Will centenarians soon be the norm? 

By Themis Halka  Over the past few decades, life expectancy has drastically increased worldwide – reaching an average of 71 years old in 20191. This mortality shift has emerged from an overall improvement in living conditions: increased income, nutrition, education, and medical access.2 In a 2002 paper, life expectancies in Sweden and Japan were describedContinue reading Will centenarians soon be the norm? 

Epstein-Virus and Multiple Sclerosis

By Easha Vigneswaran  Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological disease that causes the demyelination of nerves and neurons due to the immune system mistakenly attacking the central nervous system. At present, it is not exactly clear what the direct cause of the disease is, but for 35 years, scientists have hypothesised that previous infectionContinue reading “Epstein-Virus and Multiple Sclerosis”

From rainforest to reef: how loss of apex predators is deconstructing the earth’s biomes

By Evangeline Wilby ‘Flagship’ species are species that are used to gain public attention for conservation efforts because they are likeable organisms that act as ambassadors for their ecosystem.1 These flagship species are often large, notable species that are apex predators and therefore losing them is a much greater issue than loosing ecosystem aesthetic. LosingContinue reading From rainforest to reef: how loss of apex predators is deconstructing the earth’s biomes

Computational Approaches for Drug Repurposing

By Thomas Philpott Due to the slow pace and substantial costs of new drug discovery and development, drug repurposing has become an attractive alternative.1 Drug repurposing is a strategy for identifying new uses for existing drugs, including approved, discontinued and investigational therapeutics.2 The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an urgency for developing new drugs toContinue reading Computational Approaches for Drug Repurposing

Conservation efforts of Australia’s Grey Nurse Shark

By Elisa Botting With the looming anthropogenic driven sixth mass extinction, the extinction of many organisms is becoming increasingly probable. Organisms that require specialised habitats and are strongly affected by the slightest environmental changes are arguably the first victims of the extinction period. Due to its specialised habitat of subtropical to cool temperate waters andContinue reading Conservation efforts of Australia’s Grey Nurse Shark

Alteration of the gut microbiome by anti-diabetic drugs 

By Shiyi Liang Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of people around the world. In the UK, there are more than 3.5 million diagnosed diabetic patients. The capital expenditure on antidiabetic drugs in the UK have increased to a figure of up to £686 million in recent years.1 Type 2 diabetes comprises 90% ofContinue reading Alteration of the gut microbiome by anti-diabetic drugs 

Why comb jellies complicate animal evolution

By Heiloi Yip Ctenophores, also known as comb jellies, are a group of jellyfish-like marine organisms found all over the world’s oceans. The complexity of a ctenophore bodyplan is somewhere between that of simple poriferans (sea sponges) and highly complex bilaterians (animals with bilateral symmetry). By intuition, one might draw a phylogenetic tree with theContinue reading Why comb jellies complicate animal evolution

Potato blight can hijack the plant autophagic system

By Wang Guo Plant pathogens secrete molecules not only to neutralise the immune system of the host, but also to make the host work for them. Oomycota is a group of around 500 species that date back to the Cretaceous period (144 – 66 million years ago). These are unicellular eukaryotic organisms that absorb nutrientsContinue reading Potato blight can hijack the plant autophagic system

Flagellar locomotion: assembly, rotation and variation

By Andres Hernandez Maduro With the ever-fluctuating conditions of our world, it is crucial for biological organisms to be able to adapt and respond to external changes in their environment. This is especially true for bacteria, which face a constant struggle to procure limited resources and compete with the many other microscopic species around them.Continue reading Flagellar locomotion: assembly, rotation and variation

Mum vs Dad – a battle in epigenetics.

By George Young The formation of organisms and their continued development can be attributed partly to DNA, but significant credit also lies with epigenetics. Individuals inherit epigenetic marks from their parents, and also accumulate their own epigenetic modifications in their lifetime. Study of these epigenetic marks and modifications can explore nuanced differences in traits betweenContinue reading Mum vs Dad – a battle in epigenetics.