Browsing: Sedeer el-Showk

Science Crystal structure of Syncitine
The Viruses that Made Us

Viruses make their living by breaking into cells and using the machinery and energy in the cell to reproduce. Once inside, some viruses immediately hijack the cell and make copies of themselves which burst out into the world to infect new cells. Other viruses take a staid approach, though. Instead of taking over the cell, they quietly slip a copy of their genes into its DNA. When the cell divides, it copies the newly acquired viral genes along with the rest of its genome.

Science Emerald cockroach wasp
The Wasp and the Cockroach: A Zombie Story

The world of parasites is full of incredible tales of manipulation and mind-control as these creatures twist their hosts to their needs. Ever since I first heard of parasitoid wasps, I’ve been drawn to them by a delicious mixture of schadenfreude and intellectual fascination.

Science Microbiome kit for the Personal Genome Project
Sex, Hormones, and the Microbiome

The microbiome — the kilogram of microbes that each of us carries around — has been shown to be involved in everything from obesity and type 2 diabetes to behaviour and sexual preferences. The composition and effects of the microbiome are very active areas of research, producing results which have challenged the way we think about the evolution and interactions of organisms, including ourselves.

Science Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding (in green) from cultured lymphocyte
New Targets for HIV Therapy

In a pair of studies published last year, researchers across Europe used computer simulations to make major advances in our understanding of HIV. Taking advantage of distributed computing networks, they simulated key processes and molecular interactions in the life cycle of the virus, identifying new targets for drug therapy.