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”

Lawns: harmless aesthetic or monocultural wastelands?

By Anna Miteniece Quaint two-story house, white picket fence and a sprawling, freshly mown lawn… all familiar symbols of chaste success and The American Dream that have been dominating our cultural landscape almost as pervasively as various turfgrass species have been dominating the modern urban landscape. The contemporary obsession with cultivating monocultural gardens began inContinue reading “Lawns: harmless aesthetic or monocultural wastelands?”

Multiple sclerosis and the potential of monoclonal antibody treatments

By Luciano Marinelli Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune and inflammatory disease affecting myelinated axons in the central nervous system (CNS). With more than 300,000 patients in the US (Goldenberg, 2012), new treatments are constantly being developed to help symptoms, even though there is still no cure. The use of monoclonal antibodies has beenContinue reading “Multiple sclerosis and the potential of monoclonal antibody treatments”

How cancer organoid technology could revolutionize cancer treatment

Yujean Kim It is undeniable that cancer has been one of the most formidable disease throughout these past centuries. Up to this day, it is unfortunately common to see our close friends or family develop cancer as they come to age. Despite of how prevalent this disease has become, we still lack the knowledge andContinue reading “How cancer organoid technology could revolutionize cancer treatment”

What causes the variation in susceptibility to COVID-19?

By Linya Thng Mortality and mortality rates are increasing drastically with age and current health conditions. Through attempts to explain the inconsistent variation in susceptibility of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), a new set of 68 genes (associated with high risk of developing severe COVID-19) reveal important insights. COVID-19, caused by the severely acute respiratory syndromeContinue reading “What causes the variation in susceptibility to COVID-19?”

Eat Insects to Save the World!

By Heiloi Yip Entomophagy is the practice of eating insects as part of a regular diet. Many cultures all around the world practice entomophagy, incorporating insects as a staple into the diets of the indigenous people. Curiously, western culture is the odd-one-out in this regard, where insects are very strongly associated with disgust. This feelingContinue reading “Eat Insects to Save the World!”

The potential medicinal use of psilocybin in the treatment of major depressive disorder

By Morgan Phelps This review article will aim to focus on the potential for the medicinal and therapeutic use of psilocybin to treat major depressive disorder (MDD). The ‘feel good hormone’ serotonin (5-HT) is a neurotransmitter and is believed to play a large role in MDD (Berger et al, 2018). On a basic level, itContinue reading “The potential medicinal use of psilocybin in the treatment of major depressive disorder”