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”

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

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

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