A TALE OF MANY PANDEMICS – PART 3: THE FINISHING LINE

In parts one and two of this series on pandemics, I took you on a journey into the world of zoonotic diseases, from the 14th century Black Death to modern day pandemics caused by zoonotic viruses. In the last part of this series, I will attempt to shed light on how pandemics come to an end.Continue reading “A TALE OF MANY PANDEMICS – PART 3: THE FINISHING LINE”

A TALE OF MANY PANDEMICS – PART 2: ZOONOTIC VIRUSES

My previous post described the oldest, most well- known pandemic, the Plague. This was an example of a zoonotic bacterial disease with an insect intermediary (the flea). Any disease that originates in animals and successfully crosses the species barrier to infect humans is called a zoonosis/ zoonotic disease. These diseases can be due to bacteria,Continue reading “A TALE OF MANY PANDEMICS – PART 2: ZOONOTIC VIRUSES”

A TALE OF MANY PANDEMICS-PART 1: THE PLAGUE

We live in unprecedented times. At the inception of 2020, who knew that we would exist in a world where our actions are defined by the risk of catching Covid 19? Consumed by the uprooting of our lives, it is easy to forget that this is not the first pandemic to bedevil the human race,Continue reading “A TALE OF MANY PANDEMICS-PART 1: THE PLAGUE”

ALL ABOUT THAT BASIC SCIENCE RESEARCH

What is basic science research anyway? Basic or fundamental science is a study of the world around us to understand how it works. It can be a study of cells (cell biology), microorganisms (microbiology) or molecules (molecular biology). Irrespective of the subject matter, scientists do basic research to increase human knowledge. To illustrate my point,Continue reading “ALL ABOUT THAT BASIC SCIENCE RESEARCH”

CALMING THE STORM: CONTROLLING CYTOKINE RAMPAGE

Crazy little thing called Covid 19 The onset of a global pandemic has meant that suddenly everyone is a virologist, immunologist or epidemiologist. People throw around phrases such as “flatten the curve” and “cytokine storm”, without really understanding what they are. I’m not an epidemiologist, so I’m not going to touch the first one. I’mContinue reading “CALMING THE STORM: CONTROLLING CYTOKINE RAMPAGE”

CANCER CELLS ARE VERY BAD NEIGHBOURS

The expansionism of cancer cells Scientists have made the startling discovery that cancer cells have the capacity to ‘corrupt’ their healthy neighbours into aiding and abetting their metastatic crusade.1 Sort of like that bad egg who convinces their straight- laced friends that doing drugs is a good idea. As part of a larger study to investigateContinue reading “CANCER CELLS ARE VERY BAD NEIGHBOURS”

MY EXPERIENCE WITH IMPOSTOR SYNDROME

Impostor syndrome. That wonderful (insert sarcastic eye roll) feeling of insufficiency at a job we are perfectly capable of doing. For the blissfully uninitiated, impostor syndrome or impostor phenomenon is a psychological state where people who have clearly achieved things in their lives, feel like frauds. They live with the constant anxiety that their accomplishments areContinue reading “MY EXPERIENCE WITH IMPOSTOR SYNDROME”

Evolution: Have we found a key missing link in the story?

Obviously evolution is real. It’s not a theory, it’s not a belief system, it’s an irrefutable fact. Now that the scientific disclaimer is out of the way, how did higher beings such as Homo sapiens (humans like you and me) really come to be? How did humans evolve from single celled organisms whose physiology andContinue reading “Evolution: Have we found a key missing link in the story?”