Using Hunger to Suppress Pain

By Marcia-Ruth Ndege ‘21 Much is known about how the brain communicates needs such as thirst, hunger, pain, and fear. However, little is known about how the brain prioritizes such needs. In the context of pain, researchers must examine both acute and inflammatory pain. Acute pain is a reflexive response, while inflammatory pain is mediated…

New Findings in Telomerase Activity and the Potential for Immortality

By Marcia-Ruth Ndege ‘21 The telomerase enzyme catalytic cycle limits the telomerase enzymes’ ability to synthesize specific DNA segments of six nucleotides called repeats. These repeats, known as telomeres, are protective caps that prevent the destabilization of the genome by lengthening the ends of chromosomes. However, these protective caps shorten every time a cell divides.…

Intelligence in the HTT Gene

By Daniel Walocha ‘19 Huntington’s Disease is caused by a trinucleotide repeat of the HTT gene. The wild type has a repeat ranging from 10 to 35, but beyond 39 repeats causes the disease characterized by significant impairments in the basal ganglia and neurodegeneration. The CAG repeats in the HTT gene cause the production of…

Long Non-Coding RNA NEAT1 Analysis

By Daniel Walocha ‘19 Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) serve normal cell functions in growth, differentiation, and controlled cell death. The lncRNA’s are modulated in cancer cells to provide a pro-survival, oncogenic role in many different types of cancer. However, lncRNA’s have also been seen, when unchanged, to provide tumor suppressive activities in normal cells. Nuclear…

CD133’s Role in Esophageal Cancer Cells

By Daniel Walocha ‘19 CD133 is a biomarker for cancer stem cells (CSC) in esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCC). Cancer cells have remarkable resistance to drugs and therapies, so discovering a potential therapeutic target to make the CSCs in ESCC more susceptible to treatment is of particular interest. Dr. Wen Xu et al. from Columbia…