SARS-CoV-2: What makes it different?

By Vaenya Singhal A novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infectious disease, COVID-19, broke out in Wuhan (China) in December 2019 and has gained rapid momentum since. The outbreak was declared as a global pandemic by the WHO in March 2020, and as of 15th September, the total number of COVID cases reported are skyrocketing at 29.2 million.Continue reading “SARS-CoV-2: What makes it different?”

How HIV is controlled naturally in 0.5% of the infected population

By Shivani Rajhansa  The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic became rampant in the mid-late 1970s (History of HIV and AIDS overview, 2019) and almost 33 million people have died since then (HIV/AIDS, 2020). HIV acts by destroying CD4+ T lymphocytes which weakens the immune system and makes it difficult for the body to fight infectionsContinue reading “How HIV is controlled naturally in 0.5% of the infected population”

The Sourdough Community: The Unseen Complexity of Bread

By Ellie Fung Before lockdown, baking sourdough bread was seen as an intimidating and finicky art mostly reserved for professional bakers and committed enthusiasts. Now, thousands of quarantined individuals have taken on the challenge to create their own artisan loaves. Like commercial bread, yeast is a crucial factor behind a successful bake, but what setsContinue reading “The Sourdough Community: The Unseen Complexity of Bread”

Microplastics: a growing environmental concern

By Ching Nam Wong (Jimmy) Plastics are one of the most abundant materials being used daily. Plastics are based on polymers and are processed by different chemical additives which give the plastic different properties suitable for use in cosmetics, clothing, and industrial processes. ‘Microplastics’, or plastics that are less than 5mm in diameter, often polluteContinue reading “Microplastics: a growing environmental concern”

PCR and its usages in microbiology

By Jenny Tang PCR, also known as polymerase chain reaction, is a method involving the use of a small amount of DNA to create large quantities of DNA. There are numerous advantages to using PCR, which makes it ideal for many purposes. PCR requires only a small trace of DNA to work with to createContinue reading “PCR and its usages in microbiology”

The Hidden Life of Snow and Ice

By Cara Burke Nowadays, it is well known that microorganisms reside in ice environments, but this discovery came after many years of assuming that these cold and often harsh environments could not sustain much microbial life. We now know that there is a great amount microbe biodiversity in glacial ice, and we are beginning toContinue reading “The Hidden Life of Snow and Ice”

Horizontal gene transfer in eukaryotes

By Heiloi Yip The conventional image of the evolution of life is often portrayed by the imagery of a tree with many diverging branches, with lineages dividing along the tree. As such, a lineage is only ever connected to a point where another nearby lineage has branched off. There are times, however, when two branchesContinue reading “Horizontal gene transfer in eukaryotes”

The Emergence of Multiple Drug-Resistant Malaria along the Thailand/Myanmar Border

By Sashini Ranawana        The bite of a single mosquito can most often spell disaster. In the socially fragmented and culturally dynamic central border region separating Thailand from Myanmar, this is a widely accepted reality.  Regional social factors have exacerbated the rate and severity of malarial infections, namely those by the Plasmodium falciparum andContinue reading “The Emergence of Multiple Drug-Resistant Malaria along the Thailand/Myanmar Border”

A potential link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s

Isabelle Hall For decades, the predominant hypotheses for the cause of Alzheimer’s disease have centred around the accumulation of amyloid and tau protein in the brain. Research into Alzheimer’s treatments have focused on the amyloid hypothesis. This theory postulates that a failure to degrade amyloid β peptides, and consequentially the formation of amyloid fibrils andContinue reading “A potential link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s”

The Sourdough Community: The Unseen Complexity of Bread

By Ellie Fung Before a coronavirus-imposed lockdown, baking sourdough bread was seen as an intimidating and finicky art mostly reserved for professional bakers and committed enthusiasts. Now, thousands of quarantined individuals have taken on the challenge to create their own artisan loaves. Like commercial bread, yeast is a crucial factor behind a successful bake, butContinue reading “The Sourdough Community: The Unseen Complexity of Bread”