All About That Mucus: How it keeps us healthy

by Jenny Zheng figures by Rebecca Clements With winter soon coming to an end (hopefully), many of us have been plagued by seemingly endless hacking that’s accompanied by phlegm, a type of mucus produced by the respiratory tract. The body starts feeling better after a week of sickness, but even after that “hell-week,” one final foe has to be dealt with: the phlegm. It’s such … Continue reading All About That Mucus: How it keeps us healthy

The importance of basic research and the Nobel Prize in Medicine

The importance of basic research has been highlighted this year by Yoshinori Ohsumi receiving the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work on the process of autophagy. Autophagy—literally “self-eating”—is a fundamental cellular process that degrades and recycles cellular components. During autophagy, fatty capsules, or vesicles, form around internal components of a cell (autophagosomes), are fused with a lysosome, an acidic cellular compartment that breaks down its … Continue reading The importance of basic research and the Nobel Prize in Medicine

Genetically modified yeast and Science Fiction

About two months ago we published a short report on a new study that pioneered creating an entire chromosome of yeast; an organism with similar cellular organization as humans. Just a week ago, a discussion flared up on Reddit about the consequences for everything from creating human brain-less organ farms to custom babies. The study will really only benefit basic sciences and advanced biotechnology, where people use … Continue reading Genetically modified yeast and Science Fiction