DNA repair in the Cell Cycle

The Cell Cycle is the process by which cells grow and then divide to form new cells. This cell division happens throughout our bodies; from the production of new blood cells in our bone marrow to the generation of new layers of skin cells. In this video we talked to Professor Peter Burgers about his work on […]

Why haven’t we cured cancer?

Cancer has been a monumental target for medical research – in the West it’s a leading cause of death, and is highly feared. But this reputation isn’t necessarily earned. A large number of patients arrive in clinic with the secret apprehension that it could be the ‘big C’ despite the fact heart disease is the […]

Genes Means Hearts

In 2000, the human genome, a manuscript containing all the genes that make us human, was completed at a cost of $3 billion dollars. At a cost of nearly $1 a letter, this makes it the costliest script ever bought (its worthiest competitor being Audubon’s ‘Birds of America’, sold for $11.5 million). What, apart from […]

Creating Spiderman

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the cinema to watch The Amazing Spider-Man. When the words “DNA” and “recombination” popped up during the film, I got excited and started thinking. I later asked myself: In reality, how close are we to creating artificial hybrid species? Let’s briefly revisit the idea of Spider-Man, a.k.a. Peter Parker. Parker […]

Knotty Developments with DNA

Karin Valencia is a PhD student in Imperial’s DNA Topology research group. The term ‘DNA structure’ may bring to mind any number of things, from the television drama CSI to the famous double helix. Perhaps less familiar are the ‘higher-order’ structural features of DNA, namely knots. DNA in nature can be found to be ‘knotted’ […]

Lonesome George and the Barcode of Life

Posthumously, Lonesome George has become a very famous tortoise. Believed to be the last of his subspecies, and often billed as the rarest creature on Earth, he has served as something of a poster boy for endangered species all over the world. We still know relatively little about the effects that the environment has on […]