Author: Tavian Oladapo

Unravelling the human story

Deep in the Altai Mountains of Siberia lies a cave filled with unimaginable treasure, not silver or gold but genetic treasure that reveals the complex and fascinating story of our species, and that of other humans we once shared our planet with. The significance of this cave is immense, and its discovery has helped shine a light on the murky world of ancient humans and their closest relatives. It ...

Woman cured of sickle cell with stem cell therapy

Revée Agyepong, a 26-year-old woman from Edmonton in Canada, is believed to be one of the first adults to be successfully treated for sickle-cell disease with transplanted stem cells. She underwent the procedure towards the end of last year with donor stem cells from her sister. Diagnosed with the disease as a toddler, she has never known life without it. “I remember as far back as elementary feel...

Scientists 3D-print a human cornea

For the first time, scientists have 3D-printed human corneas in a lab, paving the way to potentially manufacturing this crucial part of our anatomy and saving millions from blindness caused by corneal damage. The cornea is an essential part of the eye, helping it to focus and protecting from the outside world. When damaged, it can create serious vision problems and often leads to blindness. Cornea...

Microbes R Us

Mention bacteria and viruses to most people and the response is to recoil in fear. A catalog of bacterial, viral and fungal infections tend to dominate our discussions about the microbial world, and has done so ever since we discovered the role of microbes in disease. Pandemics like the Black Death which killed some 30-60% of Europe’s total population, the scourge of smallpox which is estimated to...

Game of bones

When the first Neanderthal fossils were discovered in the 19th century, no one would have foreseen the fascinating and compelling story of human origins that was about to unfold. From 1829, when the first Neanderthal bones were found in Belgium, to the first discovery of a Neanderthal skull in 1848 in Forbes’ Quarry, Gibraltar, a succession of fossil discoveries revealed tantalizing clues ab...