Chromatin, the combination of DNA and protein that resides within our nuclei, takes on a variety of forms. These forms vary depending on the type of cell, the stage of a cell’s cycle and environmental conditions. Techniques to pinpoint regions of chromatin contacts within a nucleus have provided great insight into nuclear organisation and the […]Read More Loop it like cohesin
Now, as a scientist, or more technically a biochemist, I spend my days learning about DNA, cells and proteins along with their structure, interactions and functions. Work involves either writing essays, reading papers or learning lab techniques. As a student, I also spend time playing sports, watching films and chilling with friends. So, as a […]Read More What all students MUST read – “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”
Memorising facts for exams these days is not enough anymore. Exam techniques including, pulling out the key points from a question, structuring your answers and the dreaded “thinking outside of the box”, are instead being tested. This added stress can become unbearable, but there are strategies and steps that can be taken to circumvent this. […]Read More Are you looking for NSAA and/or A level Biology/Chemistry tuition?
Regardless of the weather, our bodies have evolved to function optimally at 37 ℃. However, we are an insignificant speck of the vast array of species out there, where many, if not most, species are operating at temperatures that could either freeze or frazzle us! Enzymes are the key players in catalysing the many biochemical […]Read More How do enzymes survive the snow? Adapting adenylate kinase to the cold.
The collection of genes expressed, when they are expressed and how much they are expressed are what give a cell its personality. Consequently, regulating gene expression is very important and there are many molecular mechanisms through which it is achieved. Understanding these mechanisms provides a clearer picture to deciphering what goes wrong in cells when […]Read More Promoters as tumour suppressors: MYC vs. PVT1 for gene expression
With exams on the horizon, you might be starting to panic about that huge list of biological terms that you need to remember. Worst of the lot, the dreaded abbreviations. There are numerous abbreviations in biology; protein names, reagents, chemical compounds and yep, this can turn revision into a logistical nightmare. But it doesn’t have […]Read More How to revise biology: remembering abbreviations
We like DNA… a lot. It holds our genetic information; the heritable part of us that we receive from our forbearers and pass on to our young. But DNA is under attack. Every day a whopping 100,000 or so lesions form in our DNA in just one cell. This is not a problem, most of […]Read More GUARDIN the genome; a lncRNA unites p53, telomeres and miRNAs
mRNA, the gene transcript that awaits translation, is made of many nucleotides of RNA. These RNA nucleotides can be modified and these modifications can have functional consequences that alters the lifespan of mRNA, its localisation or translation efficiency. Modifications can fall into one of two categories; either nucleotides can be individually targeted or several nucleotides […]Read More Putting U in the tail of mRNA
Ribosomes, the protein synthesising machines, keep translating until they reach a stop codon. Stop codons, unlike the previous mRNA codons before them do not code for amino acids ceasing protein production. Sometimes ribosomes misread stop codons and instead keep translating until the next one. What if a cell can exploit this read-through to aid in […]Read More Do ribosomes form queues: tailORFs regulate translation
Translation, the conversion of the mRNA code into a polypeptide, is a very important process, one that by now you’d think we would have sussed. However, it is the way with science that with further experiments and improvements in techniques, our opinions on cellular mechanisms can change. The process of translation involves hundreds of factors, […]Read More Translating into the new year. A new role for eIF4A and more methyl modifications
Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) is basically a fancy term for a technique that allows you to see where a protein of interest binds DNA. It achieves this by crosslinking DNA and protein, chopping up the DNA and then extracting the DNA fragments that are attached to the protein you’re interested in using antibodies. Chen et al. […]Read More ChIPping transcription: how to map R-loops