Lapses of memory are common but fortunately are rarely as extreme as those described in this essay. As knowledge in this area increases, however, the unreliability of some memories, so-called false memories, is recognised and as in a number of recent legal decisions, there are reservations against their automatic acceptance.
In the mid-1990s there was a small decline in the number of new AIDS patients in the United Kingdom. This was not the case everywhere in the world, and in developing countries the increased susceptibility of AIDS patients to diseases such as TB made these, once more, major causes of death. This essay examines how these so-called opportunistic secondary infections are so devastating to those with AIDS.
The infectious agent most frequently in the news in 1996 was not a virus but an agent called a “prion”, the apparent cause of BSE. This essay highlights the irrationality behind some of the decisions we make, and the difficulties of choice based on information from multiple sources that are faced by Government.
For many years biologists have wondered at the intricate ways in which complex organisms develop from single fertilised eggs. The availability of new molecular techniques have made this area one of the most popular in biomedical research. It is a major focus of research at Mill Hill and this essay relates the excitement drawn from studies of some of the earliest steps in embryo formation.
Perhaps in the future, advances in magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, will be valuable in establishing the mechanisms used by our brains in understanding, learning, and memory formation. Already this technique has revolutionised diagnostic observations of soft tissue in joints, major organs such as the heart, and in the nervous system.