The Mill Hill Essays 2004 are now available on the NIMR website. The
whole booklet is available as a PDF file and individual essays as
The Mill Hill Essays are published annually to promote science in
society at large. They are written by members of staff of the
National Institute for Medical Research, and are designed to be
accessible to anyone with an interest in science and the natural
world. The latest volume includes six essays.
There's more to heredity than genes [Lisa Melton]
Our guest author, Lisa Melton, looks beyond the brief moment, once we
had fathomed out the sequence of the human genome, when it seemed
that we would understand the mysteries of life. Her essay reveals the
further complexities of epigenetics. Lisa was a postdoctoral fellow
at Mill Hill and is now a science writer at the Novartis Foundation,
Why flies are relevant to medical research [Jean-Paul Vincent and
The importance for experimental genetics of simpler systems than man
is explained by Jean Paul Vincent and Iris Salecker in their essay on
the fruit fly, which has been used very effectively in genetic
research for many years.
The social life of disease-causing bacteria [Michael Sargent]
Television advertisements try to persuade us to consume "good"
bacteria to fight disease-causing bacteria. In his essay on biofilms,
Michael Sargent reveals that most bacteria (whether good or bad)
exist in organised communities with distinctive capabilities.
Nootropia: A smart new world? [Sam Cooke]
The preoccupation with self improvement is also addressed by Sam
Cooke in his essay on the possibilities and drawbacks of using drugs
to enhance our minds.
Understanding the allergy and asthma epidemic [Stephen Jolles and
Stephen Jolles and Jenny Hughes, specialists in allergies and asthma,
examine the causes of and remedies for these increasingly prevalent
conditions that are as a consequence frequently in the news. Stephen
works at the Institute and at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead;
Jenny at the Hillingdon and Amersham Hospitals.
Past and present interplay of chemistry and biology at NIMR [John
John Corrie in his essay uses examples from research at NIMR over the
years to show the continuous need for and importance of chemistry in
understanding the mechanisms of biological processes. Unless the
unpopularity of chemistry courses in schools and universities is
remedied, the advances in biology and medicine that we have all come
to expect will be cut short in the UK.
Frank Norman, Librarian. National Institute for Medical Research
The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA, UK
tel 020 8816 2227 fax 020 8816 2230 email fnorman at nimr.mrc.ac.uk