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The Righteous Drug Smugglers

Of all the challenges facing the pharmaceutical treatment of brain diseases, the most fundamental is also one of the most difficult: getting drugs into the brain. Our brain comes with its own bouncer, the blood-brain barrier (BBB), so if your miracle drug is wearing the wrong shoes, chances are it won’t be let in. In … More


Gene Expression Analysis by Single Cell RNA-Seq

Analysis of gene expression is important in diagnostics as well as in understanding biological processes. The gene expression profile of cells assesses the extent to which genes are active (or not). Gene expression varies largely amongst different cell types and can be analysed on the RNA or the protein level. During gene expression, the genes … More


LASERs

Lasers are important for many processes in our everyday life. Have you wondered exactly what is laser light? In the latest instalment of Just theGIST we explain what’s so special about laser light and talk about its applications. More


Hello Potential GISTer!

There are many different ways to get involved with theGIST: writing, editing, artwork, podcasts, website, administration, videos, etc. Find out More



Defusing the neurology time bomb- A new gene therapy for Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) – familiar to many because of the philanthropic efforts of the Michael J Fox Foundation – is a pernicious neurological disease that affects 1% of people over 60 . The financial burden on the NHS is estimated to be between £449 million and a staggering £3.3 billion per year , yet the … More


Tasty Science- Mystery Menu Dinner Party

The dinner took place in the basement of the Stravaigin restaurant, which is known for its innovative and high quality menu. Inspiration for the dinner came from the observation that nowadays, in times of genetically modified and highly processed food, we often don’t know what our food contains. One of the most significant incidents was … More


Engaging Undergraduates in Research

  As it slowly sinks in that third year has now been and gone, I overhear more and more of my fellow undergraduate chemists pondering aloud just what exactly it is that you do after leaving university with a chemistry degree. ‘Research’ or ‘work in a lab’ seem to be the most common answers to … More


Spectroscopy: Showing art in its best light

Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction of light with matter. Different molecules interact with light in various different ways according to their characteristic functional groups. For example, the infrared spectrum of a molecule can be obtained if the molecule absorbs light in the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. If the molecule scatters light … More


The Book of Life – Rewritten?

All life we know shares one common feature: DNA. From bacteria to humans, our genetic code is written in the same 4 chemical “letters”, the nucleotides Adenine (A), Thymine (T), Guanine (G) and Cytosine (C) – at least until recently. Last month, researchers from The Scripps Research Institute in California reported that they have successfully … More


Harm Reduction

Last year saw the rise of turbo-ecstasy, pills of various guises, which were adulterated with PMA or PMMA . Whilst these compounds are related to MDMA (the active ingredient in ecstasy) they have the potential to cause toxic effects at relatively low doses. In essence, taking two tablets of regular ecstasy (at a typical concentration) … More


The Potato Paradox

Start with 100kg of potatoes consisting off 99% water, the potatoes dry out so that there is only 98%, how much do they weigh? The answer is not as simple as you think… Find out the answer and why in the latest instalment of Just theGIST.


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