Covid-19 Will Be Here For A Long Time

Evidence given recently to the House of Commons Health committee by the Director of the Wellcome Trust and others says that we will be living with Covid-19 for a very long time and for sure, most of the experts agree the virus will not be gone by Christmas. The government needs to open the economy and […]

What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a novel RNA virus which has been named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). You may also see reference to nCov, Wuhan Virus, coronavirus (there are several other types), novel beta coronavirus and 2019-nCov. This virus can lead to a life-threatening acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and […]

The Cytokine Storm

Molecular analysis of severely affected people is bringing much information to the fore and in the worse affected cases there seems to be a severe immune reaction, (at least part of) which is referred to as a cytokine storm. The result of this is the shutting down of the lungs and kidneys, which brings on […]

Continued Caution Required in the Workplace

Some countries, particularly in Western Europe are fortunately experiencing a decrease in new COVID-19 infections. Other parts of the world, notably the Americas, are less in control of the situation. Social distancing has been effective but the population are tiring of these restrictions and local outbreaks will unfortunately become more common.   Economies have been […]

Tracking Down the Genes that Allow Viruses to Spread

The genus of viruses known as the flaviviruses are emerging globally as a significant cause of human disease. A flavivirus currently in the news and causing a lot of concern is Zika virus. Other medically important flaviviruses include dengue, yellow fever, St. Louis encephalitis, tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), Japanese encephalitis and West Nile viruses. Flaviviruses contain […]

MetaSUB: Creating a World-Wide ‘DNA Map’ of Microbiomes

Have you ever wondered what may be lurking on the handrails and turnstiles and all the surfaces you touch, on your daily commute to work? Well now we may find out. On the 21st June 2016 the International MetaSUB Consortium launched the first Global City Sampling Day (CSD). Mass-transit systems around the world, for example […]

Bed Bug Genome Sequenced in a Bid to Fight Back Against this Pest

The bed bug genome is one of the many arthropod genomes to be sequenced in the i5K project. The i5K initiative is a transformative project that aims to sequence the genomes of 5,000 arthropod species, to benefit worldwide agriculture, medicine, food safety and ecology. Scientists hope to utilise the bed bug genome to develop new […]

Dino reality or just fantasy?

Jurassic World has taken the world by storm, breaking all box office records in the process. But is it actually possible? The reality is that it could be, if (and that is a big if), we had access to dino DNA! Unfortunately DNA is not stable in an aqueous environment and over a long period […]

A mother’s curse…

Each cell of the body contains tiny engines which generate energy; these are called the mitochondria and they are essential to life. They contain their own DNA, which is always inherited from the mother and can be associated with genetic disease. Professor Gemmell of the University of Otago, New Zealand calls this the “mother’s curse” […]