Human cell atlas: mapping the building blocks of life

By Ellie Fung In 2003, the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP) marked a major milestone in biological research. The collaborative efforts of research groups worldwide, later boosted by the development of next-generation sequencing technologies, culminated in the first fully sequenced human reference genome.¹ Since then, the HGP has transformed research in human biologyContinue reading Human cell atlas: mapping the building blocks of life

A next-generation vaccine platform—self-amplifying mRNA(saRNA)

By Victoria Zhang The world has witnessed a shift towards using synthetic RNA platforms for vaccine development during the COVID-19 pandemic, where non-replicating mRNA vaccines play a crucial role.1 But non-replicating mRNA vaccines are not the only type of RNA molecules used in the RNA vaccine family, the other two types being base-modified non-amplifying mRNA(bmRNA)Continue reading A next-generation vaccine platform—self-amplifying mRNA(saRNA)

How does vaccination protect us against infection?

By Yuchen Lin We will have received several vaccines throughout our life, but why do we need them? How do they protect us? A vaccine is a type of medicine that can train our immune system to defend us against diseases never encountered before. In other words, a vaccine is used to prevent instead ofContinue reading How does vaccination protect us against infection?

Using honey DNA to detect counterfeits

By Heiloi Yip Honey needs no introduction as a versatile food product that you or I may use in our everyday lives, from being dissolved in tea or lightly drizzled on some pancakes. Not only is honey a nutrient- and energy-rich substance, but it also has antibacterial properties and various health benefits. For example, honeyContinue reading “Using honey DNA to detect counterfeits”

COVID Oral Antivirals: The next chapter in COVID Therapeutics 

By Souheil-Eddine Zitouni  Over the past couple of months, two oral antiviral drugs have been branded to reduce COVID-19 deaths and admission into hospital after clinical studies of patients treated readily after initial infection. If these trends are replicated in a real-life setting, these antivirals could forge the next chapters of what has seemed toContinue reading COVID Oral Antivirals: The next chapter in COVID Therapeutics 

Why are some cancers so difficult to treat?

By Madeleine Eaton Cancer is a disease of uncontrolled cell division, leading to the formation of a tumour within the body. This is caused by both environmental and genetic factors and develops over time, eventually invading secondary tissues in the body in a process called metastasis.1 Cancer deaths account for a quarter of deaths inContinue reading Why are some cancers so difficult to treat?

Lamin proteins and their roles in nuclear structural support, cell morphology and ageing

By Andres Hernandez Maduro Intracellular metabolic proteins are fundamental to the viability of life, and none are arguably more important than those involved in DNA regulation and maintenance. Nuclear lamin proteins, required for structural support of the nucleus and DNA repair, are just as significant. Nuclear lamins are a subset of intermediate filament proteins thatContinue reading Lamin proteins and their roles in nuclear structural support, cell morphology and ageing

Tree Planting and Carbon Sequestration: oversimplifying the problem?

By Clemence Blanchard Now more than ever – with COP26 fresh in our minds – we are aware of the climate change threat. Whole ecosystems and biodiversity are especially at risk, partially exacerbating the issue since certain organisms like plants act as carbon sinks. As a result, many organisations and governmental initiatives devote their energyContinue reading “Tree Planting and Carbon Sequestration: oversimplifying the problem?”

Management strategies for conserving the White Rhino

By Evangeline Wilby The white rhino, Ceratotherium simun, is currently listed as near threated by the IUCN and has a decreasing population size.1 This species in important to conserve because it is a ‘flagship species’ for conservation, meaning it is used as an ambassador to draw global attention to protecting biodiversity. Additionally, it is a vegetation grazer, meaning it is critical to shaping the landscape andContinue reading Management strategies for conserving the White Rhino

Debunking soy misconceptions

By Easha Vigneswaran The world of nutrition is saturated with finding food alternatives to staple foods in our diet. One food product that has been popularized is soy. It is a good source of protein and fibre, contains high levels of vitamins and minerals and has very little cholesterol and saturated fat. Soy-foods have beenContinue reading “Debunking soy misconceptions”