The unexpected effects of the HIV prevention pill
PrEP is great at blocking HIV, but as its use grows, so do fears that people will be more sexually reckless and spread other STIs. But researchers are coming to think that the opposite could be true.
Fake drugs: the global industry putting your life at risk
The manufacture and distribution of medicines is a global industry, tainted by fake and substandard products. Not only might these drugs not work as expected, but some are even contributing to antimicrobial resistance. So, what’s in your medicine cabinet?
Wherever you are, time is running out for treating gonorrhoea
Two-thirds of countries have reported gonorrhoea cases that resist all known antibiotics. Now scientists are trying to hold the line against the disease as they look for a new way to treat it.
What can we learn when a clinical trial is stopped?
An early halt to a trial of deep brain stimulation for depression reveals little about the treatment but more about the changing nature of clinical trials.
This is why a third of antidepressants are prescribed for something else
Doctors often use medicines ‘off-label’ to treat people with conditions that these drugs haven’t been tested on. Leah Shaffer explores how uncovering the secret life of antidepressants in particular could open up a host of new treatments.
How to save the rainforest: build a health centre
Save the people, save the forest. In rural Indonesia, a pioneering clinic is showing how the health of people and forests could and should be intertwined.
If we can beat Ebola, why not sleeping sickness too?
A disease that killed millions in the 20th century still lingers – and with it the threat of a new epidemic. Why? The answer may have been staring us in the face all along, as Michael Regnier discovered when he travelled to Guinea with scientists searching for the key to a medical mystery.
Why we still don’t understand sleep, and why it matters
For the first 20 years of his life, Henry Nicholls had a healthy relationship with sleep. Shortly after his 21st birthday, he began to experience symptoms of narcolepsy, a debilitating disorder that’s plagued him ever since. Sleep research is progressing, so why are he and others like him still waiting for a cure?
My sudden synaesthesia: how I went blind and started hearing colours
Out of the blue, Vanessa Potter lost her sight. As she recovered, her senses mingled – hearing and touch changed the way she saw colours. Her quest to understand why introduced her to new tech that uses sound to help blind people see.
Something in the water: life after mercury poisoning
From 1932 to 1968, hundreds of tonnes of mercury seeped into the clear waters of Minamata Bay, Japan, causing health and environmental problems still felt today. As the first global treaty on mercury finally comes into force, what have we really learned from this disaster?