Laser detects brain tumour cells during surgery

  • 26 August 2015
  • From the section Health

Surgeons in London have used lasers to diagnose abnormal tissue during an operation to remove a brain tumour for the first time in Europe.

The non-invasive technique measures light reflected off tissue to determine whether it is cancerous or healthy.

The patient, Reuben Hill, 22, is making a good recovery after the operation at Charing Cross Hospital.

It is hoped the technique could make this kind of delicate surgery faster and more accurate.

It has only been tried in Montreal, Canada, before now.

Read full article Laser detects brain tumour cells during surgery

Why antibiotics are precious

  • 18 August 2015
  • From the section Health
Image caption Superbug bacterial infections like C difficile are on the increase globally

You need only go back 70 years to a time when a scratch and a common infection could prove deadly.

Routine surgery and childbirth could be a hazardous business.

Read full article Why antibiotics are precious

Malaria vaccine gets 'green light'

  • 24 July 2015
  • From the section Health
A girl in Tanzania receiving the malaria vaccine during the clinical trial
Image caption A girl in Tanzania receiving the malaria vaccine during the clinical trial

The world's first malaria vaccine has cleared one of the final hurdles prior to being approved for use in Africa.

The European Medicines Agency gave a positive scientific opinion after assessing its safety and effectiveness.

Read full article Malaria vaccine gets 'green light'

Bionic eye implant world first

  • 21 July 2015
  • From the section Health

Surgeons in Manchester have performed the first bionic eye implant in a patient with the most common cause of sight loss in the developed world.

Ray Flynn, 80, has dry age-related macular degeneration which has led to the total loss of his central vision.

Read full article Bionic eye implant world first

Building a better future for Chad

  • 1 July 2015
  • From the section Health

On every global measure of poverty, health or economic development, Chad is near the bottom.

This landlocked country in central Africa has a harsh climate, suffering both drought and flooding - food shortages are common.

Read full article Building a better future for Chad

Artificial leg allows patient to feel

  • 8 June 2015
  • From the section Health

Scientists in Austria have created an artificial leg which allows the amputee to feel lifelike sensations from their foot.

The recipient, Wolfang Rangger, who lost his right leg in 2007, said: "It feels like I have a foot again. It's like a second lease of life."

Read full article Artificial leg allows patient to feel

A new era in cancer treatment?

  • 1 June 2015
  • From the section Health

When it comes to reporting medical science, "breakthrough" is a very overused word, and one I usually try to avoid.

When dealing with cancer, I also prefer not to talk about cure - it's a hostage to fortune, given that the disease can lie dormant for long periods only to emerge many years later.

Read full article A new era in cancer treatment?

The assisted dying debate

  • 26 May 2015
  • From the section Health

Nearly 300 Britons have travelled to Zurich to die with the help of the Swiss suicide group Dignitas.

Most have done so without any publicity. But cases like that of Jeffrey Spector, a 54-year-old father of three who had an inoperable tumour on his spine, reignite the debate about whether assisted dying should be legalised in Britain.

Read full article The assisted dying debate

Prostate cancer gene map points way to targeted drugs

  • 21 May 2015
  • From the section Health
Prostate cancer
Image caption The study suggests nearly nine in 10 patients with advanced prostate cancer could benefit from targeted treatments

Scientists have unveiled a comprehensive genetic map of advanced prostate cancer, hailing it as the disease's "Rosetta Stone".

The study, published in the journal Cell, shows that nearly nine in 10 men had gene mutations that could be targeted with drugs.

Read full article Prostate cancer gene map points way to targeted drugs

Call for $2bn global antibiotic research fund

  • 14 May 2015
  • From the section Health
Bacteria
Image caption Some bacteria are becoming resistant to our best drugs

The global pharmaceutical industry is being called on to pay for a $2bn (£1.3bn) innovation fund to revitalise research into antibiotics.

In return, there would be guaranteed payments to companies which produced vitally needed new antibiotics.

Read full article Call for $2bn global antibiotic research fund