Understanding the complexity of life 2015 A year in review

Spotting the molecular fingerprint of multiple sclerosis

Going to hospital with neurological problems is worrying enough. But what if it’s an early sign of a more serious illness?


Zipping up

Imagine you’re going on holiday and your suitcase is packed full. So full, in fact, that it won’t close. You could apply more force, kneeling on the case and tugging harder on the zipper until it shuts. But what if the things in the suitcase actually got smaller?


Have a heart

Building a complex machine is a tricky job, taking expert skill and teamwork. And by studying the molecular ‘workers’ in our cells, researchers are starting to understand how a complex biological machine – the heart – is built as a fetus develops in the womb.


From brain to behaviour: the science of smelling

Fruit fly larvae need to sniff out and consume enough food to increase their body weight by a factor of 1,000 in just six days.
But how do they do it?


Get set, go!

Understanding the molecular triggers that enable genes to be ‘read’ is opening the door to a potential world of new approaches for improving life for people living with Down Syndrome.


Tracing yeast’s family tree

Families can be complicated. As more people get interested in tracing their family trees – particularly with the advent of genetic ancestry testing – there can be unexpected surprises lurking in the branches.