Currently, there is much interest in the ageing brain and how people can take measures to counteract the decline in mental function that appears to be an inevitable consequence of growing older. The World Health Organization predicts that between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population aged over 60 will nearly double, from 12% to 22%. So more people are living for longer, meaning that age-related disease and disability is a major and escalating concern for society.
The term ‘cognitive decline’ is often used to describe the deterioration in some aspects of brain function that occurs with age. Dementia is used to define a decline in mental ability that is severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is characterized by memory loss and by difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or communicating. There are several causes of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common type, followed by vascular dementia. Continue reading →
By Anastasia Stefanidou, Communications Officer, Biochemical Society
According to the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in 2015/2016 stress accounted for 37% of all work-related ill health. It’s time for employers to support their staff and invest in giving people the techniques and guidance on how to cope with stressful situations.
To raise awareness of and encourage discussion around the issue, The Physiological Society held a “Under Pressure: Making sense of stress” panel discussion on Tuesday, 21 February 2017.
The Physiological Society is devoting all of 2017 to ‘Making Sense of Stress’ across all areas – events, outreach, education, policy, and communications – with the general aim of emphasizing the contribution, past and current, of physiology to our understanding of stress. Continue reading →
By Helen Thompson, Daphne Jackson Fellow, Durham University
A friend and ex-lab mate has just started volunteering in a lab to update her CV and commented to me “it’s like coming home isn’t it?”, I couldn’t agree more. With my borrowed lab coat on, agar media bottle rattling on the plate in the microwave while it melts and the hum of the flow hood in the background, after 12 years away from the lab it really does feel like a homecoming. I’m very grateful for my former career, as a secondary school teacher which provided me with a stable income and let me raise my son but it just wasn’t the bee’s knees for me. So now that my son towers above me the Biochemical Society and Daphne Jackson Trust have sponsored me to return to plant biology research at Durham University Department of Biosciences working in Professor Keith Lindsey’s group. Continue reading →
By Benjamin Simpson, Shenfield High School, Essex, UK
When I arrived at the lab, the first thing I noticed was how casual everything was. Even the principal investigator arrived at about 11am. I expected to find a strict regime of when to arrive, what to do and what to wear. Anna and Nikki were my supervisors in the Attwell lab at University College London. My project involved using zebrafish to investigate the development of myelin (a substance which is wrapped around neurons to increase conductivity). Zebrafish are especially useful because they are transparent allowing us to view the development under a microscope without harming the fish or embryo. On the first day of my placement they were only a few hours post fertilisation and so were still just a bundle of cells on a yolk. I learnt how to maintain the embryos through filtering out the dead ones and changing the water. Continue reading →
By Nina Cromeyer Dieke, Digital Content Editor, Longitude Prize, Nesta
To say young people’s attention is constantly being pulled in various directions is an understatement, given the array of information available to them 24/7. This is pretty much true for all age groups, I think, but young people tend to be the target audience given their still open and sponge-like minds. So how do we tell kids and teens about antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a fairly complex microbiological concept?