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Welcome to Fiona Dunlevy's portfolio of published popular science articles. Fiona mostly writes about science policy and medical technology. She also writes about European-funded research to help consortia fulfill their dissemination obligations.


 Our Articles 

December 02, 2018


A man with debilitating nystagmus, or constant eye flicker, has been able to return to work, read and watch television, after successful treatment with magnetic implants. Here, Dr Parashkev Nachev, Institute Of Neurology, UCL, UK explains how his team developed the device to calm nystagmus, which is notoriously difficult to treat with drugs.

October 31, 2018


A team of researchers from the UK and France have developed a brain implant that pushes drugs directly into problem brain tissue, using a method called electrophoresis. In experiments, the implant successfully treated and even prevented seizures in mice with chemically induced epilepsy.

July 23, 2017


From “cryptocurrencies” to crowdfunding, innovative nancial technology offers new ways for citizens to get involved in green energy projects, and to reap the benets of the clean power produced.

Can “cryptocurrencies” encourage green-tech? Nowadays virtual means of payment are in use as an alternative to our existing currencies. Among them is SolarCoin (§), created to reward solar energy producers and to give an incentive to others considering installing solar panels.

July 02, 2017

Transparency has been an objective in the pharma world in recent years, culminating in the recent decision by the EMA to release full clinical study reports into the public domain. In spite of the publicity surrounding transparency and data sharing in pharma, the world of medical devices has largely flown under the transparency radar, but change is on the way. The final text of the long-awaited Medical Device Regulation was published in late February, and jumped the final hurdle of adoption by the European Parliament in April. This overhaul was prompted by scandals surrounding silicone gel breast implants and metal-on-metal hip replace- ments in the early 2010s that highlighted the lack of oversight and transparency. So why is this important and what are the implications for transparency?

July 02, 2017


A team from the University of Kent, UK, are developing sticking plasters or “temporary tattoos„ with radiofrequency identification (RFID) technology. This can be used to monitor patient vital signs, transmitting the data to a recorder in the patients home.

Around 10 years ago, communications engineer Prof. John Batchelor, School of Engineering at the University of Kent, was researching how to use RFID tags in assets tracking, like tracking a parcel through a warehouse or logistics system. Once he had succeeded in making RFID tags that stuck to awkward surfaces like metal

cages or glass bottles, he started casting around for a new challenge. “I thought, surely there’s nothing more difficult than making them work on people,„ says Batchelor. This question led Batchelor into the world of medtech and his present research on using wearable RFID sensors for a myriad of applications.

April 20, 2017


River floods are expected to become more frequent by mid-century, and rainstorms and coastal flooding by the end of the century.

From storms to flash floods, extreme weather events are becoming more common in Europe, and can wreak havoc on infrastructure such as transport, telecoms and energy systems. Policy makers, infrastructure owners and local authorities need data and decision-making tools to deal with extreme weather and its effects.

October 31, 2016


It has long been recognised that leaving stents in place is not ideal, and to date several solutions exist, such as bioabsorbable stents. This is not enough according to Mattson. “Bioabsorbable stents do not have the same outward force as when you use a metal or alloy stent, and become weaker with time”, he says. Often the stents are not absorbed quickly enough, meaning that the scar tissue response starts before the stent has fully disappeared. “It’s better to have a stent where you can regulate the disappearance and have an optimal radial force.”

October 26, 2016

Carrying out research is all well and good, but what happens to the knowledge once the project has finished? Many research projects consider in advance how to use research findings, either to get a product onto the market or to define how to share the new knowledge.

The European project Bricker, which is developing configurable retrofitting solutions for energy efficiency in large public buildings, is no exception. Here, we discuss the project's exploitation challenges with Meike Reimann from Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum, Germany.

September 11, 2016

Retrofitting public buildings is crucial to meeting Europe's energy efficiency goals. But can new knowledge in retrofitting be replicated across the EU?

The move to energy efficient buildings is on.Two European directives are gently nudging things along by requiring that 3 percent of public buildings be renovated every year and that public buildings be almost energy zero by 2018.

August 31, 2016


For many types of cancer, surgical removal of the tumor is the main treatment strategy. But tumors aren’t always easy to tell from healthy cells, meaning that sometimes cancerous cells get left behind. Many recurring tumors grow around the margins of the original tumor - meaning that they probably came from leftover cancer cells. Surgeons have tried numerous methods to visualize the tumor edges such as MRI and ultrasound, but no one method has stood out. Until now that is.

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Axcience medical writing science communication, writer, scientific, clinical regulatory, medcomms
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