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Shedding some real light on lung cancer

Paul Cowling, PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, received a commendation prize in our 2016 Max Perutz Science Writing competition. In his article, he explains how fluorescent molecules could help with early, and faster, diagnosis of lung cancer.

It is June, and twilight sets in over the bustling beer garden. I take a drink from my pint before returning my attention to my friend Chris who is ranting about the state of affairs at Newcastle Football Club. He finishes venting his anger over the team’s lacklustre performances and proceeds to light a cigarette.

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Back to blood’s beginning

In her commended 2016 Max Perutz Science Writing Award article, PhD student Edie Crosse, from the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, describes her research aiming to generate healthy stem cells from patients to treat leukaemia.

Blood, both vital and sinister, is tied so closely to our ideas of what it is to be human, warm and alive.

Throughout history people have felt connected to their families, tribes and countrymen imagining that the same blood flows through their veins – as if more than just cells but spirit is circulated. Nordic people often allude to their Viking blood making them hardier and stoic; the ancient Mayans believed blood was given by the Gods to bestow them with life, and frequently gave ritualistic blood-letting ceremonies to return it to them.

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To the Crick! Part 5: 100 years of tuberculosis research and 70,000 years of evolution

For our final post in the ‘To the Crick’ series, we hear from Luiz Pedro Carvalho. He’s moving from the site of what was the National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) in Mill Hill to the new Francis Crick Institute building in King’s Cross. We find out about Luiz’s work, focused on tuberculosis (TB), and look back at over 100 years of MRC-funded TB research.

a side view of open-plan lab space inside the Crick

Open-plan lab spaces inside the Crick

“It’s a mixture of excitement and already missing the place,” says Luiz. Mill Hill was home to NIMR for most of its lifetime but activities there have nearly come to an end. The venerable institute is now part of the Francis Crick Institute.

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