The world we’re living in today
What makes the world’s most successful children’s TV programmes so addictive – and so strange?
When the price of a medicine rose to an unacceptable level, pharmacist Marleen Kemper started making it herself.
One in three French people think vaccines are unsafe, yet across the country vaccine coverage is rising. Alex Whiting asks why.
Food poverty is on the rise in rich countries. And evidence suggests the impact can last for years afterwards.
This reading list accompanies our story on emerging sign languages.
Keeping young sign languages pure might not be in the interest of the communities that create them.
This reading list accompanies our story on the global industry behind fake drugs.
This reading list accompanies our story on treating people for health problems that they don’t believe they have.
Laws are being passed to compel people to receive treatment for health problems they don’t believe they have.
This reading list accompanies our story on treating violence as a public health problem.
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?
Headlines scream about “epidemics” of shootings and stabbings – but what if we took that literally?
Organ donation can save lives, but are religious taboos potentially limiting the number of organs available?
Rebecca Grant reports on the ethics and law of consent in the delivery room.
The challenges people face accessing abortion and contraception in two very different countries – India and the USA.
Millions of people across the world want to make their skin lighter – but the treatments they use can be dangerous. Mary-Rose Abraham meets beauticians, dermatologists and their clients to walk the line between aesthetic choice and racial prejudice.
Genetic variants that cause disease are rare, but this does not mean that all rare variants cause disease. So should we change the way we manage uncertainty in genetic testing?
Bringing genetics into medicine leads to more accuracy, better diagnosis and personalised treatment – but not for everyone. Carrie Arnold meets families for whom gene testing has led only to unanswered questions.
Researcher Áine Kelly is using her experience of growing up in care to help others in the system. What role does first-hand experience have in expertise? Michael Regnier meets her to find out.
Thousands of families are still waiting for news of missing loved ones, 25 years after the bloody Balkans war. Ed Vulliamy meets the scientists piecing together the evidence from mass graves, and the relatives hoping for justice – and a body to bury
Martha Henriques finds out what it’s like growing up intersex and meets the people fighting to improve intersex rights.
Rhodri Marsden tries to untangle the genetic causes of male pattern baldness.
Like many balding men, Rhodri Marsden has learned to accept losing his hair. But male stoicism and other coping strategies – from hats and wigs to dark humour – often mask deep distress, and even suicidal feelings. Will modern medicine ever find a ‘cure’ – or does the solution lie elsewhere?
How discovering an equation for altruism cost George Price everything.
When one Romanian doctor became ‘father’ to 16 HIV-positive orphans in 1999, many thought there was no hope for them – or for the thousands of other children infected. What followed was something of a miracle. Geta Roman tells their story.
Mary O’Hara meets the performers and researchers who say that comedy can change how we think and even how we act.
When Judy Refuerzo heard the word ‘carcinoma’, she began considering her treatment options. But two years on, she’s chosen surveillance over surgery. Charlotte Huff meets her and other so-called watchful waiters.
Exploring the subculture known for doll-like make-up, bonnets and petticoats.
Neil Steinberg flies to Japan and finds a country and culture conflicted over cute.
Robert Heath claimed to have cured homosexuality by implanting electrodes into the pleasure centre of the brain. Robert Colvile reports on one of the great forgotten stories of neuroscience.
Exploring the challenges women in prison face, and moves to reduce the number jailed.
For decades, unidentified bodies have been consigned to the back rooms of morgues and all but forgotten. Now a handful of campaigners are on a quest to find out who they are and where they come from. Deborah Halber reports.
What drives the partners of men who have died to try and have their babies? Jenny Morber delves into the legally and ethically fraught world of post-mortem sperm donation.
Marian Partington is working to forgive Rosemary West – one of her sister’s killers – because she thinks the only way to break the cycle of female violence is to understand it. Katharine Quarmby reports.
In a talk for 5x15, Alexander Masters describes his personal journey setting up an unlikely ‘dating agency’ to match neglected research for desperately needed drugs for rare cancers with the mega rich that might just fund it.
New US drug labels are trying to reduce confusion around safety in pregnancy.
How can you get advice on which drugs are safe in pregnancy?
Traditionally, expectant mothers have been excluded from clinical trials, but could this practice be doing more harm than good? Emily Anthes investigates.
Why are we so bad at telling researchers what we drink?
Chrissie Giles on her generation’s climb to Peak Booze
Carrie Arnold charts the history of donated breast milk in the US.
Sharing breast milk is not new, but will rising demand – and supply – change the relationship between milk donors and the mothers whose babies need it? Carrie Arnold reports.
In times of economic trouble, governments can choose to cut public services to save money. But at what cost? Mary O’Hara meets those on the sharp end of austerity in the UK to find out what it means for mental health.
Freedom and fun at a dance class for all abilities.
Does eating in the dark help you to understand visual impairment better?
A few of the kids at a school in Montréal are different: they’re able-bodied.
In Canada, wheelchair basketball brings people together regardless of their abilities. Lesley Evans Ogden asks whether this kind of integration could help dispel stigma, discrimination and misconceptions about disability more widely.
What if there were a crowd-sourced library of rare cancer samples, ordered simply using ‘one-click shopping’?
Our survey of people in the UK living with chronic, long-term or life-limiting conditions.
Why was medical cannabis banned in the UK? Katharine Quarmby uncovers the history.
A look at the different methods some patients use to take cannabis for medical reasons.
Medical cannabis is legal in places as diverse as Canada, Uruguay, Israel and Jamaica. But could legalisation work in the UK? Katharine Quarmby finds out.
Timing is everything when it comes to telling your child their origin story, particularly if it’s a little unusual.
Louise Brown was the first baby conceived artificially. She tells Mosaic what it was like growing up.
When somebody else gives birth for you, how much is she a part of the family?
Test-tube babies, surrogates, single parents, gay fathers – the modern era is redefining what a family is. Linda Geddes finds out if the kids are alright.
Our expert panel discuss what was it like to live with disfigurements in years gone by, and how far has society come in terms of accepting people with disfigurements.
A Warrant Officer’s account of homesickness.
A young refugee’s account of homesickness.
We sent photographer Samuel Bradley to Vienna to reimagine John Osborne’s year there.
Edward, 38, is missing his left eye and part of his face.
Jamie, 31, was disfigured by an accident involving fire.
Victor, 29, lives with benign facial tumours.
What does it mean to be homesick in 2015, and does technology help or hinder us when we move to a new place? John Osborne revisits his past to find out.
Neil Steinberg takes a journey through the past and present to explore what it’s like to look different.
Could an addition to routine pelvic surgery help protect women from ovarian cancer?
Surgery to remove the fallopian tubes but spare the ovaries of women predisposed to cancer may prevent early menopause, but is it irresponsible? Charlotte Huff explores the costs of buying time.
Why are some people turned on by disability?
How can women with learning difficulties be empowered around relationships?
On the movement to help disabled women express their sexuality.
What can disabled bodies teach us about sex, and why should we listen? Katharine Quarmby reports.
From language and numeracy to self-control and understanding, Linda Geddes offers these tips from the experts.
From the wisdom of family to doctors’ advice from the late 19th century, trends in parenting have waxed and waned.
Is there a ‘right’ way to bring up your child? Linda Geddes asks whether parent school is the answer.
The 1970s saw a boom in both scientific and environmental activism. But some considered the greens too right-wing.
In the 1970s, radical scientists thought they could change the world – if they could change science first. As told to Alice Bell.
How does a doctor train to break bad news? By acting the part.
When discussing death, the words we choose can speak volumes.
How do you tell someone that they’re seriously ill, or even dying?
The Royal Flying Doctor Service is trying new ways to improve healthcare in Aboriginal communities.
Healthcare in Australia’s Aboriginal communities is hindered by a long history of racial discord between very different cultures. Georgina Kenyon discovers the story of one young woman who died in the 1980s, and asks whether anything has changed since.
Finding out what drives so many of us to colour our hair.
What do we know about the environmental impact of hair dye chemicals?
Exploring how a small change in your DNA sequence can make you a natural blonde.
The basic chemistry of hair dyes has changed little over the last century, but what do we know about the risks of colouring our hair, and why do we do it? Rebecca Guenard finds out.
If mega-rich people could buy places on clinical trials, would this help drive forward the development of new treatments that could benefit everyone? Alexander Masters thinks it might just work.
Barry J Gibb reflects on seven people who embody the brain’s functions.
How can sanitary pads be made more widely available in low-income countries?
Meet the women and girls affected by menstrual taboos.
What is life like when having your period puts your health at risk and means you are shunned by society? Rose George reports from Nepal and Bangladesh on menstrual taboos.