The mystery of our missing megafauna

By Rachel Chan Giant ground sloths, super-sized beavers, three metre tall kangaroos. Like something from a Lewis Carroll novel, these are a few animals of the extensive megafauna that walked (and flew and swam) the Earth tens of thousands of years ago. Generally, any animal weighing above 40kg constitutes as megafauna (Roberts, 2001). As AlfredContinue reading “The mystery of our missing megafauna”

An introduction to the history and importance of genetic counselling

By Caitlin Davies Genetic counselling refers to the transfer of knowledge about genetic disorders from a trained professional to affected families, individuals who are at an increased risk of developing a genetic disorder or affected individuals who are concerned about their reproductive future as well as supporting the individuals through the psychological implications of theContinue reading “An introduction to the history and importance of genetic counselling”

The Implications of COVID-19 for Male Fertility

By Lucy Hamer In December 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) triggered an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Wuhan City, China (Harapan et al., 2020). 10 months down the line, there have now been 38 million cases globally, causing the loss of over 1 million lives (Worldometer, 2020). Whilst the mainContinue reading “The Implications of COVID-19 for Male Fertility”

REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder in Prodromal Parkinson’s Disease

By Michelle Lam Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep occurs 90 minutes after sleep onset and is characterised by muscle twitches, cortical activity resembling the wakeful brain and muscle atonia (temporal muscle paralysis). The most well-understood region of the brain generating muscle atonia during REM sleep is the sublateraldorsal (SLD) nucleus in the pontine tegmentum. TheContinue reading “REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder in Prodromal Parkinson’s Disease”

The neuroscience of pleasure and happiness

By Luciano Marinelli Happiness is a term that can be equated to well-being, meaning, life satisfaction and welfare. It is an emotional state that plays a crucial part in our lives, and drives many of our life decisions and actions. According to Charles Darwin, affective emotions drive evolution of species, being adaptive responses to theContinue reading “The neuroscience of pleasure and happiness”

How Synthetic Biology is Transforming Classical Gene and Engineered-Cell Based Therapy

By Shirin Bamezai Since the beginning of the post-genomic era, one of the areas of research that has been consistently pushing the frontiers of medicine is gene and engineered-cell therapy. Gene and cell therapy aim to treat diseases by introducing genetic material in cells that either repairs or enhances their genome in order to produceContinue reading “How Synthetic Biology is Transforming Classical Gene and Engineered-Cell Based Therapy”

Is there an improved coronavirus test that could help end the pandemic?

By Linya Thng With death tolls rising higher than ever, researchers are urged to seek alternative methods for coronavirus diagnosis in hopes of returning to normality. Currently, in status quo, viral diagnostics are heavily relying on nasal-swab samples. However, whilst having an almost 100% accuracy in identifying infected people has, this method has its drawbacks.Continue reading “Is there an improved coronavirus test that could help end the pandemic?”

The mysterious cause of Colony Collapse Disorder

By Heiloi Yip Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a phenomenon that affects honey bee hives, severely crippling the health of the colony. A large proportion of the colony’s worker bees mysteriously disappear, leaving the queen and larvae behind to starve or freeze to death. This phenomenon can occur rapidly, with collapse happening within a fewContinue reading “The mysterious cause of Colony Collapse Disorder”

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”

Alternative splicing: the future of cancer treatment?

By Samantha Yates Alternative splicing is a form of messenger RNA (mRNA) splicing by which many different protein isoforms are produced. Alternative splicing rearranges and combines exons in different positions to alter the mRNA coding sequence and is the main source of protein diversity in >90% of human genes. Due to its tightly regulated processContinue reading “Alternative splicing: the future of cancer treatment?”