Tilly Potter, Department of Twin Research, King’s College London
I recently began my PhD during which I will be carrying out investigations into the human microbiome – that is, all of the microbes we harbour on and in our bodies and their genetic material. The reasons why I was attracted to this area are likely similar to those of other scientists who have entered this field; microbiome research is still in its relative infancy yet appears to hold enormous potential regarding understanding differences between health and disease, with the number of diseases or adverse health states examined continuing to increase with time. This makes it an incredibly diverse and exciting area to work within! Continue reading →
By Helen Albert, Community & Press Editor, Biochemical Society
It’s that time of year again, short days, long nights, all feeling a bit of the ‘winter blues’ before we all head off to rest and recuperate over the Christmas break. We all know that sunlight can be therapeutic and indeed much of the literature suggests that exposure to sunlight triggers the release of the happiness hormone serotonin.
It seems that the healing powers of light are much broader than simply making us all feel good about ourselves. Earlier this month Li-Huei Tsai and her colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US published a paper in Nature that showed that optogenetic techniques could improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s in a mouse model of the disease. Continue reading →
At the end of May, we announced the winners of our Science Communication Competition. This month the 3rd prize written piece ‘Cancer: a disease of bad luck, or bad lifestyle?’ by Jessica Hardy, who is studying for a DPhil in Pathology at the University of Oxford, was published in the December issue of The Biochemist.
To coincide with the publication of this piece, we asked Johanna Laibe, who is studying for a Masters by Research in structural bioinformatics at Kingston University and is the 3rd prize winner of the video competition, about the inspiration behind her video ‘In between the (beta)-sheets’. Continue reading →
I remember my first exposure to bioengineering vividly. My love for science started in primary school, when I received a gift subscription to weekly science magazine. One Saturday afternoon I sprawled out on my parents’ living room carpet to read an issue about ‘wacky inventions’. I could not believe my eyes when I turned the page to find a mouse with an ear on his back—a human shaped ear!
While many of these tissue engineering and 3D printing applications seem to be the stuff of science fiction; the innovative medical devices and education approaches are real. I am fortunate to be spending this academic year researching biomedical solutions to clinical problems under the mentorship of Dr David Zopf.
To coincide with the publication of this piece, we asked Joe Tickle, the winner of the video competition, about the inspiration behind his winning animation ‘Inflammation and Liver Disease’. Joe is currently studying for a PhD in Immunity and Infection at the University of Birmingham.