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Scientists have discovered new insights into a molecule which is part of the body’s tissue repair system and could help treat non-healing wounds and injuries, such as diabetic foot. The number of limbs amputated because of diabetes is at an all-time high of 20 each day in England alone.

For World Mental Health Day and as part of Biology Week, we spoke to Simon Schultz, Professor of Neurotechnology, and Director of the Centre for Neurotechnology at Imperial College London. “What we do is to bring an engineering approach to the study of the brain”, explains Professor Schultz, “for instance by developing new technologies for monitoring and manipulating brain activity.”

Large scale analyses of neuronal proteins shed light on the mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disease. One of the early signs of diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s is that the junctions between nerve cells - called synapses - are damaged, thereby disrupting neuronal communication.