Bio-resistance of ionising radiation

By Jhonata Lam Extremophiles are organisms able to tolerate and survive in even the harshest environments on Earth. While such conditions can be attributed to their temperature, pH or pressure, different extremophiles’ tolerance to radiation remains a particularly great interest to the scientific community.1 Radiation itself is generated through the natural decay of radioactive elements –Continue reading “Bio-resistance of ionising radiation”

Sex determination systems in different organisms

By Jhonata Lam Using common model organisms – Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster and the like – researchers have uncovered many pathways leading to sexual development. The dissection of procedures responsible for the diversity of different animal systems, however, remains challenging.1 Human physiology is partially determined by the genetic contribution of a pair of chromosomes known as the sex chromosomes.Continue reading “Sex determination systems in different organisms”

Black widows: does their reputation precede fact?

By Shreyas Kuchibhotla There are few things that man abhors more than the spider. For millennia, our perception of these creatures has been one driven by disgust, hate and unbridled horror. They possess all too many unblinking eyes, eight hairy legs that scale walls with ease, and a tendency to appear out of nowhere. About 3-15%Continue reading “Black widows: does their reputation precede fact?”

Insights into the germline cycle

By Alice de Bernardy Following the fertilisation of an egg by a spermatozoon, from a single totipotent cell develops an entire organism and extraembryonic cells that support its development. Some of these cells later differentiate into gametes, with fertilisation causing yet another round of embryonic development to take place. This is called the germline cycle.1Due toContinue reading “Insights into the germline cycle”

CAR T-cell therapy: A glimpse of hope for cancer patients

By Emmeleia Psyllaki Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells 1. These cells grow and multiply through the process of cell division to form new cells to meet our body’s needs. Sometimes, however, this process becomes disrupted and stops functioning normally. In that case, abnormal or damaged cells multiply and grow when they areContinue reading “CAR T-cell therapy: A glimpse of hope for cancer patients”

Magic mushrooms: a new cure for treatment-resistant depression?

By Sunaina Borkar Over the past few decades, depression has become increasingly prevalent around the world. Although ongoing scientific research has made great strides in the development of effective and accessible mental health treatments, tackling a specific type of depression known as treatment-resistant depression has been a challenge. Treatment-resistant depression currently affects 100 million people,Continue reading “Magic mushrooms: a new cure for treatment-resistant depression?”

Why drinking coffee wakes you up

By Alice de Bernardy Caffeine is considered to be the most widely used drug in the world.1 It is found in many dietary components of our daily lives: not only in coffee and tea, either, but also in soft drinks and even chocolate. While a typical cup of coffee contains around 100 mg of caffeine, its consumption variesContinue reading “Why drinking coffee wakes you up”

What makes G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) highly desirable drug targets?

By Nishka Mahajan G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) comprise the most extensive class of cell-surface receptors within eukaryotes, with over 820 encoded by the human genome. They are primarily responsible for mediating multiple cell-signalling pathways (physiological processes), making them ideal targets for more than one-third of pharmaceutical applications and therapeutic interventions. Furthermore, their characteristic features ofContinue reading What makes G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) highly desirable drug targets?

Managing an evolving relationship between trawling and marine life 

By Alice de Bernardy  Overfishing and ocean pollution are only a portion of the results of today’s fishing activity. Although fishing can be a great and sustainable source of food and income under appropriate scales, the reality remains that a quarter of global fishing comes from trawling activity,  in which immense nets are dragged throughContinue reading “Managing an evolving relationship between trawling and marine life “

A review of erythropoietin and its use in doping

By Anaya Sirothia Upon hearing the term ‘doping’ in sports, many recall the drug scandal involving Lance Armstrong in 2012, or perhaps the disqualification of Festina from 1998’s Tour de France.1 As the news coverage focused primarily on the athletes themselves and the implications of the doping on their respective sports, the science behind theseContinue reading “A review of erythropoietin and its use in doping”