Seven years ago I stood on a bridge over the M40 doing a "piece to camera" for a report about spinal repair. The aim was to come up with a metaphor for how researchers at University College London were trying to overcome spinal cord paralysis.
It went something like this: "Imagine your spinal cord as a motorway, the cars travelling up and down are the nerve fibres carrying messages from your brain to all parts of the body. If this gets damaged the cars can't travel. The messages are blocked, the patient is paralysed.
You know the feeling when you watch something and your jaw drops? That happened when I saw the footage of Cathy Hutchinson use a robotic arm to lift a flask of coffee to her mouth.
It was the first time since her stroke nearly 15 years previously that she had served herself a drink. She is one of two patients who took part in a trial of a neural interface system. A sensor containing a grid of 96 tiny electrodes is fixed to the brain and this picks up neural activity from the motor cortex and sends it to a computer which converts it to commands.
It may not look very exciting, but the photograph above has an important place in history. Known as Photo 51, it's an X-ray diffraction image of DNA and has at least a claim to be the most important image ever taken.
It's one of about a million artefacts being put online by the Wellcome Trust as part of an ambitious project to tell the story of genetics, from Mendel to the Human Genome Project.
News that all ferry companies and all but two airlines have stopped importing animals destined for research laboratories has led to warnings that it could setback the search for new medicines. But how important are animals in medical research and what are they used for?
There were 3.7 million "scientific procedures" on animals in 2010 according to figures from the Home Office. This total includes the breeding of genetically modified animals which nearly half that total. Excluding breeding, the number of procedures was 2.1 million.
India has been officially removed from the list of polio endemic countries. The announcement was made in Delhi at a polio summit. It was a decision that was widely trailed in my coverage of polio from India last week and confirms the remarkable achievement the country has had in tackling the disease.
The Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh said "It is a matter of satisfaction that we have completed one year without any single new case of polio being reported from anywhere in the country. This gives us hope that we can finally eradicate polio not only from India but from the face of the entire mother earth. The success of our efforts shows that teamwork pays".
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