Latest news stories - October 2021 - Click the links to read more


Aided by stem cells, a lizard regenerates a perfect tail for first time in more than 250 million years

Lizards can regrow severed tails, making them the closest relative to humans that can regenerate a lost appendage. But in lieu of the original tail that includes a spinal column and nerves, the replacement structure is an imperfect cartilage tube. Now, a study describes how stem cells can help lizards regenerate better tails.


Plants can prepare for insect attack sequence

Plants are under attack by a variety of insect species. They have defense mechanisms to deal with this, including chemicals or sturdier leaves. But it's now been found that when wild black mustard plants defend themselves against an initial enemy, they already anticipate the need to later fend off other, different enemies. This remarkable research has now been published in the renowned scientific journal Nature Plants.


Solving mystery of rare cancers directly caused by HIV

For nearly a decade, scientists have known that HIV integrates itself into genes in cells that have the potential to cause cancer. And when this happens in animals with other retroviruses, those animals often develop cancer. But, perplexingly and fortunately, that isn't regularly happening in people living with HIV.


Bristol statue of Henrietta Lacks installed at university

The first public sculpture of a black woman made by a black woman in the UK has gone on display in Bristol. Bristol artist Helen Wilson-Roe created the life-sized bronze statue of Henrietta Lacks whose cancer cells changed the course of modern medicine. The cells taken from Ms Lacks without her consent or knowledge were the first living human cells to ever survive and multiply outside the body. The statue's unveiling marked the 70th anniversary of her death.


Leprosy confirmed in wild chimpanzees for the first time, study finds

Leprosy has been found in wild chimpanzees. Researchers have confirmed cases of the disease among two unconnected West African populations of chimpanzees, in Guinea-Bissau and the Ivory Coast.