How we navigate using cognitive maps

By Anastasia Alenova Navigating from your student accommodation to university might seem like second nature now, but this route became familiar as you formed a cognitive map of the environment.  A cognitive map is defined as a process of psychological transformations by which an individual acquires, stores, recalls and decodes information about their everyday spatialContinue reading “How we navigate using cognitive maps”

Essential Oils: Treatment or Trend?

By Sophya Yeoh In recent years, alternative medicine has been gaining widespread popularity as a plethora of wellness blogs and magazines praises its effectiveness. One of the most prominent forms of alternative medicine is the use of essential oils for aromatherapy and the claims about their ‘magical’ properties range from bringing mild stress relief toContinue reading “Essential Oils: Treatment or Trend?”

Target, Transfect, Transect – Using CRISPR to Treat HIV

By Sreenidhi Venkatesh Since their discovery in the 1980s, the human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) have taken the medical world by storm due to their ability to induce immune system failure, allowing opportunistic infections and cancers to become even more life-threatening.  Currently, the main form of treatment for HIV is anti-retroviral drugs which target various mechanismsContinue reading “Target, Transfect, Transect – Using CRISPR to Treat HIV”

Parthenogenesis: The phenomenon of virgin birth

By Isabelle Hall The phenomenon of parthenogenesis, also known as ‘virgin birth’ (from the Greek – parthenos, meaning “virgin”, and genesis, meaning “birth” or “origin”), refers to the development of an embryo without fertilisation. This is considered to be another form of asexual reproduction, which includes processes such as binary fission and budding (Dudgeon etContinue reading “Parthenogenesis: The phenomenon of virgin birth”

How plantibodies are revolutionising the world of biopharmaceuticals.

By Easha Vigneswaran The use of plants in medical technology has been exploited by scientists for many years. In the nineties, the discovery plant use to manufacture antibodies provided a new insight into how we can use plants to benefit the pharmaceutical world. Antibodies are complex molecules called immunoglobulins, responsible for the attenuation of pathogenicContinue reading “How plantibodies are revolutionising the world of biopharmaceuticals.”

Novel Insights Into Phosphatidylinositol-mediated Oncogenesis

By Kelly Macdonald-Ramsahai  Lipids are organic molecules with diverse and fundamental biological roles in living cells. For example, lipids are signalling messengers, energy depots, molecular markers and dominate biological membranes. Through these roles, lipid species and related homeostatic pathways orchestrate highly regulated signaling pathways, which coordinate cellular events including cell cycle progression, apoptosis, survival andContinue reading “Novel Insights Into Phosphatidylinositol-mediated Oncogenesis”

The Role of Caffeine in Plants

By Ellie Fung As wild as it may sound, caffeine was not designed to be guzzled upon by sleep-deprived university students. Its stimulant activity is exploited by millions worldwide, whether it be a morning coffee or a late-night Redbull, but much less is known about its function in the plants that produce them. These generaContinue reading “The Role of Caffeine in Plants”

iPS cells and their importance in the future medical field

By MingMing Yang The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was jointly awarded to John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka, for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent. This was when the phrase induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells came into researchers’ attention. Gurdon’s investigations, using frog models back in 1962,Continue reading “iPS cells and their importance in the future medical field”

The Puzzle of Protein Folding

By Ernest Poon In 2003, after 13 years and over $3 billion, the ambitious multinational and multidisciplinary Human Genome Project was completed. Whilst the subsequent conversion of DNA to an amino acid sequence is relatively straightforward, the next step in gene expression – how the amino acid sequence folds to form a polypeptide – isContinue reading “The Puzzle of Protein Folding”

Uncovering the Secret Behind Body Odour

By Anna Huang Like everyone’s genetic makeup, body odour emitted by each individual human is unique to them and is sometimes referred to as ‘odour signature’. Although the word ‘odour’ is mostly associated with a repulsive scent, body odour per se does not smell unpleasant. In fact, body odour and olfactory perception of other humanContinue reading “Uncovering the Secret Behind Body Odour”