Are SSRIs effective for treating depression?

By Anna Miteniece When asked about major depressive disorder (MDD), colloquially referred to simply as depression, professor Robert Sapolsky described it as ‘the clinical inability to enjoy sunsets.’ (Sapolsky, 2020) An apt portrayal of the serious physiopsychological affliction characterized by pervasive low mood, anhedonia, low self-esteem and pain without a clear cause. Unsurprisingly, these symptomsContinue reading “Are SSRIs effective for treating depression?”

Darwin’s Abominable Mystery

By Jia Hua Wang With over 300,000 extant species, flowering plants, or angiosperms, form ca. 90% of all terrestrial vegetation, making them the most ecologically diverse and abundant land plants (Soltis & Soltis, 2014). Apart from taigas and temperate rainforests, angiosperms dominate nearly all terrestrial ecosystems and have representatives in many aquatic environments (Feild &Continue reading “Darwin’s Abominable Mystery”

Debunking the “Male Menopause”

By Anna Huang Since the average life expectancy of a typical male has increased in the past few decades, aging related health problems have garnered interest in the medical community (Nandy et al., 2008). A variety of hormonal changes occur in the bodies of aging men, including dropping plasma androgen levels. This androgen decline inContinue reading “Debunking the “Male Menopause””

An Exploration of the Self: A Summary of Consciousness Research

By Ethan Sim The concept of consciousness is both exceedingly familiar to laypersons and impenetrably obscure to scientists. Despite being a relatively recent addition to the neuroscientific disciplines, the academic exploration of consciousness has provided exceptionally fertile ground for debate and discussion, with a welter of theories emerging in the past decade. These debates andContinue reading “An Exploration of the Self: A Summary of Consciousness Research”

Bisphenol A: Its Uses and Controversies

By Daniella Gimbosh The dangers posed by chemical compounds in various plastics have been the source of fierce debate in the scientific community, resulting in widespread concern over the exposure to humans through plastic packaging. One such chemical is Bisphenol A (BPA); BPA is a compound present in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins which hasContinue reading “Bisphenol A: Its Uses and Controversies”

Preventing future heart disease before birth

By Lucy Hamer Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of mortality in adults, claiming over 17 million deaths per year (Mensah et al., 2019), yet current treatment options are still limited to improving symptoms rather than attenuating disease development (Botting et al., 2020). It has been widely stated that the focus on cardiovascular disease researchContinue reading “Preventing future heart disease before birth”

Growing evidence for anatomical Mind-Gut link

By Eva Istsenko If your ‘gut is telling you’ that something is up, or you’ve ever felt ‘butterflies’ when you look at that special someone, that is because of bidirectional Brain- Gut connection. Two thin layers of over 100 million nerve cells line the gastrointestinal tract from oesophagus to rectum and are called the entericContinue reading “Growing evidence for anatomical Mind-Gut link”

AntiVitamins against Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs

By Harit Phowatthanasathian  “Anti” meaning against and “biotic” meaning living things, the combination, antibiotics, translates to “against living things”, or more specifically microbes. The word antibiotics, today, encompasses any drug that combats bacteria, fungi, and parasites, and was properly utilized starting in 1928 (The History of Antibiotics, 2019). The infamous Alexander Fleming, well-known for hisContinue reading “AntiVitamins against Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs”

Alternative Start Codons: Non-AUG Translation

By Jessica Lu Although the most common start codon is AUG, translation initiation can also occur at other codons with a much lower efficiency. Usually, alternative start codons only differ from AUG by one nucleotide (e.g. CUG, GUG and UUG) (Kearse & Wilusz, 2017). Alternative start codons are used by both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, thoughContinue reading “Alternative Start Codons: Non-AUG Translation”

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”