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.”

CRISPR – the original „vaccine” and what it can teach us about fighting viral infections

By Monika Berezowska Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats – six words that rapidly gained popularity in 2015 and according to Google Trends overtook even Drake’s hit single – “Hotline Bling”. This phrase however dates back to 2004 and initially had little to do with its current applications. First used in the context of yoghurt production,Continue reading “CRISPR – the original „vaccine” and what it can teach us about fighting viral infections”

Understanding autoinflammation

By Kai Yee Eng Our immune system detects, identifies, and removes pathogens or any potential threats. One of the characteristics of the immune system which allows its function is the ability to differentiate between  foreign molecules and healthy cells. However, when the immune system fails to distinguish between the two and is erroneously activated, theContinue reading “Understanding autoinflammation”

Sleep Deprivation on a Genetic Level

By Ng Chi Wai, Jessie We all know night owls – people who would stay up until 3 a.m. to cram in all their coursework, or perhaps for no reason at all. Some of us are night owls by choice, some are not. Around 15-20% of workers in Europe and the USA are required toContinue reading “Sleep Deprivation on a Genetic Level”

The Impact of Tuberculosis on our Human Genome

By Chloe Teng Infectious diseases have long been a threat to the health of global populations, but no single infectious agent has rivalled the deadliness of tuberculosis (TB). Caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis, it reached epidemic proportions in European and North American regions in the 18th century, resulting in a mortality rate as highContinue reading “The Impact of Tuberculosis on our Human Genome”

The Science Behind “Asian Flush”

By Jackie Man About 540 million people around the world – 8% of the world population and approximately 36% of East Asians (Japanese, Chinese and Koreans) – have a common characteristic physiological reaction to drinking alcohol in the form of turning red. Though this flushing response may seem like a mere social inconvenience, a farContinue reading “The Science Behind “Asian Flush””

The Clinical Relevance of Fusion Genes

By Shivani Rajhansa Deletions, duplications, inversions, and translocations in chromosome structure all represent chromosomal rearrangements in the genome. The genomic instability and mutagenic tendencies observed in many cancers may be a result such chromosomal rearrangements. These genomic changes are often associated with the altered expression of oncogenes or tumour suppressor genes, and the dysregulation andContinue reading “The Clinical Relevance of Fusion Genes”