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.

Hibernating humans

By Themis Halka Humans can’t hibernate – yet. Hibernation is a mechanism that evolved in numerous species, presenting clear advantages in terms of energy conservation.1 Winter hibernation, whilst naturally occurring in various animals, is not a desirable option for humans. However, being able to artificially enter hibernation could present great opportunities, particularly for clinical applicationsContinue reading Hibernating humans

Harvesting the microbiota: Faecal Microbiota Transplant

By Kai Yee Eng Our gut is colonized by a group of microorganisms, forming a diverse ecosystem unseen by the naked eye. This colony includes archaea, bacteria, and virus, and they interact with the host in the gut environment, playing a huge role in managing the health of the host.1,2 These tiny organisms bring great impact by involving in key activities suchContinue reading Harvesting the microbiota: Faecal Microbiota Transplant

Osteoarthritis and the difficulties of its treatment

By Sophie Blagg Prevalence of osteoarthritis (OA) is rising worldwide, with an estimated 250 million people affected.1 OA is generally defined as “a disease that affects all the structures of a joint”,2 with symptoms including; severe pain, swelling, reduced mobility, and joint space narrowing.1 These symptoms lead to a lower quality of life in patients,Continue reading Osteoarthritis and the difficulties of its treatment

Understanding Impulsivity: Male vs Female Brain

By Easha Vigneswaran Impulsivity is defined as the acting without forethought. Neurobiologists have been trying to find out what causes such behaviours in humans and how knowledge of this can help clinicians understand disorders such as delinquency, antisocial behaviour associated with suicide and aggression. Scientists have also furthered the question to find out whether thereContinue reading “Understanding Impulsivity: Male vs Female Brain”

Idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury

By Jessica Lu Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is the most common cause of acute liver failure in Europe and in the USA.1 For some drugs such as acetaminophen, DILI is dose-dependent, predictable, and reproducible in preclinical models. However, DILI onset may also be idiosyncratic – characterised by a variable latency to onset (weeks to months)Continue reading Idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury