The Gut Microbiome in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Implications for Treatment

By Malini Williams Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic autoinflammatory disease affecting the gastrointestinal tract. The two most common forms of IBD are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis is characterized by continuous inflammation in the colon which is mostly confined to the mucosa and sub-mucosa. In contrast, Crohn’s disease can affect anyContinue reading “The Gut Microbiome in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Implications for Treatment”

Bowel Cancer and the Microbiome

By Daniella Gimbosh Cancer is an extremely broad category of diseases caused by the uncontrollable growth of dividing cells, and novel treatment therapies are constantly being investigated by scientists around the world. One of these novel areas of research focuses on the microbiome – a field that is rapidly gaining momentum for its complexity andContinue reading “Bowel Cancer and the Microbiome”

What lives on our skin? – the skin microbiome

By Ashley Lai We all know that skin is an important barrier of the immune system, but do we realise it is actually the largest epithelial interaction site with microbes – at least 30m2 when taking into account all the appendage structures. (Gallo, 2017) The different microenvironments of the skin such as pH and moistureContinue reading “What lives on our skin? – the skin microbiome”

Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and small activating RNA (saRNAs) in cancer therapy

By Chuyue Zhang Cancer is one of the most prevalent diseases and the second leading cause of death in the world (Chalbatani et al.,2019). Recently, using RNA interference (RNAi) and RNA activation (RNAa) for cancer treatment is in the research spotlight. RNAi refers to the sequence-specific gene silencing by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) which is homologous toContinue reading “Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and small activating RNA (saRNAs) in cancer therapy”

Circadian Rhythm and Viral Infection : A Battle Around the Clock

By Lingyi Wang  The Earth’s self-rotation around its axis generates rhythmic day/night cycles and a circadian rhythm of 24 hours, forming the concept of a ‘day’. Virtually all organisms have evolved endogenous timekeeping systems, namely the circadian clock, to help adapt to this day/night oscillation by coordinating biological processes and behaviours in a daily rhythmicContinue reading “Circadian Rhythm and Viral Infection : A Battle Around the Clock”

The poisonous bacteria: Pseudomonas aeruginosa

By Nitara Wijayatilake Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen, taking advantage of existing infections to cause extreme detriment to immune-suppressed individuals. With respect to its classification, it is a gram-negative alpha-proteobacteria and 10% of its genome is made up of regulatory genes, influencing its highly adaptable nature. This bacteria has a wide host range but researchContinue reading “The poisonous bacteria: Pseudomonas aeruginosa”

How the gut microbiota affects neurological disorders: An Insight into Parkinson’s Disease

By Yuki Agarwala Our gut is home to approximately 100 trillion bacteria, both good and bad, which are collectively known as the gut microbiota (Can gut bacteria, 2016). This represents 10 times the number of cells in the human body, and a stunning 3 million genes. Interestingly, only around 1~3% of these bacteria are commonContinue reading “How the gut microbiota affects neurological disorders: An Insight into Parkinson’s Disease”

Which Diets make the Gut Happiest?

By Katherine Bethell It is widely accepted that diet has a strong correlation with health and disease.  A healthy diet which is considered high in fibre, reduces the risk of inflammatory diseases such as asthma whilst also lowering the likelihood of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases (Thorburn A et al., 2014). Diet has a large impactContinue reading “Which Diets make the Gut Happiest?”

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”

BAX, a new target for cancer therapy?

By Themis Halka Cancer remains in today’s society a great challenge for scientists, doctors and patients. Even though numerous cancers can be treated with relatively good outcomes via surgery (radiotherapy and chemotherapy), these techniques are not miraculous and come with important side effects. Intensive research targets the development of new ways to treat cancer, usingContinue reading “BAX, a new target for cancer therapy?”