The “Immortality Enzyme”: Human Telomerase Holoenzyme as a potential anti-cancer therapeutic target

By Alice Barocco Human Telomerase Holoenzyme, most known as Telomerase and often regarded as the “Immortality enzyme”, is a cellular reverse transcriptase comprised of protein subunits and RNA.1 The enzyme can be pictured as a molecular motor: its role is to add new stretches of DNA, more specifically a “TTAGGG” sequence, onto the ends ofContinue reading The “Immortality Enzyme”: Human Telomerase Holoenzyme as a potential anti-cancer therapeutic target

Manipulating the Genetic Alphabet – Molecular Biology

By Easha Vigneswaran Biology is governed by one of the key laws that illustrate the idea that the genetic code consists of four nucleotide bases where adenine bonds with thymine and guanine with cytosine. For years, synthetic biologists have theorised and tested the possibility of increasing the number of DNA bases. In the last fewContinue reading Manipulating the Genetic Alphabet – Molecular Biology

Coronin-1B and Its Role in Cell Migration Within Glioblastoma Multiforme Metastasis

By Daniella Gimbosh Cancer is a destructive disease that has been devastating humankind since time immemorial. Cancer exists in a myriad of different forms within almost any tissue type, thus proving to be even more difficult to research. Importantly, cancer cells have specific properties that allow them to spread, or metastasize, to secondary locations. TheContinue reading “Coronin-1B and Its Role in Cell Migration Within Glioblastoma Multiforme Metastasis”

The promising action of DHA as a tumour killer

By Lucia Friscioni Essential fats, such as dietary omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FAs), have considerable health benefits and are much pursued by the nutritiously conscious. However, the human body cannot produce these fats naturally and is reliant on an appropriate diet. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), for example, is a well-studied omega-3 that is essential for brainContinue reading The promising action of DHA as a tumour killer

Polyploidy in Hepatocytes

By Jessica Lu Hepatocytes are the major cell type in the human liver, making up 70% of all liver cells. They are main contributors to liver functions such as metabolic homeostasis, synthesis, storage, distribution, and detoxification of xenobiotic compounds (Wang et al., 2017). Unlike typical cells which are diploid, mature mammalian hepatocytes are polyploid (WangContinue reading “Polyploidy in Hepatocytes”

IMMUNE BOOSTING: Fact or fiction

By Pia Skok “Boost your immune system today, Shield your body from infections, Strengthen your immune system to fight disease, …” These are only a few of the headlines circling the internet with companies claiming their products can boost our immune system and protect us from various diseases. The idea of strengthening our immune systemContinue reading “IMMUNE BOOSTING: Fact or fiction”

Repurposing a Drug to Treat Osteosarcoma

By Sashini Ranawana  The increasing feasibility of sequencing whole human genomes has enabled the identification of genetic risk factors for numerous cancers and illnesses. Sequence variations in the BRCA1 gene have been firmly linked to ovarian and breast cancer, mutations in the RUNX1 gene predispose individuals to develop acute myeloid leukaemia, while the presence of the E4 allele for the apolipoprotein E is associated with Alzheimer’sContinue reading “Repurposing a Drug to Treat Osteosarcoma”

Bioadhesive hydrogels: making stem cell patches possible?

By Martina Torcè Stem cell treatments have witnessed a surge in development during the last two decades. What makes these treatments so desirable is the opportunity to use the patient’s own cells, which removes the need for immunosuppressants, which greatly improves the patients’ quality of life post-treatment. Stem cells can be reprogrammed into a varietyContinue reading “Bioadhesive hydrogels: making stem cell patches possible?”

Food of the Gods: The use of chocolate in medicine

By Shahnia Surendran Seen nowadays as an indulgence, for years, chocolate has been negatively associated with obesity, dental caries and, generally, an unhealthy lifestyle. However, historically, chocolate is much more than just a guilty pleasure. With its origins traced back to 1750 BC, having been discovered by the Olmec people in Mesoamerica (Lippi, 2015), itContinue reading “Food of the Gods: The use of chocolate in medicine”

Trained immunity: is there an innate immunological memory?

By Iulia Kis For the longest time, the immune system has been divided into its innate and adaptive arms. One of the major distinguishing factors between the two is that the adaptive immune system very clearly develops immunological memory. This means that upon re-challenge with the same pathogen, the host’s immune response will be muchContinue reading “Trained immunity: is there an innate immunological memory?”