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?”

A Fiery Death: Diving into the Mechanisms of Pyroptosis

By Sarah Choi Cell death is required in growth. While cell survival and proliferation are undoubtedly important for development, cell death and its regulation also play a fundamental role in monitoring and controlling cell populations. Research efforts have therefore endeavoured to elucidate the specific mechanisms involved in cell death.   Cell death occurs in an ever-increasingContinue reading “A Fiery Death: Diving into the Mechanisms of Pyroptosis”

Epigenetics in cancer stem cells: mechanism, characteristics, and therapies

By Chuyue Zhang Since their discovery as a key tumour-initiating subset of cancer cells, cancer stem cells (CSCs) have attracted considerable interest. They are a population that contributes to intratumor heterogeneity with self-renewal ability, intrinsic therapy resistance, and the capability to give rise to differentiated progeny (O’Flaherty et al., 2012). Along with genetic determinants andContinue reading “Epigenetics in cancer stem cells: mechanism, characteristics, and therapies”

CIITA – The Master Regulator Gene

By Daniella Gimbosh The Class II Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC-II) Transactivator gene, or CIITA gene, has earned the name of the “master regulator gene” – and rightfully so. CIITA, and its gene product, the CIITA protein, is known as the ‘master regulator’ of MHC-II gene transcription, which, in turn, codes for the MHC-II molecules presentContinue reading “CIITA – The Master Regulator Gene”

The Genetic basis to ‘superhuman’ traits.

By Easha Vigneswaran The human genome is massive but as humans we still share almost 98% of our genetic material. The interesting part about our DNA is how just 2% in genomic differences is the reason for the vast genetic diversity we observe in human populations. Understanding these differences has governed years of research and scientificContinue reading “The Genetic basis to ‘superhuman’ traits.”