Neuromesodermal Progenitors: Function and Significance

By Daniella Gimbosh Stem cells are a revolutionary and controversial area of science that often, understandably, overshadow other aspects of developmental biology. Stem cells are able to divide over and over again, producing more copies of identical stem cells with the same properties, or giving rise to many different types of cells in the body.Continue reading Neuromesodermal Progenitors: Function and Significance

Magnifying into our body: The vaginal microbiota

By Kai Yee Eng There are a huge number of microorganisms living in and on our bodies. If we look into bacteria only, it is estimated that there are 3.8∙1013 bacteria with a reference man of 70kg, nearly a 1:1 ratio to human cells (~3.0∙1013).1 Although they only accounts for approximately 0.2kg weight1, their significanceContinue reading Magnifying into our body: The vaginal microbiota

Xist. A potential gene therapy against Down syndrome?

By Themis Halka  When talking about diseases arising from chromosomal abnormalities, Down syndrome is one which springs to mind. Caused by a trisomy of chromosome 21, it is the leading genetic cause of intellectual disabilities worldwide, as well as a comorbidity for multiple health issues, including hematopoietic disorders or early-onset Alzheimer’s.1 Chromosomes are the supportContinue reading “Xist. A potential gene therapy against Down syndrome?”

The present and future of tissue engineering 

By Pia Skok Tissue engineering is a rapidly evolving field that aims to repair, replace, or regenerate damaged tissues. By combining cells from the body with highly porous scaffold biomaterials, which act as templates interacting with the cells and influencing their behaviour, it enables new tissue growth.1   There are two main approaches which are currently utilized to produce engineered tissues. First, scaffolds can be built from scratch from different biomaterials including ceramics, synthetic polymers, and natural polymers 1. Upon introduction of cells with or without theContinue reading The present and future of tissue engineering “

Why do we respond differently to the same virus infection?

By Yuchen Lin No one is the same. This is not only true for our appearance and personalities but also for some invisible traits involving genetics. When confronting the same virus infection, such as SARS-CoV-2, different people respond with different symptoms. Lots of people show no or mild symptoms after infection, while others have severeContinue reading Why do we respond differently to the same virus infection?

The role of circular RNA in cancer formation and progression

By Victoria Zhang Within the non-coding RNA family, circular RNAs(circRNAs) is a novel endogenous class that forms a covalently closed ring structure without 3’ and 5’ ends. Due to their lack of free ends, circRNAs have high stability and resistance to RNase degradation.1 This high stability enables them to be evolutionarily conserved and present widelyContinue reading “The role of circular RNA in cancer formation and progression”

The protein memory: how keratins control embryonic cell fate

By Andres Hernandez Maduro The process of cell specialisation is intricate and dynamic, varying across cell types. Pathways for stem cell differentiation are dependent on both their surrounding extracellular matrix and mitotic parent. However, the exact process of controlling cell fate is less certain – so how does a fertilised egg know to become aContinue reading The protein memory: how keratins control embryonic cell fate

The promising action of DHA as a tumour killer

By Lucia Friscioni Essential fats, such as dietary omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FAs), have considerable health benefits. These alleged “good FAs” are much pursued by the nutritiously conscious. However, the human body cannot produce these fats naturally and is reliant on an appropriate diet. Specifically, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a well-studied omega-3, essential for brainContinue reading The promising action of DHA as a tumour killer

Improvements in cancer treatment: chemotherapy

By Naveesha Karunanayaka Cancer is a major cause of death around the world with approximately 1 in 6 deaths caused by cancer.1 Cancer is caused by unimpeded cell division and there are various methods to treat it, but these can cause disadvantageous effects to normal cells due to poor selectivity. Chemotherapy, which is a cellContinue reading “Improvements in cancer treatment: chemotherapy”

Mechanisms underlying polyglutamine diseases

By Jessica Lu Polyglutamine diseases are a group of nine inherited neurodegenerative diseases: Huntington’s disease (HD), Dentato-rubral pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA), spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), and spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) type 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 17. The onset of these diseases typically occurs in midlife and they slow to progress.1 Although the genesContinue reading Mechanisms underlying polyglutamine diseases