Inflammation and cancer metastasis

By Kai Yee Eng The immune system is undeniably one of the most complex systems in the human body, functioning to defend us against pathogens and any molecules which might harm our body. One of the key mechanisms of the immune system is inflammation. Through this process, white blood cells such as monocytes and lymphocytesContinue reading “Inflammation and cancer metastasis”

The colour of blood

By Isabelle Hall “For the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11). Through mediation of numerous processes including oxygen transport and waste removal, blood sustains us. Much can be learned about a species through examination of this tissue, and one revealing feature is its hue. Across the animal kingdom, wide variation isContinue reading “The colour of blood”

Reaching the ‘14-day rule’ and Beyond

By Denny Yang Tze Te Modern embryologists have been extensively using mouse embryos as a model to gain insights on human embryonic development. This model system has unique advantages such as short development timing, low phenotypic variability between inbred strains and around 99% of mouse genes have human homolog. However, embryologists believe it is ratherContinue reading “Reaching the ‘14-day rule’ and Beyond”

Botulinum Toxin: The Miracle Poison

By Daniella Gimbosh What is botulinum toxin – the mysterious chemical that has been termed the “miracle poison”? The bacterium Clostridium botulinum is responsible for the production of botulinum toxin, an extremely potent neurotoxin which may lead to poisoning known as botulism (Munchau & Bhatia, 2000). The effects of botulism on motor and parasympathetic functionsContinue reading “Botulinum Toxin: The Miracle Poison”

Autophagy and its role in Cancer

By Clarice Tse The discovery of autophagy and its mechanism in action was elucidated by Yoshinori Ohsumi in the 1990s. As years passed, the expansion of knowledge in autophagy such as its role and function in bioenergetic homeostasis and host defense, and its impact in the study of human health and disease, has put thisContinue reading “Autophagy and its role in Cancer”

Traf3: A potential new target to improve the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy

By Haoyu Li In recent years, cancer immunotherapy has developed rapidly. Immune checkpoint inhibitors activate the patient’s own immune system by targeting and suppressing immune checkpoints, significantly improving the prognosis of many cancer patients. However, most cancer patients are still resistant to immune checkpoint therapy. Among them, the lack or down-regulation of cancer cell antigenContinue reading “Traf3: A potential new target to improve the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy”

Myogenic Progenitors in Skeletal Muscle Regeneration

By Ng Chi Wai, Jessie A century ago, it was discovered that skeletal muscles can regenerate new muscle fibres after being damaged. Alexander Mauro was a great contributor to the understanding of this regeneration process; in 1961, he observed mononuclear cells between the basal lamina surrounding each muscle fibre and its plasma membrane and namedContinue reading “Myogenic Progenitors in Skeletal Muscle Regeneration”

Can nutrigenomics serve up the perfect diet?

By Ellie Fung While it is disputed whether Hippocrates had ever uttered “let food be thy medicine”, there is no denying that food is inextricably linked to health. More recently, it was recognised that food can induce different responses in different individuals, and a subset of the population can benefit from a certain food thatContinue reading “Can nutrigenomics serve up the perfect diet?”

miRNA: interaction between the host and the virus

By Ashley Lai The interaction between host cell miRNAs and the virus is vital for virus pathogenesis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs that regulate the protein expression by mRNA cleavage, degradation and hence repressing their translation (Wahid et al., 2010). Therefore during infections, cellular miRNAs are also involved in regulating their immune response andContinue reading “miRNA: interaction between the host and the virus”