Michael is a staff writer at Mosaic. He previously worked as a writer for the Medical Research Council and as a press officer for the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK. As well as a degree in natural sciences, he has a Master's in science communication, which included a brief stint helping to develop public exhibitions at CERN. Before writing about science for a living, Michael wrote plays and he looks forward to writing more fiction and drama when he is less deprived of sleep thanks to his two young daughters.
What is your feature about?
It's about the science of Alzheimer's disease and why it has proved so difficult to make headway in tackling it. Perhaps fuelled by the success of various 'blockbuster' drugs developed in the second half of the 20th century, we now basically expect to be able (eventually) to find a drug to cure every disease. I think this is why we often describe medical research in terms of detective work, particularly fictional detective stories, where each case has a definitive solution simply waiting to be worked out. I wanted to challenge that analogy in relation to dementia, which attacks the very centres of reasoning that scientists (and detectives) use to 'solve' such problems. While quite an abstract piece, therefore, I hope it offers people a way of understanding Alzheimer's disease and just why it is so hard to crack.
What did you learn that you didn't expect?
That former footballer and manager Terry Venables co-wrote four detective novels in the 1970s. I couldn't fit that into the piece though.
Read The Alzheimer’s Enigma by Michael Regnier on Mosaic, publishing 4 March 2014.