Time is critical for doctors treating newborn babies with suspected brain injuries. The sooner treatments such as whole body cooling can be used, the better the outcomes are likely to be.
Doctors rely on the results of EEG brain monitoring to give them crucial information. But these brain scans are so detailed they can only be interpreted by an expert, and there aren’t enough experts for someone to be at every cot side.
Wellcome-funded researchers at the INFANT Centre at University College Cork are developing the first ‘smart’ system to recognise patterns in electrical brain activity, which will help to identify babies who need treatment quickly.
Scientific collaboration can outsmart epidemics
The global community has shown the power of working together during the Ebola epidemics in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With one outbreak from earlier this year over but a second ongoing, research has been at the heart of the response.
There's been a milestone in our understanding of mitosis
In January 2018, Wellcome-funded researchers at Edinburgh University answered a question that has perplexed cell biologists for almost 150 years – how cells organise their vast amounts of DNA when they replicate and divide in the process of mitosis.
When mitosis goes wrong, it can lead to things like birth defects and cancer. Understanding more about this process in healthy cells could help to shed light on developmental problems that occur when cells do not divide properly.
We're exploring how cities spread diseases, 100 years on from the flu pandemic
This year we launched Contagious Cities – an international cultural project based in New York, Hong Kong and Geneva. It marks the centenary of the 1918 flu pandemic, during which a third of the world’s population was infected and 50 million people died.
'Germ City: Microbes and the Metropolis' opened in New York in September 2018. Like the other Contagious Cities exhibitions, artist residencies, walking tours and public events, it's designed to spark and support local conversations about the global challenges of epidemic preparedness.
Work has begun to map human cells – all 37 trillion of them
The Human Cell Atlas is a global project to map all the cells in the human body. It could transform understanding of many diseases and how to treat them.
That there are different cell types in different organs, such as the skin, brain and liver, is well understood. But the way cells differ within each organ is not. And they vary from person to person. Because of this, we still don't know how many different types of cell there are in the human body.
The Hub within Wellcome Collection hosts two-year residencies for groups to explore aspects of medicine, life and art.
This year it became home to Heart n Soul, a charity and company who will use the space and resources to uncover new insights around the lives of people with autism and learning disabilities. The group includes artists, writers, researchers, designers and clinicians, with and without lived experience of learning disabilities.
The previous residents of the Hub were Created Out of Mind. Over their two years, the interdisciplinary team used the power of the arts to communicate the personal stories and scientific realities of dementia.
New scanner is a breakthrough for imaging brain activity
Scientists at the University of Nottingham are working with University College London on a five-year Wellcome-funded project which has the potential to revolutionise the world of human brain imaging.
Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a technique for mapping brain activity – it measures the magnetic fields generated by electrical currents that occur naturally in the brain.
The new scanner can be worn on the head, like a helmet, meaning the person having the scan can move around freely. It could improve the study of abnormal brain activity such as epilepsy, and mental health disorders like schizophrenia.
There have been important insights about women's health worldwide
From research ethics and women’s role in medical training to abortion stigma and the health of women migrants and prisoners, we have funded a wide range of work that explores women's health around the world.
For example, Mhairi Gibson and her team have developed an important new technique for gathering women's views on female genital cutting (FGC). The indirect questioning method has revealed the extent to which people publicly hide their views on FGC. These insights can be used to help develop more effective interventions.
Neuropixels technology means we can probe whole brain activity
An international team of scientists has produced a new technology that will transform the way we study the brain. The supersensitive Neuropixels probes – each thinner than a human hair – can record the activity of hundreds of individual nerve cells across the brain in real time.
At the International Brain Laboratory, researchers are already using the probes to study different areas in the mouse brain as it forages for food. Longer term experiments will help to study changes in the brain resulting from development, experience and ageing, as well as the effects of neurodegenerative diseases.