The origins of viruses

By Ella Knüpling Not only the year 2020, but the entire evolutionary course of life has been shaped by viruses. These microscopic, intracellular parasites are the most abundant biological units on earth and are found in almost all cells. As an understanding of the origins of viruses could provide information on the development of cellularContinue reading “The origins of viruses”

Turmeric: from spice to medicine

By Giannis Konstantinou Turmeric powder is a world popular spice that has found its way into kitchens all over the globe. The ground rhizomes of the turmeric plant, named Curcuma longa L., originate from southeast Asia, and have garnered interest for thousands of years, not only for its culinary use but also for its medicinalContinue reading “Turmeric: from spice to medicine”

Nature vs Nurture; the effect of genetics on personality

By Nitya Gupta Since the early 90s, studies have observed that identical twins (that share the same DNA), when raised apart, in separate households by different parents, have incredibly similar personalities. This equivalence is observed to a lesser extent between fraternal twins (whose DNA though similar, are not identical), providing compelling evidence that there isContinue reading “Nature vs Nurture; the effect of genetics on personality”

Could a ketogenic diet improve cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease?

By Lauren Wheeler Ketogenic diets, which are characterised by high levels of dietary fat, moderate levels of protein and very low levels of carbohydrates, have been popularised recently by the mainstream media as a weight loss solution, promising rapid and pronounced results. This is not, however, the first time that the diet has been used with theContinue reading “Could a ketogenic diet improve cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease?”

Immortal Animals: How Organisms Counter Aging

By Tanjim Sayeeda Human longing for eternal youthfulness has persisted since the beginning of time. Myths and legends about quests to find an elixir of youth, religions that breed hope with promises of an afterlife, and modern culture’s endless supply of overhyped health articles about “foods that extend telomeres” and “reverse aging” has assertively provenContinue reading “Immortal Animals: How Organisms Counter Aging”

“Water Bears”: Survival in Space

By Sarah Choi Tardigrades, also known as water bears or moss piglets (due to their adorable appearances), are microscopic animals that have become well known as “the most indestructible” living creature on Earth. They have been found to be resilient to many stresses, such as being frozen, fried, dried, and deprived of many of theContinue reading ““Water Bears”: Survival in Space”

Life beyond four bases

By Sashini Ranawana For over 3.8 billion years, Life has evolved within the constraints of four bases. Four seemingly unremarkable  nucleotides, which have succeeded in giving rise to every single organism currently known to man. Together they constitute the genetic code: a language system which plays a critical role in the  fundamental mechanisms of transcriptionContinue reading “Life beyond four bases”

Preventative cancer screening: Prospects and implications

By Caitlin Davies In the UK, there are currently three cancer screening programmes; these are designed to check for any pre-cancerous abnormalities or early signs of developing cancer. Each programme screens for a particular type of cancer – and is targeted at age groups that are most prone to developing the disease: mammogram screenings forContinue reading “Preventative cancer screening: Prospects and implications”

The Ethics of Human Augmentation Through Non-Genetic Methods.

By Daniella Gimbosh Since time immemorial, humanity has strived to improve quality of life through both technological and biomedical advancements. Revolutionary developments in these areas, including medical discoveries such as vaccines, anesthesia and medical imaging, significantly increased the average human life expectancy. However, whilst such medical breakthroughs have brought us vitally closer to understanding andContinue reading “The Ethics of Human Augmentation Through Non-Genetic Methods.”

A Critical Look at How Genetics May Be Affecting COVID-19 Disease Severity

By Chloe Teng The variation in the severity of effects for those infected with SARS-CoV-2 has been a key area of investigation since the initial COVID-19 outbreak in December 2019. Although an estimated 45% of patients present as asymptomatic (Scripps Research Institute, 2020), other COVID-19 cases result in cardiac failure, lung inflammation, and even neurologicalContinue reading “A Critical Look at How Genetics May Be Affecting COVID-19 Disease Severity”