Transplant Immunology

Transplant immunology is the study of the immune response to organ transplants in surgery. There can be many complications that arise from transplants but a major factor is the immune system’s response to a foreign organ.  Why does the immune system reject an organ? Every person has a specific set of Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) … Continue reading Transplant Immunology

Why do we shiver when we’re cold?

Imagine that it’s a freezing day, with snow piled up high and still falling and you wanted to go for a walk outside. So, you put on your extra fluffy pair of socks and very comfortable shoes and you step outside, without wearing one of the most important items of clothing, a coat. To say … Continue reading Why do we shiver when we’re cold?

The consequences of noise pollution

Noise pollution is a silent (but not so silent) threat to the environment. The idea of creating too much noise is often seen as a human problem; usually your neighbour complaining about how loud a party is. Aside from these inconveniences too much noise can harm animals and our health too.  How does noise pollution … Continue reading The consequences of noise pollution

Nanobodies

Credit: The Telegraph Llama’s could help us fight the COVID-19 pandemic by providing antibodies that work effectively against SARS-CoV-2. The llamas produce small antibodies called nanobodies. The nanobodies are not a new discovery but they are becoming more of a realistic treatment for COVID-19.   What is an antibody?  An antibody is an immunoglobulin produced … Continue reading Nanobodies

Prions – a protein’s evil twin.

Credit: Neuropathology This is the brain tissue of someone with a prions disease. The holes show areas where the prions have destroyed cells. Prions are non-living infectious agents. The other infectious agents include viruses (also non-living), bacteria, fungi and protoctista (living). Prions are relatively rare and aren’t talked about as much, even in biology lessons.  … Continue reading Prions – a protein’s evil twin.

Why am I scared? The science behind fear.

Biologically speaking, fear is an incredibly important feeling to have as it is responsible for helping us to get out of dangerous or scary situations. This could be something like running away from a crocodile to simply giving a speech to huge group of people. Whatever it is, it’s terrifying for us isn’t it? However, … Continue reading Why am I scared? The science behind fear.

The Sun and Skin (Part 2/2) – Sunburn

You can find part 1/2 here: https://glamsci.blog/2021/02/25/the-sun-and-skin-part-1-2-pigmentation-and-melanin/ Sunburn is common but it shouldn’t be. The effects of sunburn can be dangerous and can even lead to skin cancer. Protecting our skin from the sun is ever more important with climate change and rising exposure to the sun. It seems a nuisance to apply sunscreen on … Continue reading The Sun and Skin (Part 2/2) – Sunburn

The Sun and Skin (Part 1/2) – Pigmentation and Melanin

The idea of having a different skin colour to someone else is often used to differentiate between people and separate people into groups. Our brains aim to find a difference between people and find ‘our own people’. However, skin colour actually indicates what geographical region our ancestors lived in rather than our behaviour. It’s just … Continue reading The Sun and Skin (Part 1/2) – Pigmentation and Melanin

Why I dream of sleep.

Sleep is an important part of our day and on average a person spends 26 years sleeping! This seems like a large waste of time. However, we should be getting 8 hours sleep every day and adolescents should be getting 10 hours sleep. Those that get less than 7 hours are considered sleep deprived. As … Continue reading Why I dream of sleep.

Us and Them – faults in our understanding of animals.

I have been reading a book by primatologist Frans de Waal called “Are we smart enough to know how smart animals are?”. The book is an amazing display of the faults in our understanding of animal behaviour and cognition. We often group animals in one category and separate animals from humans. Us vs Them. However, … Continue reading Us and Them – faults in our understanding of animals.