Category ScienceInfo

Vaccinated against cancer?


Did you know that one of the first lines of defence against cancer is your own immune system? So that got me thinking, why do we not treat cancer in the same way as we treat infections – with vaccines! Vaccination and antibody-based therapies would be a lot more specific than traditional chemotherapy and radiotherapy […]

“Jumping Genes” in the Human Genome


In 1983, Barbara McClintock was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for her discovery of mobile elements in the genome capable of undergoing transposition – which she termed “jumping genes”. McClintock was a key leader in the early field of cytogenetics, and first used cytogenetic methods to study maize chromosomes. She first came […]

Sleep, revitalising you since birth


Humans and animals alike are bound to their need for sleep. However, there remains many mysteries such as; ‘What is sleep?’ ‘How is sleep controlled?’ Why is it necessary?’ ‘What happens if you get too much or too little?’. These interesting complicated questions have yet to be solved. There are many people who could be […]

Three months in a structural biology laboratory.


As part of our final year, Biological Sciences students at the University of Leicester have the option to either do a experimental project or a literature based project. We are then expected to write a final dissertation based on this project. Owing to my dreams of one day doing my own research, I was really […]

P Elements of Drosophila Melanogaster


What are P Elements? P elements are DNA transposable elements, that carry genes required for transposase activity and genes that encode a repressor that prevents expression of transposase. P elements have a characteristic 31bp inverted repeat at both ends of the element. P elements can be either full length or short length. The full length […]

Noncoding DNA and Genome Evolution


Noncoding DNA and Genome Evolution   Noncoding DNA, why does it exist? There are many possibilities but it is thought that noncoding DNA has a function that has not yet been discovered hence why the cell is maintain it – it is essential for proper cell function. Another possibility is that noncoding sequences might be […]

Genome Evolution


There are two fundamentally different ways in which new genes could be acquired by a genome: By duplicating some or all of the existing genes in the genome. By acquiring genes from other species. Gene Duplication Mechanisms of Duplication There are many ways by which short segments of DNA containing one or a few genes […]

Lambda Phage Replication: Lysis or Lysogeny?


Lambda Phage Replication Expression of Early Genes upon Phage Entry Upon entry of the phage genome into a cell, the phage genome circularises by joining together of the cos sites. Host RNA polymerases begin transcription from PL and PR,however due to rho-dependant termination signals, transcription of PL is stopped after the N protein has been […]

When do viruses undergo lysogeny?


Just a note to say sorry for the lack of posts, but starting the term of second year medical sciences has been a very busy time not only to do with work but also with a lot of extracurricular activities and application for year in industry or abroad. In a microbiology lecture on bacterial genetics […]

Sir Alec Jefferys Retirement Symposium: Lecture


35 Years at the DNA Coalface: A Tale of Scientific Serendipity In July 1975, Sir Alec Jeffreys published his thesis at the University of Oxford; “Studies on the Mitochondria of Cultured Mammalian Cells”. This led on to his work with Dick Flavell in Amsterdam which involved isolating a single mammalian gene. The revolutionary work by […]