Xenobots: Tiny blobs with massive potential

By Heiloi Yip When asked to envision the future of biotechnology, one might think of a couple common images. Some may think about synthetic organisms using tissue pieced together from different species to form a ‘Frankenstein’s monster’. Others may think about a swarm of tiny robots that work together like ants might do, performing aContinue reading “Xenobots: Tiny blobs with massive potential”

Sleep Deprivation on a Genetic Level

By Ng Chi Wai, Jessie We all know night owls – people who would stay up until 3 a.m. to cram in all their coursework, or perhaps for no reason at all. Some of us are night owls by choice, some are not. Around 15-20% of workers in Europe and the USA are required toContinue reading “Sleep Deprivation on a Genetic Level”

Demystifying Polar Gigantism: The Oxygen-Temperature Hypothesis

By Wang Jia Hua Gigantism is a natural phenomenon which has long fascinated biologists, but its underlying mechanisms remain contentious and elusive. Examples of gigantism include insular gigantism and abyssal gigantism, in which certain island dwelling or deep-sea dwelling species are considerably greater in size than their mainland or shallow-water counterparts, respectively. Indeed, gigantism isContinue reading “Demystifying Polar Gigantism: The Oxygen-Temperature Hypothesis”

A Poorer Purpose: The Influence of Vested Interests

By Ethan Sim Impartiality is a cornerstone of scientific inquiry (Lacey, 1997), and undergirds science’s ability to accurately inform human understanding and policy (Oliver & Boaz, 2019). Scientific impartiality is often juxtaposed against vested interests – secondary goals which diverge from the primary aim of elucidating truth (Babor, Miller & Edwards, 2010). When these interestsContinue reading “A Poorer Purpose: The Influence of Vested Interests”

Scar Formation and Treatment

By Jessica Lu Scarring of the skin can be caused by burns, surgery, and injury. In severe cases, it causes patients long-term functional and psychological problems. In the developed world, it is estimated that 100 million patients acquire scars from surgery every year. Many burns also leave scars and painful contractures which need major surgeryContinue reading “Scar Formation and Treatment”

The Impact of Tuberculosis on our Human Genome

By Chloe Teng Infectious diseases have long been a threat to the health of global populations, but no single infectious agent has rivalled the deadliness of tuberculosis (TB). Caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis, it reached epidemic proportions in European and North American regions in the 18th century, resulting in a mortality rate as highContinue reading “The Impact of Tuberculosis on our Human Genome”

How Our Daily Habits Influence the Health of Our Children

By Nick Bitterlich Imitation is a crucial component of brain development in children, who pick up habits from their parents starting at an early age. The influence of biological parents transgresses behavioural patterns that are mirrored by their offspring. Lifestyle habits can imprint or encode heritable phenotype changes that do not involve alterations in theContinue reading “How Our Daily Habits Influence the Health of Our Children”

Understanding Savant Syndrome: The Accidental Genius

By Yuki Agarwala An 8-year-old boy underwent hemispherectomy, which is the removal or disconnection of one of the two cerebral hemispheres of the brain (Lew, 2014). Following this, he surprisingly developed calendar calculating abilities, meaning he could recognize the exact day of the week that any day would fall on (Treffert, 2013). Another individual, DanielContinue reading “Understanding Savant Syndrome: The Accidental Genius”

Human Anthrax: A Resurfacing Disease and A Possible Biological Warfare Agent

By Marina Artemiou Bacillus anthracis is a Gram-positive, endospore-forming bacterium and the principle agent of Anthrax, an extremely rare and infectious disease. Anthrax is a zoonotic disease, which is mainly associated with herbivores and domestic animals. The disease appears regularly in countries where widespread vaccination of animals is not practised, thus enabling the virus toContinue reading “Human Anthrax: A Resurfacing Disease and A Possible Biological Warfare Agent”

The unsustainable fear of insects

By Tamara Claire Fernandez A fear of insects is hardly uncommon. In extreme cases of uncontrollable and irrational fear, patients are medically diagnosed with entomophobia (Shahriari-Namadi, Tabatabaei & Soltani, 2018). However, it can be argued that even the average person’s aversion to insects possesses a similar element of irrationality. While the evolution of human disgustContinue reading “The unsustainable fear of insects”