The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different solutions advertised as ‘hydrating’ on horse red blood cells. The study focused on isotonic drinks and waters. Various isotonic drinks are sold as ‘hydration solutions’ but, given the commercial aspects of marketed products, it is questionable whether the manufacturers create them to be hydrating or whether the drinks are in fact dehydrating in order to make the customer thirstier and want to buy more drinks to quench their thirst.
Why do people age? This has always been an age-old question of humanity. We all know that we do not live forever and that life on our planet will end one day. Life comes with death, but it is a natural process. It is an imposed order that mankind lives up to.
Until the 1970’s, people did not know what telomeres were and what their function is in our organs. Hence, aging had been a mystery. Between 1975 and 1977 Elisabeth Blackburn, a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University, together with Joseph Gail discovered telomeres. Later in 2009 Elisabeth Blackburn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her discovery.
Current diagnostic approaches to neurodegenerative diseases are often flawed as they are often invasive and cannot effectively diagnose early-onset dementia. Antibody-based therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases are very promising but often lack specificity to certain biomarkers and require invasive methods of administration such as a lumbar puncture. In this study I report a novel quantum-dot (QD) conjugated bispecific-antibody (BsAb) diagnosis system designed for Alzheimer’s disease. This structure is easy to synthesize and displays specificity to oligomeric amyloid-beta (Aβ), which is often present before Alzheimer’s symptoms starts to manifest. The bispecific antibody also binds with a weak affinity to transferrin receptors – thus potentially allowing it to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) via receptor-mediated transcytosis and reducing the necessity for extremely- invasive means of administration such as a lumbar puncture. The CdTe/ZnS QDs conjugated to the BsAb have multimodal, non-invasive MRI and fNIR imaging capabilities and also displayed allow cytotoxicity to neuronal cells. The synthesized nanoparticles composed of CdTe/ZnS with a Gd-DOTA doped silica shell also displayed therapeutic properties by immobilizing the toxic oligomeric Aβ and increasing neuronal viability. These novel BsAb-QD structures display promising diagnostic and therapeutic properties and represent an important evolution in neurodegenerative drug design.
I synthesized a novel nanoparticle-bound antibody for the earlier diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease which proves to be less invasive and more accurate in comparison to existing tests of its kind.
Genes located only on the Y chromosome are male specific and are thus not expressed in female cells, which results in gene dependent sex differences. One of the genes located on the Y chromosome and expressed only in male cells is Kdm5d. In our study, the hypothalamus was compared between female and male SF-1 KO, intact WT and gonadectomised WT mice to investigate the genetically and hormonally dependent differences between the expression of the protein encoded by the Kdm5d gene. Standard immunohistochemical staining on floating brain sections was used to visualize the Kdm5d protein and was further analysed under the microscope. Immunoexpression of Kdm5d protein was observed only in WT intact males, but was not detected in any other groups. This observation suggests that the expression of the Kdm5d protein is both genetically and hormonally conditioned. Further experiments with testosterone supplementation should be carried out to confirm our findings.
Neuroscience is a relatively new field of study that explores the brain and the nervous system, the great controllers of our body. This article focuses on the frontal lobes of the brain, expatiating on its functions and how their dysfunction could give rise to various psychological disorders. It also deals with the history of interpretations about the brain, as well as technological modes through which scientists can now examine the brain — e.g. the MRI and the PET scan.
In this article I will explain what RNAi is, the genetic mechanisms behind it and why it deserves the considerable attention it has been receiving. Expanding on these basic mechanisms, I will go onto explore some of the latest RNAi trials involving Huntington’s disease and cancer. I will highlight the complications associated with the treatment of these complex diseases and importantly, why RNAi is seen as a viable therapeutic pathway.
Our world is constantly searching for new energy sources and new mass food supplies due to the constant high demand and so a decrease in their supplies and the answer could be…algae! Algae have the potential to help solve some of these problems. In order to achieve this, however they must be produced at an accelerated rate, and we’re hoping to find out how. We will do this by finding the optimum growth conditions required by the algae and understanding some of their vital growth requirements. This includes the need for a symbiotic relationship with bacteria which may supply Vitamin B12 to the algae. Our experiments will measure the algal growth in different conditions so we can find if algae needs symbiotic conditions to grow fastest.
Essential oils have been known to inhibit bacterial growth so more and more companies are using them in their products as an alternative to ‘harsh chemicals’. We wanted to understand if, with increased usage, bacteria could become resistant to essential oils in a similar way to bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics. This was a useful way to understand the threat of antibiotic resistance. Would bacteria evolve resistance, or adapt? These two possibilities may seem identical however if a bacterial cell were to evolve resistance it will forever have that resistance but if a bacterial cell adapts to the exposure of the essential oils, if you were to remove the bacterium from that environment the resistance would be reduced until it was non-existent. So what we are testing is if they adapt or evolve. We are doing this by putting a strain of E. coli in an environment where it can still grow but at a reduced rate because of the essential oils in its environment which may lead to the E. coli evolving or adapting.
Over the past few years, long held beliefs regarding the value of pre-event stretching have been questioned, and increased attention has centred on the performance of higher-intensity movements during the warm-up period. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the acute effects of two different warm-up protocols on selected fitness measures in Brompton Academy students. Specifically, we compared the effects of two different warm up techniques using either static or dynamic stretching on the standing jump test, the agility t-test and a 20 meter sprint. We found that dynamic stretching was more effective, particularly for exercise involving power and strength.
Our investigation’s aim was to determine whether a sports drink containing glucose would improve athletes’ performance. We took five male students between the ages of 12 15 and, with their consent as well as their parents, conducted a test on them over the course of three weeks. We asked them to take one of three different drinks – Lucozade Sport, orange squash and water – then perform an 800m run. Participants were provided with a different drink each week before they performed the test, which happened a total of three times. The experiment showed that Lucozade Sport increased their performance the most, though our study was quite limited.
Every year hundreds of kit plates containing DNA parts are shipped to Universities and other scientific institutions across the globe as part of the iGEM competition. Teams of undergraduates must utilise these kits to create their own project, which they must present at the annual iGEM jamboree which this year, was held in Boston. It is the world’s largest undergraduate synthetic biology competition with 245 teams competing last year in 2013. This year a group of undergraduates from the University of Kent will be going to Boston to present their summer project on fragrance producing bacteria in the hope of obtaining a gold medal. But what does the iGEM competition hope to achieve? And more importantly, what is the Kent iGEM project all about and why is it significant?
The Extracellular Matrix (ECM) is the fluid, containing tissue and extracellular molecules, that surrounds cells in inter-cellular spaces. Once thought merely to serve the purpose of supporting tissues and acting as scaffolding in the human body, the ECM has recently made a promising appearance in regenerative medicine. It is important to note that there are many types of ECM, and the ECM is contained in most living organisms. This fundamental substance is secreted by specialised cells in the body called fibroblasts, and certain types of ECM are secreted by particular fibroblasts, e.g. chondroblasts secrete cartilage ECM and osteoblasts secrete bone ECM.