The Relationship Between Inflammation and Mental Sluggishness

Ellie Teng ‘21 Mental sluggishness or ‘brain fog’ is often comorbid with inflammation, the body’s response to  an illness. Previous research has shown the negative impact of inflammation on the brain’s alert state. Although it is still unclear as to how inflammation impacts specific processes of the brain, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Birmingham evaluated the impact of mild acute inflammation … Continue reading The Relationship Between Inflammation and Mental Sluggishness

The Role of A Recently Discovered Protein in Obesity

Ellie Teng ‘21 Progesterone receptor membrane component 2 (PGRMC2) is a signaling protein found in various parts of the body including the uterus and liver. While it is highly expressed in fat tissue, it is also found in especially high levels in brown fat and is required for thermogenesis, the conversion of food into body heat. Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute took this knowledge … Continue reading The Role of A Recently Discovered Protein in Obesity

CRISPR Editing in Fruit Flies to Mimic Monarch Butterflies

Ellie Teng ‘21 Monarch butterflies can consume toxic milkweed plants due to mutations in their genome. Both the caterpillar and the butterfly store the consumed toxins to defend against predators. Eating a monarch would cause a predator to regurgitate. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have utilized the CRISPR-Cas9 tool to genetically modified harmless fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) to have the ability to eat … Continue reading CRISPR Editing in Fruit Flies to Mimic Monarch Butterflies

Viruses in Koalas Can Be Models for Genome Immunity

Ellie Teng ‘21 Retroviruses such as HIV are viruses that take genes from host cells and incorporate them into their own genomes. Transposons are DNA elements that can change positions in the genome, increasing the potential for mutations and genome instability. Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) guide the immune system towards silencing the transposons during germline development. Koalas infected by the retrovirus KoRV-A virus are immunodeficient and … Continue reading Viruses in Koalas Can Be Models for Genome Immunity

Eating Junk Food Leads to Blindness

Ellie Teng ’21 A case report presented a 14 year old male adolescent with “fussy” eating habits feeling fatigued. Scientists from Bristol Medical School and the Bristol Eye Hospital performed tests that showed anemia and low levels of vitamin B12 but the patient was otherwise well. At 15, he was suffering from hearing loss and not long after, deteriorating vision. He was referred to an … Continue reading Eating Junk Food Leads to Blindness

The Genetic Role of Left-Handedness

Ellie Teng ’21 90% of the population are right- handed, so what is different about individuals who are left- handed? Handedness was previously known to be partially affected by the genome; twin studies showed that genes account for about 25% of the variation in handedness. Researchers at the University of Oxford sought to connect the genetic difference to areas of the brain that control language. … Continue reading The Genetic Role of Left-Handedness