Oncogene editing in human papillomavirus (HPV) by CRISPR Cas9

By Daniel Lo Proto-oncogenes are genes that control cell growth. Mutation of a proto-oncogene can be induced by point mutations (insertions and deletions), gene amplification or chromosomal translation. These mutations result in excessive copies of proto-oncogenes, resulting in proto-oncogenes become oncogenes (Chial H, 2008). Oncogenes can be permanently activated leading to uncontrolled cell growth whichContinue reading “Oncogene editing in human papillomavirus (HPV) by CRISPR Cas9”

How jellyfish fight microplastics and Improve soil quality

By Eva Istsenko Humanity is currently producing more amounts of plastic and waste than ever before. There are between 12 and 21 million tons of microplastics floating at the top 200 meters of the Atlantic Ocean (Fact Check: what are microplastics and are they dangerous?, 2020). A small piece of plastic can be considered ‘micro’Continue reading “How jellyfish fight microplastics and Improve soil quality”

Studying cancer metastasis: The tumour-on-chip

By Sarah Choi   Metastasis is a multi-step process whereby cancer cells migrate from the primary tumour to a secondary site. This involves: the acquisition of mesenchymal characteristics to gain motility, invasion into blood vessels or lymph vessels, resistance to cell death once in the blood stream, evasion of the immune system, and extravasation out ofContinue reading “Studying cancer metastasis: The tumour-on-chip”

Novartis and Microsoft Partnership: Artificial Intelligence in New Drug Development

By Andrea Flores Esparza Throughout history there has been numerous advances in our understanding of the physiology of human beings, enabling the establishment of diagnostic procedures for various diseases and the development of potential treatments and cures. However, despite the significant medicinal discoveries, there is still an enormous ambiguity remaining in this field due toContinue reading “Novartis and Microsoft Partnership: Artificial Intelligence in New Drug Development”

Proteolysis-Targeting Chimeras

By Mark Comer Cells tightly control the levels of proteins using intracellular machinery. The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) helps remove damaged, faulty, or surplus proteins by tagging them with ubiquitin to facilitate proteolysis by the proteasome. Defective UPS is implicated in diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and several inflammatory conditions (Subhankar et al,2008). A proteolysisContinue reading “Proteolysis-Targeting Chimeras”

Gene drives: Saving agriculture and feeding the masses?

By Charlotte Hutchings The global population is rapidly expanding and is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 (Gerland et al., 2014). To feed a population of this size, food production will need to increase by an estimated 60-110% (Pardey et al., 2014; Ray et al., 2013). Unfortunately, 815 million people suffered from undernourishment inContinue reading “Gene drives: Saving agriculture and feeding the masses?”

The Use of Synthetic ECMs in Tissue Engineering

By Jessica Lu Tissue engineering is a field that aims to regenerate tissues that have been damaged through disease, injury or trauma. This is done by taking cells from the body and seeding them into an appropriate scaffold, which serves as a template to grow new tissue. Then the cell-seeded scaffolds are either implanted directlyContinue reading “The Use of Synthetic ECMs in Tissue Engineering”

Organs-on-chips: A Potential Alternative to Traditional Drug Screening?

By Cristina Riquelme Vano Drug screening and discovery has a financial problem, the vast expenses increasing due to the limited predictability of 2D culture and animal models and the time that clinical studies take to be completed. The results of such experiments often do not correlate with clinical findings or in actual human reactions. Yet,Continue reading “Organs-on-chips: A Potential Alternative to Traditional Drug Screening?”

Gene drive: Malaria

By Qinyi Wang and Kah Yan Ng Within the last few decades, significant progress has been made in malaria control efforts worldwide. Despite this, the World Health Organisation recorded 228 million cases in 2018, resulting in 405,000 deaths (WHO.int, 2020) mostly in young children in sub-Saharan Africa (CDC.gov, 2020). The symptoms include fever, headache, muscleContinue reading “Gene drive: Malaria”

Visual Prosthesis

By Eva Borras In 2019 it was reported that at least 2.2 billion people worldwide have blindness or visual impairment. In 1 billion of these cases, moderate or severe vision impairment could have been prevented. The likelihood of having a vision impairment was 4 times higher in low and middle-income regions than high-income regions. (VisionContinue reading “Visual Prosthesis”