Genetics underwater – cephalopod RNA editing

By Larissa Potapova Cephalopods have intrigued scientists for thousands of years1. Despite being invertebrates, they have unusually large brains and a myriad of complex behaviours2. The most unusual amongst this clade are the coleoids: soft-bodied cephalopods that are widely considered to have the greatest behavioural complexity amongst invertebrates1. Numerous studies have sought to understand theirContinue reading “Genetics underwater – cephalopod RNA editing”

Bio-resistance of ionising radiation

By Jhonata Lam Extremophiles are organisms able to tolerate and survive in even the harshest environments on Earth. While such conditions can be attributed to their temperature, pH or pressure, different extremophiles’ tolerance to radiation remains a particularly great interest to the scientific community.1 Radiation itself is generated through the natural decay of radioactive elements –Continue reading “Bio-resistance of ionising radiation”

Sex determination systems in different organisms

By Jhonata Lam Using common model organisms – Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster and the like – researchers have uncovered many pathways leading to sexual development. The dissection of procedures responsible for the diversity of different animal systems, however, remains challenging.1 Human physiology is partially determined by the genetic contribution of a pair of chromosomes known as the sex chromosomes.Continue reading “Sex determination systems in different organisms”

The impact of pharmaceutical pollution on aquatic ecosystems and human health

By Simran Patel Thinking about what happens to our waste after flushing the toilet is a revolting thought. However, without proper treatment, sewage can disrupt biodiversity and threaten public health. One of the reasons is pharmaceutical pollution because the active ingredients in medicines still remain active after excretion and are not fully cleared by wastewaterContinue reading “The impact of pharmaceutical pollution on aquatic ecosystems and human health”

How Elephants Are Highly Resistant to Cancer

By Sophia Hu Cancer is one of the leading causes of death across the globe and we humans have been developing battling strategies for many years, yet we still struggle. It is therefore intriguing to find out that cancer mortality in elephants is less than 5% while the human counterpart is 25% (1). However, if allContinue reading “How Elephants Are Highly Resistant to Cancer”

Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) —— Friends or Foes?

By Sophia Hu A group of activated fibroblasts called cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are one of the major components of the tumour microenvironment (TME) in solid tumours. They are found to be associated with poor survival due to their tumour-promoting functions, hence they have been receiving an increasing appreciation in cancer therapeutics development (1). However, recent studiesContinue reading “Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) —— Friends or Foes?”

The link between viral infection and neurodegenerative disease   

By Taylor Woetzel    In our rapidly evolving medical landscape, elucidation of many causal disease factors has declassed a myriad of diseases from heralds of death to minor inconveniences, easily treated by modern medicine. Once life-threatening diseases like smallpox and poliomyelitis have been virtually eradicated, owing to insights in virology that led to the production ofContinue reading “The link between viral infection and neurodegenerative disease   “

Adenoviral vectors – promising a new therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment

By Nishka Mahajan Cancer is one of the world’s leading causes of death, caused by changes in gene expression with consequent impacts on cell proliferation. Owing to modern-day innovative recombinant DNA technologies, gene therapy can be used to provide the patient with a correct copy of the defective gene – promising a new therapeutic strategyContinue reading “Adenoviral vectors – promising a new therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment”

Curing cancer: a search for the fountain of youth?

By Asia Lie Curing cancer is the dream accomplishment for an immense number of researchers and scientists in the world today. Research funding in cancer for the National Cancer Institute in the USA is estimated to be a total of $6.4 billion for 2020.1 This has grown substantially from about $500 million in 1972 to $6.5Continue reading “Curing cancer: a search for the fountain of youth?”