Emerging techniques in characterising AAV vectors for gene therapy

By Charlotte Cheung Adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) have emerged as vectors for gene therapy. However, sensitive and high-throughput analytical techniques are needed to efficiently characterise AAV products to ensure their safety and quality. Alongside traditional techniques such as ELISAs and qPCRs, modern techniques including mass photometry and SEC-MALS have shown to generate comparable and even superiorContinue reading “Emerging techniques in characterising AAV vectors for gene therapy”

Magic mushrooms: a new cure for treatment-resistant depression?

By Sunaina Borkar Over the past few decades, depression has become increasingly prevalent around the world. Although ongoing scientific research has made great strides in the development of effective and accessible mental health treatments, tackling a specific type of depression known as treatment-resistant depression has been a challenge. Treatment-resistant depression currently affects 100 million people,Continue reading “Magic mushrooms: a new cure for treatment-resistant depression?”

Why drinking coffee wakes you up

By Alice de Bernardy Caffeine is considered to be the most widely used drug in the world.1 It is found in many dietary components of our daily lives: not only in coffee and tea, either, but also in soft drinks and even chocolate. While a typical cup of coffee contains around 100 mg of caffeine, its consumption variesContinue reading “Why drinking coffee wakes you up”

Metabolic engineering for drug discovery 

By Jenny Tang Metabolic engineering can be best defined as manipulating a combination of genetic and regulatory processes within cells to increase production of a product. Although chemical synthesis was originally widely used to synthesize new pharmaceuticals, natural products have evolved for purposes other than human therapeutics. Using metabolic engineering, scientists can accelerate the productionContinue reading Metabolic engineering for drug discovery “

A review of erythropoietin and its use in doping

By Anaya Sirothia Upon hearing the term ‘doping’ in sports, many recall the drug scandal involving Lance Armstrong in 2012, or perhaps the disqualification of Festina from 1998’s Tour de France.1 As the news coverage focused primarily on the athletes themselves and the implications of the doping on their respective sports, the science behind theseContinue reading “A review of erythropoietin and its use in doping”

An introduction into NK cell cancer immunotherapy – Pharmaceuticals

By Easha Vigneswaran Cancer, one of the most difficult diseases to treat, is at the forefront of the pharmaceutical world for the development of treatments. From drugs to monoclonal antibodies, all forms of therapy are being tested with many having vast amounts of success. However, inevitably, there are also many cancers that are becoming increasinglyContinue reading An introduction into NK cell cancer immunotherapy – Pharmaceuticals”

An introduction to HIV treatments

By Allis Lai Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality across the globe. The retrovirus attacks the immune system, leading to loss of functional T cells and causing an increased risk of infections, bone disease, kidney and liver dysfunction, and other complications. The virus is transmitted viaContinue reading An introduction to HIV treatments

Are COVID jabs the best way to protect children?

By Jasper Kan Since it’s first recorded outbreak in China, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) has wreaked havoc among humanity, bringing numerous casualties and the world to a standstill. While many (including governments) believe indiscriminate vaccination is the only way out, others doubt the unknown effects that a novel vaccine exerts. This doubt is particularly concerning for theContinue reading “Are COVID jabs the best way to protect children?”

siRNAs: the future of cholesterol management?

By Allis Lai On September 1, 2021, NICE approved inclisiran, a new siRNA drug for patients with primary hypercholesterolaemia or mixed dyslipidaemia.1 This is a big step forward for RNA therapeutics, a field that has been rapidly gaining traction in the past two decades. Small interfering RNA, known in short as siRNA, is a shortContinue reading siRNAs: the future of cholesterol management?

Cucurbitacin – a poison or a medicine?

By Fiona Zhang Ever wondered why cucumbers and zucchinis can have a bitter taste? Try slicing off both ends of a cucumber and rubbing the flesh-exposed face of one sliced end with that of the cucumber. Soon you will extract a white foamy substance. Eat the cucumber after this, and the cucumber will no longerContinue reading “Cucurbitacin – a poison or a medicine?”