Media coverage of UN peacekeeping operations invariably highlights violence and abuse. This narrative has contributed to decreasing budgets and stalemates in the UN Security Council, which has not authorised a new, major peacekeeping mission in eight years. But is this a true reflection of the UN's operations? Lise M. Howard argues not. Evidence suggests that these tragedies don’t tell the full story. She shares the numbers that show peacekeepers are keeping the peace and helping to save lives.

Some scientists consider ageing to be a disease, something that can be cured. So far, they have discovered over 200 “geroprotectors” - drugs that might delay or even reverse cellular ageing. The latest candidate is plasmalogen supplements made from sea squirts. In a new experiment, scientists in China fed the supplement to middle-aged mice and compared their mental performance to a control group of mice fed a regular diet. The mice given the supplement didn’t just halt age-related cognitive impairment, their memories actually improved. But before you rush out to buy plasmalogen supplements, please read Professor Ilaria Bellantuono’s take on the study.

Caroline Southey

Founding Editor

UN peacekeeping in Africa is working better than you might think

Lise M. Howard, Georgetown University

Peacekeeping missions grab the headlines when they’re associated with tragedy and death – but that isn’t their full story.

Eating sea squirts reverses signs of ageing in mice – new research

Ilaria Bellantuono, University of Sheffield

A compound in sea squirts seemed to reverse some of the signs of ageing in middle-aged mice, but will it work in humans?

What is it about the human brain that makes us smarter than other animals? New research gives intriguing answer

Emmanuel A Stamatakis, University of Cambridge; Andrea Luppi, University of Cambridge; David Menon, University of Cambridge

Human brains seem to be wired differently to those of chimps or macaques.