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.

The couple were undergoing fertility treatment, but Clive, aged 51, died suddenly of a brain haemorrhage in 2014 and his written consent for the storage of their remaining embryos has since expired.

Samantha Jefferies, an occupational therapist, told me: "These are my embryos and I believe I should be allowed to decide what happens to them.

Media captionClive Jefferies, a Falklands veteran, died before he could renew the agreement to keep the frozen embryos, as Fergus Walsh reports
Image copyright S Jefferies
Image caption Clive Jefferies served in the Royal Army Medical Corps

"If they are destroyed I will go through the whole grieving process for a second time."

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’

Gene editing technique could transform future

  • 6 June 2016
  • From the section Health
Media captionFergus Walsh: "CRISPR gene editing .... uses molecular scissors to cut both strands of DNA"

CRISPR - get to know this acronym. It's good to know the name of something that could change your future.

Pronounced "crisper", it is a biological system for altering DNA. Known as gene editing, this technology has the potential to change the lives of everyone and everything on the planet.

Read full article Gene editing technique could transform future

Paranoia 'reduced with virtual reality'

  • 5 May 2016
  • From the section Health
Media captionParanoia treated by using virtual reality video

Virtual reality has been used to help treat severe paranoia.

Patients who suffered persecutory delusions were encouraged to step into a computer-generated Underground train carriage and a lift.

Read full article Paranoia 'reduced with virtual reality'

Trial aims to 'stall' type 1 diabetes

  • 24 March 2016
  • From the section Health
Media captionType 1 diabetes trials give hope for "a more normal life", as Fergus Walsh reports

A trial has begun in London of an immunotherapy treatment aimed at halting the progression of type 1 diabetes.

Twenty-four volunteers are being recruited for the study in the Biomedical Research Centre at Guy's hospital.

Read full article Trial aims to 'stall' type 1 diabetes

The paralysed man who can ride a bike

  • 4 March 2016
  • From the section Health
Media captionDarek learns to cycle again

A man who was paralysed from the chest down after a knife attack in 2010 can now ride an adapted tricycle.

In 2014, surgeons in Poland announced they had reversed Darek Fidyka's paralysis using cells taken from his nose to repair his spinal cord.

Read full article The paralysed man who can ride a bike

Why brains are beautiful

  • 16 February 2016
  • From the section Health
Media captionFergus Walsh discovers why the brain is a marvel of evolution

When I picked up the human brain in my hands, several things ran through my mind. My immediate concern was I might drop it or that it would fall apart in my hands - fortunately neither happened.

Second, I was struck by how light the human brain is. I should say this was half a brain - the right hemisphere - the left had already been sent for dissection. The intact human brain weighs only around 3lbs (1.5kg) - just 2% of body-weight, and yet it consumes 20% of its energy.

Read full article Why brains are beautiful

Drivers 'exposed to highest levels of pollution'

  • 15 February 2016
  • From the section Health
Smogmoble Image copyright Enviro Technology
Image caption The smogmobile can measure NO2 levels while on the move, and a range of other pollutants

What's the best way to avoid air pollution travelling in a city? Walking, cycling or in a vehicle?

It's a question I put a few months ago when testing some mobile pollution monitors along the busy Brompton Road in London's Knightsbridge.

Read full article Drivers 'exposed to highest levels of pollution'

Cancer treatment for MS patients gives 'remarkable' results

  • 18 January 2016
  • From the section Health
Media captionBBC team follows MS patient Steven Storey's progress after the new treatment

UK doctors in Sheffield say patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are showing "remarkable" improvements after receiving a treatment usually used for cancer.

About 20 patients have received bone marrow transplants using their own stem cells. Some patients who were paralysed have been able to walk again.

Read full article Cancer treatment for MS patients gives 'remarkable' results

Gene editing treats disease in mice

  • 1 January 2016
  • From the section Health
DNA sample to be tested for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Muscle strength in the legs of mice was improved when researchers used the gene editing therapy

Researchers in the US have used gene editing to treat mice with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

A team at Duke University used a system known as CRISPR-Cas9 to delete DNA that was preventing cells from producing a protein essential for muscle function.

Read full article Gene editing treats disease in mice