Doctors use deep-brain ultrasound therapy to treat tremors

  • 9 December 2016
  • From the section Health
Media captionSound waves operate on brain to repair man's tremor

Doctors in London have used sound waves to successfully operate deep inside the brain.

They treated a man from Cornwall who suffered from uncontrollable tremors in his right hand.

Selwyn Lucas, who is 52, can now hold his hand steady and said he felt "fantastic".

The team at St Mary's hospital used MRI guided focused ultrasound to destroy tissue causing mistimed electrical signals to be sent to muscles.

The BBC was given exclusive access to the treatment, which was performed in the imaging department rather than operating theatres, and did not involve surgeons.

Read full article Doctors use deep-brain ultrasound therapy to treat tremors

Hopes for new Alzheimer's drug dashed

  • 23 November 2016
  • From the section Health
Brain Image copyright SPL
Image caption Loss of tissue in a demented brain compared with a healthy one

A major trial of a drug to treat mild dementia due to Alzheimer's disease has ended in failure.

Patients on solanezumab did not show any slowing in cognitive decline compared to those treated with a placebo, or dummy drug.

Read full article Hopes for new Alzheimer's drug dashed

Smoking 'causes hundreds of DNA changes'

  • 3 November 2016
  • From the section Health
Cigarettes Image copyright PA

Smoking leaves an "archaeological record" of the hundreds of DNA mutations it causes, scientists have discovered.

Having sequenced thousands of tumour genomes, they found a 20-a-day smoker would rack up an average of 150 mutations in every lung cell each year.

Read full article Smoking 'causes hundreds of DNA changes'

Why talk of a cure for HIV is premature

  • 3 October 2016
  • From the section Health
HIV Image copyright SPL

Beware of headlines which suggest scientists are "on the brink of HIV cure", or "HIV cure close".

They grab the attention - which is of course the aim of a headline - but talk of a breakthrough is premature.

Read full article Why talk of a cure for HIV is premature

The widow, the judge and the frozen embryos

  • 28 September 2016
  • From the section Health
Samantha Jefferies
Image caption Samantha Jefferies outside the High Court

Samantha Jefferies walked out of court wearing a broad smile and with the certainty that she can now have a final round of fertility treatment using embryos created with her late husband.

The court ruling means the embryos - created in 2013 - can be stored until 2023.

Read full article The widow, the judge and the frozen embryos

Button batteries pose 'deadly' risk to toddlers

  • 22 September 2016
  • From the section Health
Media captionSee what a battery can do to a child's throat

Surgeons are warning of the potentially deadly risk posed to young children by button batteries.

If accidentally swallowed, the small, round batteries can get lodged in the oesophagus and burn a hole through its lining.

Read full article Button batteries pose 'deadly' risk to toddlers

Robot operates inside eye in world first

  • 9 September 2016
  • From the section Health
eye surgery
Image caption The Preceyes robot has a thin needle which enters the eye and is moved using the motorised joystick on left of frame

Surgeons have used a robot to operate inside the eye and restore sight - in a world first.

A team at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital used the device, controlled via a joystick, to remove a membrane one hundredth of a millimetre thick.

Read full article Robot operates inside eye in world first

The Crick: Europe's biggest biomedical lab opens

  • 1 September 2016
  • From the section Health
Media captionMedical Correspondent Fergus Walsh explores the new Francis Crick Institute

Europe's biggest biomedical laboratory, the Francis Crick Institute, has opened in London.

The £650m building, behind St Pancras station and the British Library, will be home to 1,250 scientists.

Read full article The Crick: Europe's biggest biomedical lab opens

Widow's court battle over frozen embryos

  • 20 June 2016
  • From the section Health
Samantha Jefferies
Image caption Samantha Jefferies on the beach where she used to walk with her husband Clive

The widow of a Falklands war veteran is going to the High Court in a bid to prevent frozen embryos they created from being destroyed.

Samantha Jefferies, aged 42, from East Sussex, says the embryos represent her "last chance" of having her dead husband's child.

Read full article Widow's court battle over frozen embryos

Three-person babies IVF technique ‘safe’

  • 8 June 2016
  • From the section Health
embryo Image copyright WTCMR Newcastle
Image caption Early pronuclear transfer: The nuclei from a recently created embryo - from the egg and sperm - being injected into a donor embryo which has had its nucleus removed

The use of an IVF technique involving DNA from three people to create a baby has moved a step closer with a study that shows it is safe.

Scientists at Newcastle University are trying to help women who are at risk of passing on serious genetic disorders to have a healthy child.

Read full article Three-person babies IVF technique ‘safe’