The memory of mitochondria: Is stress genetic?

By Martina Torcè Living creatures have developed a plethora of defensive mechanisms to increase their chances of survival, some of which are able to be passed down, generation to generation, through an organism’s genetic makeup. The survival advantage conferred to offspring is that upcoming challenges may be easier to handle. Can this concept be appliedContinue reading The memory of mitochondria: Is stress genetic?

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.

What can a cell use vesicles for?

By Pia Skok A special feature of all eukaryotic cells is that they are compartmentalized. In other words, they are divided into many smaller, membrane enclosed organelles that contain specific molecules and thus perform a specific function.1 An example of such compartment are vesicles, sacs enclosed by a lipid bilayer. Although they have a veryContinue reading “What can a cell use vesicles for?”

Human cell atlas: mapping the building blocks of life

By Ellie Fung In 2003, the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP) marked a major milestone in biological research. The collaborative efforts of research groups worldwide, later boosted by the development of next-generation sequencing technologies, culminated in the first fully sequenced human reference genome.¹ Since then, the HGP has transformed research in human biologyContinue reading Human cell atlas: mapping the building blocks of life

Using honey DNA to detect counterfeits

By Heiloi Yip Honey needs no introduction as a versatile food product that you or I may use in our everyday lives, from being dissolved in tea or lightly drizzled on some pancakes. Not only is honey a nutrient- and energy-rich substance, but it also has antibacterial properties and various health benefits. For example, honeyContinue reading “Using honey DNA to detect counterfeits”

Lamin proteins and their roles in nuclear structural support, cell morphology and ageing

By Andres Hernandez Maduro Intracellular metabolic proteins are fundamental to the viability of life, and none are arguably more important than those involved in DNA regulation and maintenance. Nuclear lamin proteins, required for structural support of the nucleus and DNA repair, are just as significant. Nuclear lamins are a subset of intermediate filament proteins thatContinue reading Lamin proteins and their roles in nuclear structural support, cell morphology and ageing

The role of circular RNA in cancer formation and progression

By Victoria Zhang Within the non-coding RNA family, circular RNAs(circRNAs) is a novel endogenous class that forms a covalently closed ring structure without 3’ and 5’ ends. Due to their lack of free ends, circRNAs have high stability and resistance to RNase degradation.1 This high stability enables them to be evolutionarily conserved and present widelyContinue reading “The role of circular RNA in cancer formation and progression”

The protein memory: how keratins control embryonic cell fate

By Andres Hernandez Maduro The process of cell specialisation is intricate and dynamic, varying across cell types. Pathways for stem cell differentiation are dependent on both their surrounding extracellular matrix and mitotic parent. However, the exact process of controlling cell fate is less certain – so how does a fertilised egg know to become aContinue reading The protein memory: how keratins control embryonic cell fate

Targeting complement pathways in Immunoglobulin: a nephropathy therapeutic treatment 

By Clarice Tse Immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN), also known as Berger’s disease, is the most common glomerulonephritis worldwide and a vital cause of renal failure, especially in southeast asian countries. Characterised by the deposition of galactose-deficient Immunoglobulin A1 (IgA1) on the kidney glomerulus, IgAN was found to be in association with a life expectancy reductionContinue reading Targeting complement pathways in Immunoglobulin: a nephropathy therapeutic treatment 

Gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease: a way forward?

By Elisa Botting Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder with no current cure. The disease results in the loss of neurons responsible for the release of dopamine (termed dopaminergic neurons) in the substantia nigra – a region of the brain’s basal ganglia which is important for movement¹ . Its progressive nature means that symptoms likeContinue reading Gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease: a way forward?