Saturday, 15 December 2018

Saving the fertility of children with cancer



This feature for the Guardian Weekend magazine feels like a fitting article to end the year on. Fertility preservation is about the future, about uncertainty, about hope - and about the belief that given enough time and resources, scientists can find solutions to problems that may seem unsurmountable right now. Here's to a happy and healthy 2019.

Young cancer patients face uncertainty, aggressive treatment – and a risk to their future fertility. Can a cutting-edge procedure offer a solution?


Friday, 14 December 2018

Unlocking the secrets of the ancient world




Can machines help us translate the world's oldest written language? Ancient Mesopotamia has left us more texts than ancient Rome, Egypt and Greece combined, some say. About half a million Mesopotamian clay tablets carrying cuneiform script, the world's oldest writing system, have been excavated, detailing life at the dawn of history. But relatively few can read this script and the languages (Sumerian and Akkadian) it records. Here's how algorithms might help us crack the secrets of the past - and spark new research into our earliest civilisations.