Gaia Vince is a writer and broadcaster specialising in science and the environment. She has been the front editor of the journal Nature Climate Change, the news editor of Nature and online editor of New Scientist. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines in the UK, US and Australia, including The Guardian, Science, Scientific American and Australian Geographic. She writes for BBC Online and devises and presents science programmes for BBC radio. Her first book, Adventures In The Anthropocene: A journey to the heart of the planet we made, is out now. She lives in London and blogs at WanderingGaia.com
What is your feature about?
My feature is about the vagus nerve - a vibrant connection between the brain and the body's major organs. Recently, scientists have discovered that the vagus plays a vital role in the immune system and are attempting to control disease by hacking the nerve (as an alternative to administering drugs). I've written about these attempts and the patients undergoing pioneering treatments.
What did you learn that you didn’t expect?
I didn't expect such inspirational stories from the researchers and their patients, all of whose outcomes revolved around a hitherto unappreciated nerve. I think in the future, we'll be hearing a lot more about the vagus and other nervous-system treatments for common conditions.
Read Gaia’s feature on Mosaic, publishing 26 May 2015.