The double helix structure of Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid (DNA) was established in 1953, in a paper published by James Watson and Francis Crick, working at the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University. In this post, I’ve provided a beginner’s guide to genetics, with a fairly simple outline of how the genetic code carried on DNA is translated into a human, or indeed any other living organism. Continue reading “What Watson and Crick Were On About: How the Genetic Code is Decoded”
What Has Covid Ever Done for Us? The Rise of RNA Vaccines in Cancer Treatment
The Covid pandemic has been devastating for the world, with 6.8 million deaths. In the UK, 206,000 people have died from Covid-related causes. As pandemics go, it’s by no means the worst. The 1918 flu pandemic killed 20-50 million people, and the Black Death, caused by the bubonic plague bacterium, killed around 75-200 million people, or around half the world’s population. What was different about Covid was the development of vaccines, in particular RNA vaccines. And with that development of RNA vaccines came a new possibility: a cure for cancer. In this blog post, I’ll try to explain what RNA vaccines are, how they work, and why they could be the key to creating bespoke treatments for cancer.
Continue reading “What Has Covid Ever Done for Us? The Rise of RNA Vaccines in Cancer Treatment”
For the Love of Cars: The Politics of Personal Transport
I have a confession to make: I have always loved cars. From my first Messerschmitt KR200 three-wheeler when I was sixteen to the ‘extended range EV’ Vauxhall Ampera I have now, I’ve pretty much always had one. Cars have played an important role in the liberation of the working class, and the broadening of working people’s horizons. But can we continue to justify the use of personal transport as we battle to tackle climate change? Does the motor car, whether fuelled by petrol or electricity, still have a role? Continue reading “For the Love of Cars: The Politics of Personal Transport”