How our bodies work and what happens when things go wrong
One woman leads the way in stopping snakebite from killing and mutilating thousands in Indonesia. Meet Maha, the snakebite doctor.
If you have sleep apnoea, chances are you don’t realise it. But it can put your life at risk.
Women athletes are twice as likely as men to get concussed – and the effects are more severe.
When the price of a medicine rose to an unacceptable level, pharmacist Marleen Kemper started making it herself.
There’s not enough antivenom to go round. But even if we had what we needed, would people use it?
People receiving end-of-life care need to feel heard and understood.
Researchers are trying to understand how best to help more people survive and recover from in-hospital arrests.
Weakly regulated painkillers are causing untold damage in West Africa, but stricter controls could have dire consequences for patients.
What does the evidence suggest about the safety of e-cigarettes?
E-cigarettes were invented by business, not medicine. But could they help stub out smoking for good?
One in three French people think vaccines are unsafe, yet across the country vaccine coverage is rising. Alex Whiting asks why.
A million refugees, crowded shelters, poor sanitation: ideal conditions for infections but here’s how to stop deadly outbreaks.
Werner syndrome is teaching us more about what controls our genes, and may eventually help us find a way to slow ageing – or stop it altogether.
We now know there’s a cheap, safe treatment that could save thousands of lives each year. But those who need it can't always access it.
We look back over our archive of stories to find out what impact Mosaic has had so far.
After reporting in Mongolia, Jane Feinmann decided to get directly involved in making surgery there safer.
How one Mosaic story helped the global spread of a successful policy for tackling teen substance abuse.
Bryn Nelson’s no-holds-barred articles on people who can’t swallow normally hit a chord with our readers.
Strep A is among the deadliest pathogens in the world – yet we’ve never prioritised making a vaccine.
This reading list accompanies our story on immunity to gene therapy.
Gene therapies could cure a number of illnesses, but often our immune systems get in the way.
This reading list accompanies our story on how ticks are causing meat allergies.
Alpha-gal allergy dictates what you can eat, wear, how you relax, and even which medicines are safe.
This reading list accompanies our story on why our reluctance to talk about catheters could kill.
Why creating safer catheters and using them more responsibly could slow antibiotic resistance and save lives.
The manufacture and distribution of medicines is a global industry, tainted by fake and substandard medicines.
This reading list accompanies our story on how big data and algorithms are changing science.
New biomedical techniques are creating vast amounts of data and transforming the scientific landscape.
This reading list accompanies our story on identifying causes of cancer by how they damage our DNA.
This reading list accompanies our story on the diagnosis of rare developmental disorders.
To find out why rates vary across the world, scientists are searching for cancer's genomic fingerprints.
Researchers at one of the UK’s leading genetics centres tell us about their serendipitous findings.
Seventeen years since the first draft of the human genome, research is bringing hope to parents around the world.
This reading list accompanies our story on the ethical issues around sharing genetic information.
Genetic diagnosis is getting ever more sophisticated. But as doctors uncover diseases that are hereditary, who needs to know?
More and more people are donating organs, but demand still far exceeds supply. What can the world learn from the country that does it best?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that counting the different types of smile would be straightforward. It’s anything but.
Smiling is one of the fundamental ways people communicate, so what happens if your face can’t do it?
Peter Forbes reports on the potential first treatment for this devastating condition.
Joanna Moorhead on the decision she made not to have a mastectomy.
Uncovering the secret life of antidepressants could open up a host of new treatments for other conditions.
Studies of narcolepsy are changing the way we understand the influence of chemicals called orexins.
A campaigning doctor has helped make Mongolia a better place to die than many much wealthier nations. Andrew North met her to find out how.
Who would risk their own safety tending to the injured and recovering the dead in one of the most violent cities on earth? Samira Shackle rides along with a driver from the world’s largest voluntary ambulance service.
In this short film, we meet four British end-of-life doulas
Gaia Vince discovers that analysing the genetics of ancient humans means changing ideas about our evolution.
A network of compassionate volunteers caring for their terminally ill neighbours is allowing more people in Kerala, India, to end their days at peace and at home. Jeremy Laurance meets the man leading the movement.
Teen smoking, drinking and drug use has been radically cut in the past 20 years. Why won’t other countries follow suit?
How do bacteria help maintain a healthy vagina, and what happens when this balance is upset?
While it’s healthy to have a variety of bacteria in our guts, there’s one place where it’s best to have a single type dominant: the vagina.
Every day, hundreds of Israeli volunteers drive ill Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to hospitals in Israel. Shaul Adar joins them on the road and learns why they see their neighbourly help as a step on the journey to peaceful coexistence.
Traditional remedies in Ghana are loved by the people, championed by entrepreneurs and make millions for the government. Yepoka Yeebo finds out how herbal medicine became big business – and whether regulation might make or break it.
History is littered with ideas to control male fertility – and men are keen to have them. But with the heyday of the contraceptive industry apparently past, bringing the two together requires great determination and inventiveness.
How Pomerene Hospital, Ohio, became more welcoming to the Amish community.
What can we learn from a group of people in Ecuador with a rare genetic mutation that affects their growth, but also makes them less susceptible to age-related diseases like cancer and diabetes?
When healthcare is expensive, the Amish culture of autonomy and thrift may be a way to balance communal support and individual responsibility. Sara Talpos finds out more.
Peter Bowes has been on a new diet that claims to guard against disease and slow ageing. Then he met a group with a mutation that lets them eat what they want while enjoying the same protection.
Is there a place for traditional spiritual healers in Australia’s healthcare system? Georgina Kenyon reports.
We speak to author Rose George about these under-reported topics.
Miscarriage is an often under-reported and poorly understood subject that can be extremely traumatising for women and families. Hear from writer Holly Cave about how she made sense of her miscarriage.
Could a simple anti-inflammatory drug like aspirin really help keep us all healthier?
A special diet for people with epilepsy will often stop or reduce their seizures.
We know that our diet has a huge influence on our health, but is it possible to use food as medicine for a specific disease? Emma Young, who has type 2 diabetes, is sceptical but intrigued.
For some people with swallowing difficulties, hope is a wagging tail.
A group in Seattle opens its doors to Bryn Nelson.
One morning, completely unexpectedly, Samantha Anderson woke to find that she could no longer swallow. Three-and-a-half years and many medical appointments later, she’s finally regaining her ability to eat. Bryn Nelson finds out more.
Holly Cave wants to know why her pregnancy ended at nine weeks. There are no easy answers, but talking about miscarriage could help us change the way we think about it.
In East Harlem, four times as many people have diabetes as in the neighbouring Upper East Side. Meera Senthilingam meets the New Yorkers stopping poverty from being a death sentence.
Craig Venter, multi-millionaire maverick, says he can help you live a better, longer life. Roger Highfield asks how.
Calories consumed minus calories burned: it’s the simple formula for weight loss or gain. But dieters often find that it doesn’t work. Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley of Gastropod investigate.
There are a few things science doesn’t know about the menopause: what it’s for, how it works and how best to treat it. Approaching her second – yes, second – menopause, Rose George finds herself with more questions than answers.
Meet Dr Jim Olson, the doctor who is revolutionising cancer surgery with ‘Tumour Paint’.
A fundamental problem in chronic fatigue syndrome research is how to know it when you see it.
How can you do medical research on chronic fatigue syndrome when divisions between patients, doctors and researchers are almost as chronic and painful as the disease itself? Virginia Gewin reports on new hopes of reconciliation.
In 2009, one Indian state took a chance on quacks to help solve its healthcare crisis. What happened?
Priyanka Pulla asks if there can ever be legitimacy in ‘quackery’.
How do we define ‘life’, scientifically speaking? Find out in this video discussion with physicist and science writer Matthew Francis.
What is p53 and why is it described as the ‘guardian of the genome’? How is p53 linked to cancer? Find out in this video discussion with author Sue Armstrong.
If we met new life – on this planet or the next – would we know it when we saw it? Matthew Francis investigates.
Sue Armstrong meets Pan Pantziarka, whose son George had Li–Fraumeni syndrome and lived with cancer from early childhood.
Lingering questions about LASIK’s long-term effects
The lasting lessons of a medical emergency
The startling discovery that hundreds of thousands of Brazilians have a genetic mutation that undermines their ability to resist cancer is helping labs worldwide in their search for new treatments for the disease. Sue Armstrong reports.
23 facts about eyes and what can go wrong with them
Some people suffer eye pain so excruciating they feel suicidal, yet ophthalmologists see nothing wrong. Meet the 82-year-old doctor whose radical idea about the real source of this pain is turning heads.
Telling cancer from non-cancer is tough for brain surgeons. Scorpions, Amazon.com and the legacy of a dying girl might change that, writes Alex O'Brien.
We have smell receptors all over our bodies, but nobody is quite sure why. By Emma Young.
Smells and aromas can move us in deeply personal ways, writes Emma Young.
Could dogs guide us to new ways of detecting cancer? Emma Young investigates.
Losing your sense of smell can fundamentally change the way you relate to other people, writes Emma Young.
Mike Ives goes on the road with a Myanmar ambulance crew.
As Myanmar prepared for its historic 2015 election, its leadership was rolling out plans for dramatic health sector reforms. But there are enormous obstacles, including the legacy of war and a rising threat of drug-resistant infectious diseases in restive border areas. Mike Ives reports.
Surgeons say they have performed the first transplant using a 'dead' heart. Could this fill the deficit of donor hearts?
The need to mend broken hearts has never been greater. But what if we could simply manufacture a new one? Alex O’Brien studies the legacy of Texan surgeons and artificial hearts.
What can a fly tell us about time of death? Mo Costandi looks at the emerging field of forensic entomology.
What gives a decaying body its distinctive odour?
More and more people are rethinking traditional burial methods. Fathima Simjee asks why.
Brains, like everything else, decompose. But nature has a way of halting that decay.
Most of us would rather not think about what happens to our bodies after death. But that breakdown gives birth to new life in unexpected ways, writes Moheb Costandi.
Allergies such as peanut allergy and hay fever make millions of us miserable, but scientists aren’t even sure why they exist. Carl Zimmer talks to a master immunologist with a controversial answer.
A guide to venom-based drugs and the creatures we got them from.
Ellie Lobel was ready to die. Then she was attacked by bees. Christie Wilcox hears how venom can be a saviour.
Notes accompanying the graphic.
From mass media to tribal ritual, campaigners are using circumcision to fight HIV in Zimbabwe. By Jessica Wapner.
Common in the US, rare in Europe and now championed in Africa, male circumcision is hotly debated. Jessica Wapner explores whether the gains are worth the loss.
Treatments for rare diseases challenge a system more used to blockbuster drugs.
More than merely placid test subjects, patients and families are paving – and paying – the way for new drugs.
Drug approvals are evolving - but some say not fast enough.
It’s supposedly getting easier for innovative drugs for rare diseases to reach the market. So why, asks Andy Extance, is hesitancy still proving devastating to desperate families?
A look at the life-saving work of a Bristol lab.
What happens to your blood once you’ve donated it?
How many undiscovered blood group systems are there?
Meet the donors, patients, doctors and scientists involved in the complex global network of rare – and very rare – blood. By Penny Bailey.
Lifestyle and economic changes are bringing an obesity crisis to South Africa and other low-income countries. Ian Birrell meets the people fighting to turn the tide.
Could viruses be the key to making gene therapy a reality?
The diagnosis of cystic fibrosis came double for one family.
People with cystic fibrosis take matters into their own hands by playing an active part in clinical trials.
Not long ago, children with cystic fibrosis were lucky to reach adulthood. They are now likely to live into their 40s and beyond. Penny Sarchet reports.
When Kim Goodsell discovered that she had two extremely rare genetic diseases, she taught herself genetics to help find out why. Ed Yong tells her story.
Turing patterns may yet explain the shape of biology’s beloved model organism.
Biology and mathematics – the practical and the theoretical – can be surprisingly uneasy bedfellows.
Where do a zebra’s stripes, a leopard’s spots and our fingers come from? The key was found years ago – by the man who cracked the Enigma code, writes Kat Arney.
Each time we fix up a Mosaic conversation, we ask our subject to bring with them an item.
Alok Jha talks to Harold Varmus, Nobel Prize-winning cancer researcher and current Director of the US National Cancer Institute.
More than a century after their discovery, we still don’t really know what blood types are for. Do they really matter? Carl Zimmer investigates.
Is there real science in the spiritualism of meditation? Jo Marchant meets a Nobel Prize-winner who thinks so.
For many, the 2014 World Cup is a missed opportunity to tackle health problems and inequality.
For over 30 years, Brazil has hosted one of the largest studies of a population since birth.
Physical activity is seen as one of the best forms of medicine. But how much do you need to benefit?
Can a grand vision of 4,000 free public gyms overcome inequality and fight Brazil’s health crisis? Catherine de Lange reports.