From simple ideas to sophisticated kit, technology can improve our lives
Once derided as being like a plastic bag with the erotic appeal of a jellyfish, the female condom is being reinvented as the next big thing in safe sex.
Brace yourself for the unbelievable next big thing in healthcare: faecal transplants. Bryn Nelson investigates.
Applying mild electrical currents to your head could take away pain, help memory and improve attention.
Phantom pain, experienced in missing limbs, tortures amputees and puzzles scientists. Srinath Perur cycles round Cambodia with a man who treats it with mirrors.
Are we asking the right questions about smart drugs? Marek Kohn looks at what they can do for us – and what they can’t.
Growing nerve tissue and organs is a sci-fi dream. Moheb Costandi met the pioneering researcher who grew eyes and brain cells.
Brian Bartlett lost his leg at 24. Rose Eveleth hears how a man who just wanted to ski again invented a new kind of knee.
Nic Fleming explores new therapies based on video games in the hope of getting his first glimpse of 3D vision.
Rats can smell tuberculosis. Dogs can smell cancer. Now they’re being trained to save your life. Emma Young reports.
Frieda Klotz visited the ‘world’s first cyborg fair’ with one question: are cyborgs a real thing, or are these people just kidding themselves?
As old age approaches, Geoff Watts confronts an inevitable future in the care of robots. But that doesn’t mean he likes it.
Carrie Arnold reports on an ancient treatment being revived to help heal painful infected injuries.
Like many parents, Sandy is concerned about how much time her 18-month-old spends in front of screens. Weighing up the available evidence, Olivia Solon explains that she might be worrying too much.
When Tal Golesworthy was told he was at risk of his aorta bursting, he wasn’t impressed with the surgery on offer – so he came up with his own idea.
Premature babies are at high risk of brain damage – but many are too fragile to make the journey to an MRI machine for a clearer diagnosis. Soon, thanks to the world’s first mini scanner, they may not need to. Michael Regnier went to watch it at work.
Surgeons and their patients are finding that virtual reality can relieve the pain and stress of operations – and it’s safer and cheaper than sedatives. Jo Marchant travels to a Mexican mountaintop village to visit a clinic with a difference.
A shortage of incubators and a hunch about marsupials inspired a Colombian doctor to try something radical to save premature babies’ lives: constant skin-to-skin contact with parents.
Millions of people are left dead or disabled by surgical complications each year when one simple piece of kit could have saved them. Jane Feinmann discovers how it has helped transform medicine in Mongolia.
For people who are missing limbs, 3D printing can make new prosthetics – faster, cheaper and better. It could transform mobility for millions around the world, reports Ian Birrell.
Bryn Nelson discovers how medical science is transforming cord blood – a waste product from birth – into a life-saving treatment.
Andrew Hankinson on a new approach to funding healthcare online.
Can virtual reality really soothe pain? Jo Marchant meets the doctors who say yes, and who hope this is a solution for the country consuming 80 per cent of the world’s opioid supply: the United States of America.
Exploring an alternative use for female condoms: anal sex.
How doctors perform faecal transplants today.
In reporting about electrical brain stimulation, Emma Young of course had to try it for herself. Would it change her?
For Vince Clark, immediate pain relief for his son came not from brain-stimulating devices, but something more low-tech.
Kyle Bean on how to illustrate the growing of human organs.
Sophie de Oliveira Barata and Veronika Pete are making customised prostheses an art.
Could open-source 3D printing revolutionise children’s prostheses? Fathima Simjee reports.
The evolution of prosthetic legs and knees over 500 years, and the innovators behind them.
Graham Pullin on what 20 years of experience has taught him about the design of prostheses.
Replacing one lost leg is challenging, but what about two, three or four?
A writhing mass of maggots in a wound might seem like a good reason to seek medical help, but, sometimes it’s the doctors who have put them there.
Neil Steinberg explores why, for certain robots, cuteness has its advantages.
The lowdown on donating umbilical cord blood
Could a once-dismissed waste product of birth save lives?
Barry J Gibb on the approach he took for the film Until.
A predecessor to the female condom was available nearly 100 years ago.
A pictorial history of the therapeutic use of faeces.