The Genetic basis to ‘superhuman’ traits.

By Easha Vigneswaran The human genome is massive but as humans we still share almost 98% of our genetic material. The interesting part about our DNA is how just 2% in genomic differences is the reason for the vast genetic diversity we observe in human populations. Understanding these differences has governed years of research and scientificContinue reading “The Genetic basis to ‘superhuman’ traits.”

How urbanisation shapes evolution

By Rachel Chan Around half the world’s population lives in an urban area: packed in cities that make up 0.5% of our planet’s surface (Ritchie & Roser, 2018; Schneider, Friedl & Potere, 2009). For the flora and fauna in urban areas, life is dramatically altered compared to that of their wild, non-urban counterparts. After all,Continue reading “How urbanisation shapes evolution”

How are drugs broken down inside our bodies?

By Yuchen Lin When we are ill, we take various kinds of drugs to fight against the disease. But after drugs exert their functions, how do our bodies get rid of them? Lots of drugs are toxic to most of the cells in our body. If we do not detoxify them after they’ve done theirContinue reading “How are drugs broken down inside our bodies?”

Language learning and the brain

By Anastasia Alenova Due to globalisation, many cultures and languages are mixing, leading to an inevitable rapid rise of bilingualism. Nowadays, the majority of people speak more than one language over their lifetime, with many sources claiming that bilingual language learning confers unique patterns of neurofunctional activity and anatomical changes. Such a claim is unsurprising,Continue reading “Language learning and the brain”

Xenobots: Tiny blobs with massive potential

By Heiloi Yip When asked to envision the future of biotechnology, one might think of a couple common images. Some may think about synthetic organisms using tissue pieced together from different species to form a ‘Frankenstein’s monster’. Others may think about a swarm of tiny robots that work together like ants might do, performing aContinue reading “Xenobots: Tiny blobs with massive potential”

Sleep Deprivation on a Genetic Level

By Ng Chi Wai, Jessie We all know night owls – people who would stay up until 3 a.m. to cram in all their coursework, or perhaps for no reason at all. Some of us are night owls by choice, some are not. Around 15-20% of workers in Europe and the USA are required toContinue reading “Sleep Deprivation on a Genetic Level”

Demystifying Polar Gigantism: The Oxygen-Temperature Hypothesis

By Wang Jia Hua Gigantism is a natural phenomenon which has long fascinated biologists, but its underlying mechanisms remain contentious and elusive. Examples of gigantism include insular gigantism and abyssal gigantism, in which certain island dwelling or deep-sea dwelling species are considerably greater in size than their mainland or shallow-water counterparts, respectively. Indeed, gigantism isContinue reading “Demystifying Polar Gigantism: The Oxygen-Temperature Hypothesis”

A Poorer Purpose: The Influence of Vested Interests

By Ethan Sim Impartiality is a cornerstone of scientific inquiry (Lacey, 1997), and undergirds science’s ability to accurately inform human understanding and policy (Oliver & Boaz, 2019). Scientific impartiality is often juxtaposed against vested interests – secondary goals which diverge from the primary aim of elucidating truth (Babor, Miller & Edwards, 2010). When these interestsContinue reading “A Poorer Purpose: The Influence of Vested Interests”

Scar Formation and Treatment

By Jessica Lu Scarring of the skin can be caused by burns, surgery, and injury. In severe cases, it causes patients long-term functional and psychological problems. In the developed world, it is estimated that 100 million patients acquire scars from surgery every year. Many burns also leave scars and painful contractures which need major surgeryContinue reading “Scar Formation and Treatment”

The Impact of Tuberculosis on our Human Genome

By Chloe Teng Infectious diseases have long been a threat to the health of global populations, but no single infectious agent has rivalled the deadliness of tuberculosis (TB). Caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis, it reached epidemic proportions in European and North American regions in the 18th century, resulting in a mortality rate as highContinue reading “The Impact of Tuberculosis on our Human Genome”