Life features

  • amino acids soup

    Why are there 20 amino acids?

    17 September 2018

    Rachel Brazil tries to untangle the alphabet soup of life

  • Close-up of the nanospray apparatus used in electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (ESI-MS)

    Medical mass spec

    10 September 2018

    Mass spectrometry can be used for more than just small molecules, meaning it is a vital tool in drug discovery and hospitals, as Clare Sansom discovers

  • Illustration depicting the quest to cure HIV

    The quest to cure HIV

    21 August 2018

    Although HIV–Aids can now be managed quite well with antiretroviral drugs, there is still no cure. Anthony King talks to the scientists trying to find one

  • Illustration of plants bearing tablets and drug capsules as flowers

    From folklore to pharmacy

    13 August 2018

    Although many drugs have in the past come from plants, Hayley Bennett discovers that it’s hard work getting them approved today

  • Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC - close-up of 'Equal justice under law'

    Forensics in crisis

    15 June 2018

    High-profile cases of scientific misconduct at forensics labs are upending the legal system and casting doubt on the wider field, Rebecca Trager finds

  • Synapse Chemistry - Synapse illustration

    The chemistry of synapses

    8 June 2018

    Scientists are decoding the brain’s exquisite molecular machinery – but there is still a long way to go, finds Andy Extance

  • Understanding Alzheimer's - Amyloid plaques

    Understanding Alzheimer’s

    11 May 2018

    After hundreds of failed drug candidates, James Mitchell Crow asks if this is the last roll of the dice for the amyloid theory of Alzheimer’s disease

  • Pic cw version 2

    The molecular basis of circadian rhythms

    4 May 2018

    Every cell of every organism has its own little clock, but what makes it tick? Fiona Case finds out

  • 3D printer printing drugs, concept illustration

    3D printing in pharma

    27 April 2018

    Nina Notman explores how 3D printing is carving out a niche for itself in the pharmaceutical industry

  • Ikea-style manual for step by step gene synthesis

    Step-by-step synthesis of DNA

    6 April 2018

    Andy Extance discovers how scientists are delivering the extremely accurate DNA chemistry and biochemistry needed to make genes – and even genomes