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Lee Henry

Londonderry, United Kingdom
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About Lee
Lee Henry writes freelance features for the Sunday Times, Belfast Telegraph, Northern Woman magazine and more. He also writes a monthly column for Northern Woman. He is based in Londonderry, United Kingdom. He specialises in features, culture reviews and video/audio production. Lee learned the ropes while rising through the ranks at BBC Northern Ireland and subsequently as web editor of the arts website CultureNorthernIreland.org.
Video Package (Web / Broadcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast) Feature Stories
Current Affairs Arts & Books Film & Theatre

Distinct genomic routes underlie transitions to specialised symbiotic lifestyles in deep-sea annelid worms

17 May 2023  |  www.nature.com
The study investigates the genomic signatures of the heterotrophic symbiosis in Osedax worms by assembling the genome of O. frankpressi and comparing it with genomes of two Vestimentifera species from hydrothermal vents. The findings reveal that O. frankpressi has a smaller genome and gene repertoire, shaped predominantly through gene loss, unlike Vestimentifera which evolved through ancestral gene gains followed by species-specific rates of gene loss. The research also explores the genetic and functional contribution of endosymbionts to the nutritional symbioses of Siboglinid worms, showing that O. frankpressi's endosymbionts have a genome enriched in metabolic genes, unlike the chemosynthetic endosymbionts of Vestimentifera. Additionally, the study examines metabolic adaptations for bone digestion, lineage-specific expansions of matrix metalloproteinases, divergence in innate immunity repertoire, a conserved developmental toolkit, and species-specific repertoires of DNA damage repair mechanisms in Siboglinidae.

Convergent evolution of a labile nutritional symbiosis in ants

01 Dec 2022  |  Nature
The study investigates the convergent evolution of nutritional symbiosis in ants, focusing on the genomes of symbionts from various ant species. It reveals that ant lineages have independently acquired related bacteria, leading to advanced genome reduction. The research highlights the conservation of metabolic functions, particularly the shikimate pathway for tyrosine production, across different ant symbionts. The study also explores the evolutionary origins and losses of symbiosis in Formica and Cardiocondyla species, suggesting that symbiotic relationships can evolve to solve common problems but may break down if no longer required. The findings provide insights into the evolutionary forces influencing the persistence and breakdown of long-term endosymbiotic mutualisms.

How Abomination: A DUP Opera raises voices against hate speech

18 Apr 2020  |  www.thetimes.com
In response to a homophobic attack and subsequent controversial comments by DUP MP Iris Robinson, Northern Irish composer Conor Mitchell created the opera 'Abomination' to address the rise in hate speech in Northern Ireland. The opera, performed by the Belfast Ensemble, sets homophobic statements by DUP politicians to music, aiming to raise awareness and challenge such rhetoric.

Jayne Wisener gives critics the kiss-off for Kiss Me, Kate

02 Feb 2020  |  www.thetimes.com
Northern Irish actor Jayne Wisener, known for her roles in Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd and Channel 4's The Inbetweeners, discusses her intriguing German ancestry and career highlights. Despite her name's Germanic origins, her family history traces back to Coleraine in Northern Ireland.

Composer Hannah Peel talks discrimination in the industry, and Emmy nod for Game of Thrones doc score

07 Sep 2019  |  independent.ie
Composer Hannah Peel discusses her experience with discrimination in the music industry and her Emmy nomination for scoring the Game of Thrones documentary. Despite not being a fan initially, Peel became attached to the series after binge-watching it and was determined to do justice to the score. She was surprised by the Emmy nomination, considering her previous highest industry award nomination was the Northern Ireland Music Prize. Peel also criticizes the classical dance world for its gender bias and expresses determination to continue releasing music independently.

Bloody Sunday and Brexit replaced with cartels and Trump - Derry musicians Ryan Vail and Eoin O'Callaghan on international resonance of Border album

27 Jul 2019  |  www.independent.ie
Derry musicians Ryan Vail and Eoin O'Callaghan discuss their collaborative album 'Borders,' which explores themes of geography, identity, and Brexit. The album, a response to political divisions, combines music and visual elements to reflect the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. The duo plans to tour globally, including performances in Mexico and Berlin, to connect with other regions experiencing conflict. The project aims to foster understanding and community through art, despite the challenges posed by political figures like Arlene Foster and Donald Trump.

'Some people buy a sports car, I'm playing Glastonbury' - crime writer Stuart Neville on the move into music

28 Jun 2019  |  www.independent.ie
Northern Irish crime writer Stuart Neville is taking an unconventional approach to his midlife crisis by transitioning from writing to playing music, including a performance at Glastonbury.

'Being a DIY artist doesn't mean doing everything yourself' - DJ Phil Taggart on his insider's guide to music industry

07 Jun 2019  |  www.independent.ie
Phil Taggart, BBC Radio 1 DJ, discusses his new book 'Phil Taggart's Slacker Guide to the Music Industry,' which serves as a career blueprint for aspiring musicians. The book, co-written with Steven Rainey, offers practical advice on forming a band, building a fanbase, and navigating the music industry. Taggart emphasizes the importance of having a unique persona and effective social media presence. He also highlights the role of supportive organizations like PRS for Music and Help Musicians UK. Taggart's insights are drawn from his own experiences and interviews with industry insiders and artists like Run the Jewels. He advocates for creative autonomy while acknowledging the challenges of the industry.

Being a DIY artist doesn't mean doing everything yourself - DJ Phil Taggart on his insider's guide to music industry

07 Jun 2019  |  www.independent.ie
Phil Taggart, BBC Radio 1 DJ, discusses his new book 'Phil Taggart's Slacker Guide to the Music Industry,' which serves as a career blueprint for aspiring musicians. Drawing from his own experiences and industry knowledge, Taggart emphasizes the importance of having a unique identity and strong social media presence. The book includes advice on various aspects of the music industry, from forming a band to self-care, and features contributions from industry insiders and artists. Taggart also highlights the role of supportive organizations and the evolving opportunities for musicians in the digital age.

Meet Derry Girls breakout star Jamie-Lee O'Donnell who plays everyone's favourite character, Michelle

18 Jan 2018  |  www.independent.ie
Jamie-Lee O'Donnell, the breakout star of the Channel 4 comedy series 'Derry Girls,' has received widespread acclaim for her role as Michelle. The show, created by Lisa McGee, is set in Derry during the Troubles and has been praised for its humor and relatable characters. Following its successful premiere, Channel 4 quickly commissioned a second season. Jamie-Lee, a Derry native, shares her excitement about the show's reception and her pride in representing her hometown. She also discusses her past acting experiences and future aspirations, including her involvement in the BBC Two production 'I Told My Mum I Was Going On An RE Trip.'

Why guys can be seduced by the salsa and sequins of Strictly too

07 Dec 2017  |  belfasttelegraph.co.uk
The author, a self-proclaimed 'Saturday night Strictophile,' reflects on his unexpected enjoyment of the BBC One show 'Strictly Come Dancing.' He discusses the show's appeal, including its variety show elements, nostalgia, and communal viewing experience. Despite criticisms of certain aspects, such as Tess Daly's presentation and Dave Arch's band performances, the author looks forward to the semi-finals and appreciates the show's entertainment value.

Contemplative, kindly, unassuming: the never before seen photographs of Seamus Heaney that capture the soul of the poet

12 Oct 2017  |  www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk
The article recounts a personal and memorable interview with the late Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney, highlighting his amiable and humble nature. The author and his wife, Mairead, reflect on their experience capturing Heaney in words and photographs, emphasizing the poet's supportive demeanor and the intimate atmosphere of his home. The narrative also touches on the significance of the Belfast International Arts Festival and the HomePlace visitor centre in Bellaghy, where Heaney's legacy is celebrated.

New thriller Maze follows infamous escape from Europe's most secure prison

22 Sep 2017  |  www.euronews.com
The article discusses the new thriller film 'Maze' by Dublin-based writer and director Stephen Burke, which dramatizes the 1983 escape of 38 IRA prisoners from Her Majesty’s Prison Maze in Northern Ireland. Laurence McKeown, a former Republican prisoner involved in the escape, praises the film for its authenticity and its role in addressing issues from the Northern Ireland conflict. The film captures the mindset of IRA prisoners during a time of intense protests and the famous Hunger Strikes of 1981. McKeown highlights the challenges in funding such politically sensitive films and commends Burke's achievement in bringing the story to the screen.

Brought to book: Brilliant page-turners by Northern Ireland’s finest

06 Sep 2017  |  BelfastTelegraph.co.uk
On National Read a Book Day, 12 writers supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland recommend their favorite local reads, showcasing the vibrant and talented literary culture of the region. Myra Zepf, Northern Ireland’s first Children’s Writing Fellow, is among those who share their recommendations.

The evolution of host-symbiont dependence

09 Jun 2017  |  nature.com
The study explores the variation in host dependence on symbionts across different species and the factors influencing this dependence. It finds that vertical transmission, nutritional functions, and small genome size of symbionts are associated with higher host dependency. The study uses a phylogenetically based comparative approach and includes data on 106 symbioses, involving 58 bacterial symbionts and 89 host species. The findings suggest that specific factors may drive host dependence to evolve in predictable ways across diverse symbioses.

Stallion is unlikely leader in Ulster cycle race

15 May 2017  |  belfasttelegraph.co.uk
During the North West 3 Day cycle race organized by the Foyle Cycling Club, a large stallion unexpectedly joined the race, leaping a barrier just ahead of the leading riders. Sports cameraman Jonny Collins captured the incident, and race marshals eventually corralled the horse into a neighboring field. Press relations officer Thomas McLaughlin commented on the potential danger of the situation, noting that it could have been much more serious if the timing had been slightly different.

Check out all of my feature work for the Belfast Telegraph

I was 21 stone and used to cry with guilt and shame then I joined a gym and met the love of my life

09 Jan 2017  |  www.independent.ie
Sam, a former car dealer from Derry, transformed his life by losing weight, changing his eating habits, and becoming a personal trainer and motivational speaker. After struggling with obesity and unhealthy eating habits, he joined a gym and lost a significant amount of weight. His journey included overcoming bullying, a stressful job, and a difficult marriage. Sam now runs a private gym, writes diet plans, and inspires others with his story. He found love with Cathy Boyd, who also transformed her life and now coaches with him. Sam's mission is to help others achieve sustainable healthy living.

Northern Ireland man ensures no child carries their life in a bin bag

14 Sep 2016  |  belfasttelegraph.co.uk
Dave Linton, a former foster carer from Northern Ireland, founded Madlug, a lifestyle brand that donates a bag to a child in care for every product purchased. Moved by the indignity children in care face when moving their belongings in bin bags, Linton created a 'one for one' business model to provide them with proper luggage. Madlug offers a range of ethically produced bags and has received recognition for its social impact. Linton's initiative addresses the emotional and psychological challenges faced by children in care and aims to expand Madlug's reach to help more children across the UK and Ireland.

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