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This tag is associated with 11 posts

How students see scientists: Part XII

The WIMM plays host to many students over the course of the summer months, offering them a valuable insight into the life of a scientist, and introducing them to fundamentally important concepts and techniques in the lab. In this post, Rahul Shah, a medical student about to start the third year of his degree at … Continue reading

Science in the supermarket (and other unusual places)

You might reasonably expect to be accosted by a double-glazing salesperson or someone shaking a bucket for charity as you go about your weekly shop – but you’d probably be pretty surprised if someone intercepted you on your way out and asked if you know what your immune system does. That’s exactly what a team … Continue reading

Personalised medicine: hope or hype?

The idea that the information contained in your personal DNA sequence could be used to develop treatments that are specifically tailored to you is a hot topic in medical research, but how likely is it that this will ever become a reality? A recent collaborative study, involving scientists from the WIMM and many others across … Continue reading

Why one cell is better than 40,000,000,000,000

Your body is a mass of millions and millions of tiny building blocks called cells, which all work together seamlessly on a daily basis in order to allow you to eat, drink, sleep, work, consume caffeine and perform all other essential bodily functions. A major outstanding question in the biological sciences is how these cells … Continue reading

Immunology taught by bees

As many of us are painfully aware, bees and wasps are best known for their irksome ability to deliver a nasty sting. But what isn’t so well known is that the contents of the sting can provide insights into how the body detects attacks from the outside world, and even provide potential new avenues for … Continue reading

A year in the life of a research institute: the WIMM blog celebrates its first birthday

Just over a year ago, the WIMM Blog first appeared on the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine’s webpage, tentatively re-posting an article that had originally been written for the MRC blog Insight. Today, the blog is a fully-fledged interactive site, and has had over two and half thousand hits in the last four months alone. … Continue reading

Exposed: the secret life of cells

Last year, the Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to Eric Betzig, William Moerner and Stefan Hell for developing powerful new microscopes capable of looking at cells in unprecedented detail. Known as super-resolution imaging or optical nanoscopy, this new technology allows scientists to ask fundamental questions about how cells work that previously could only be … Continue reading

Fighting the flu: boosting the immune system in the elderly

It’s late November. It’s starting to get pretty chilly; you’re debating whether it’s OK to put the heating on yet; and then you start to get just a hint of a sore throat. Which develops into a cough. And a runny nose. And before you know it, you’re laid up with a full-blown cold. It’s well … Continue reading

Autoimmune Addison’s disease: when the immune system destroys our ability to cope with stress

Your immune system is usually something you’re grateful for; it helps you fight infections, deal with cuts and bruises, and generally defend your body against all the bugs and grubs that are constantly trying to make you sick. However, in rare cases, the immune system turns on itself – instead of attacking bacteria and viruses, … Continue reading

How do you solve a problem like anaemia?

Anaemia is a condition where sufferers have a reduced number of functional red blood cells. It is a global problem which affects over 270 million pre-school children worldwide, the majority of whom are from low and middle-income countries in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa. There is an evident need to continue research of this disease … Continue reading

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