aquatic animals in the Amazon.

A solar salamander. Photosynthetic algae have been found inside the cells of a vertebrate for the first time.

Chagas disease in the Chaco. Researching disease transmission in poor, rural settings is part scientific inquiry, part diplomacy.

Campaigning for Chagas disease. Energized individuals have worked hard to raise awareness. But politicians have not always listened

Cuba’s biotech boom. The United States would do well to end restrictions on collaborations with the island nation’s scientists.  

Growing up under the guidance of bacteria. Scientists discover how microbes help the mouse gut to mature.

Agriculture unaffected by pollinator declines. Global crop yields have not suffered even though  key insect populations have shrunk.

The Production Line. If more than 90% of the genome is ‘junk’ then why do cells make so much RNA from it?  

A research menu. More spending on agricultural science is needed to help resolve the world’s food crisis.  

In rude health. A treasure-trove of data in the UK National Health Service is set to energize biomedical research.  

How DEET jams insects’ smell sensors. Scientists uncover a mechanism that should help them identify better repellents.

A protein that makes breast cancer spread. Researchers pinpoint a protein ‘boss’ that controls gene expression.

Brain changes linked to adolescent moods. Variation in the brain correlates with normal aggressive behaviour.

Naked mole-rats don’t feel the burn. Odd animals aren’t bothered by the burn of acid and chillies.

Gates funds agricultural development. Hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent to revitalize African soils.

A gene that makes sex deadly. For nematode worms, having sex can kill the children.

— The New Statesman

Scientist of the soft stuff. A profile of Athene Donald, physicist.


— The Economist

A recession breathes life. Less smog equals more toddlers.

A modern bugbear. Using the law to contain infections may do more harm than good.

Time to grow up. “Abstinence only” education does not slow the spread of AIDS.

Trashing the brain. Biologists are learning how prions kill brain cells.

Magnetic personalities. How brain disease might be diagnosed quickly and easily.

Out of your mind, not out of your body. Out-of-body experiences can now be created at will. Studying them sheds light on the nature of consciousness.

Tomorrow and tomorrow. A group of climatologists discover reality.

Gambling on tomorrow. Modelling the Earth’s climate mathematically is hard already.

Now a new difficulty is emerging.

Blossoming brains. Exactly how mental maturity develops – and the anatomy responsible for its emergence – is being revealed.

Lest we forget or lest we remember? More Swiss than Rwandans have a gene for unusually good emotional memory.

Wise or foolish virgins? A new species of crayfish is gaining ground – by cloning itself (with my buddy, Aidan Keane).

The skull man. Skulls join genes in suggesting an African origin for modern man.

Dolly goes swimming. The fisheries department considers cloning leatherback turtles.

The long and the short of it. Children may inherit their lifespans from their fathers, not their mothers.

Expanded vocabulary. How to add new meaning to the genetic code.

Money isn’t everything. Men with a lot of testosterone make curious economic choices.

The bitter insights of the heart. A new gallery of medical curiosities opens in London.

Downgrading an icon. No longer listed as endangered.

Cosmic mood-swings. Why human psychology will make sending people to Mars hard.

Pick your evil. How studying how HIV passed to humans may help combat it.

My sister’s keeper. A woman with a twin brother has fewer children.

Really New Advances. Molecular biology is undergoing its biggest shake-up in 50 years, as a hitherto little-regarded chemical called RNA acquires an unsuspected significance.

Little hopes. New classes of drugs that exploit the new RNAs are in development.

More haste… Rapid diagnosis helps doctors in poor countries to treat people wisely-unless the tests come up with the wrong result.

 The Economist —

Trunk routes. Studying logging roads and deforestation.


Rates of exchange. Some snail shells from a Moroccan cave could be humanity’s earliest known attempt at art or, possibly, a currency.

Toothless. European laws are failing to protect sharks.

Words in code. The speakers of tonal and non-tonal languages have genetic differences.

Trading down. Protecting endangered species less could help save them.

Positive reinforcement. One source of global warming can exacerbate another.

The melting tongue of ice. Global warming gives our correspondent the shivers.

Global warming’s boom town. A town in Greenland attracts rich green globetrotters.

Mile-high hamsters. An unexpected source of recovery from jet lag.

Fathoming out evolution. A survey of the Weddell Sea uncovers extraordinary biological diversity.

Look down, look up, look out! The weather in space is controlled by events at the centre of the Earth.

Ooo arhh! A tsunami may have struck Britain 400 years ago.

Serenity and the farm. Domestic birds are susceptible to stress – and so are their broods.

Optical illusion. A brain implant bypasses the eye and creates the simplest form of vision.

A new tree line. A climate model suggests that chopping down the Earth’s trees would help fight global warming.

Easy on the eyes. A computer can now recognise classes of things as accurately as a person can.

Testing Homer. The latest claimant to be Odysseus’s home meets a geological survey.

Are they human? A review of two books by surgeons.

No need to shout. Why the acoustics of ancient Greek theatres are so good.

Funky monkeys. Marmosets give birth to their genetic nieces and nephews.

Laboratory dramas. Four books reflect on the most operatic field in science.

Spot the difference. A new big cat, or another case of species inflation?

Logical endings. Computers may soon be better than kin at predicting the wishes of the dying.

An offer you can’t refuse. How cowbirds run protection rackets.

Inglorious mud. How to control a volcano. Maybe.

Oil and troubled waters. An attempt to rationalise marine affairs may shift more powers to Scotland.

Conservation a la carte. How seal penises, elephant dung and smashed ivory are helping geneticists pinpoint the poaching of protected species.

Careful with those coughs. A deadly strain of tuberculosis may be more widespread than thought.

Want to know the time? Ask a fungus. Working out how biological clocks operate has been a hard graft. The results, though, may boost the new technology of synthetic biology.

Roses are blue, violets are red. If you don’t like GM food, try flowers instead.

Local heroes. Good science does get done in Africa, though it tends to go unnoticed.

Casting eggs into the waters. How bony fish came to dominate the oceans by adapting to salt water.

Good spots, bad spots. Some 7.5m lives are saved. But don’t fail now.

How grue is your valley? Psychologists are learning more about how colour builds language and language builds colour.

The Chinese disease? Syphilis is spreading fast in China. That raises wider concerns.

Breathe in, girls. For two thousand years men have written about ladies with small waists.

Hail Linnaeus. Conservationists—and polar bears—should heed the lessons of economics.

Afghanistan’s opium crop. How one country’s problem could ease the world’s suffering.

Happy families, hidden dangers. Younger siblings increase the chance of brain cancer.

Fake flakes. A sprinkling of labs around the world are trying to grow snow crystals.

The incredible melting condom. A novel idea for stopping the transmission of HIV.

Health and the haj. Pious travel is always a brush with mortality-but some risks can be reduced.

Pinning down parasites. A new map of malaria should help control the disease.

Lateral thinking. An artificial version of a fishy sense organ passes its first two tests.

A matter of life and death. The link between sperm, cancer, an unusual enzyme and the risk of making transgenic people.

Ram-a-lamb-a-ding-dong. The search for long-lived sheep sperm.

One step closer. A mutation of the bird flu virus gives cause for concern.

Your part or mine? Iran’s example, and the broader case for making it worthwhile to give kidneys.

Every little fish. New research points to a better way of protecting fish stocks.

Mirrors of the mind. Elephants join an elite club of creatures that can recognise their own reflections.

All creatures great and small. How homosexuality, widespread in the animal kingdom, may   have evolved.

Choose your poison. A new test picks the chemotherapy most suited to the tumour.

Your mother’s smile. Evidence mounts that making, and perhaps recognising expressions is inherited.

Vaccinate in the vales. How to protect Ethiopian wolves from rabies.

Unity and diversity. New insights into the origin of species suggest that biologists disagree less than they thought they did.

Long Division. Some bacteria are born old.

Drink up thy zider. Scrumpy could be good for you.

Shells out. A pest of power stations may be about to get its comeuppance.

Dyed in the womb. A lesbian’s sexual identity seems to be established before her birth.

— National Geographic News

Giant Jumping Rats’ Numbers Get Big Bounce in Madagascar. A survey finds more of the endemic species that expected.

“Roving Bandits” Depleting Fisheries, Experts Say. As seafood stocks crash in fishery after fishery, “bandits” hop around the world.

Canada’s Huge New Preserve Protects Rare “Spirit Bear”. A new rainforest reserve is created in British Columbia.

Brain Has “Face Place” for Recognition, Monkey Study Confirms. All the neurons in one patch of the brain deal solely with distinguishing faces.

Dolphins May Eavesdrop on Each Other, Study Suggests. Echolocation allows for others to listen in and so keeping secrets is hard.

Seafloor Study Traces Culprits Behind Indian Ocean Tsunami. Uplifted coral provides clues in a postmortem of the Boxing Day tsunami (with Ben Harder).

Spray-On Skin Cells Could Help Burns Heal. Lab-grown skin cells cover bigger wounds (with Ben Harder).

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