The second post in our Genetics Diseases series has finally arrived! Today we will be tackling the brain and delving deep into understanding the pathology of Huntington’s Disease (HD).

Overview and Epidemiology

The disease was first described by Charles Oscar Waters in 1841, as a type of “chorea”, a general term for neurological disorders which cause involuntary movements. The disease was characterised in more detail in 1872 by George Huntington, after whom the disorder is named, who described it as a “hereditary chorea”.

HD is hereditary genetic disorder that causes progressive degeneration of part of the brain, affecting a patient’s nervous system and impacting their ability to co-ordinate movement. As well as affecting the functional abilities of an affected person, HD can also influence cognition, potentially leading to learning…


A Tribute to Seamus Heaney

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Photo by conor rabbett on Unsplash

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I’m cultured enough to read poetry in my spare time. It’s not my primary source of entertainment by any means (or even secondary, tertiary…you get the idea). But if there’s one thing I miss about high school, it’s reading and analysing poems. There was no wrong answer because poetry means something different to everyone, that’s the whole point. One poem that did strike me and that I do still think about from time to time is ‘Digging’ by Seamus Heaney.

Between my finger and my thumb

The squat pen rests; snug…


Roisin Conneely

Happy New Year! 2019 is just around the corner, new year’s resolutions have been made, and the mince pies have just about run out. This has been a big year for us, having started Seeking Science back in March and seeing the blog grow so much faster than we could ever have imagined! As 2018 draws to a close, we take a look back at some of the biggest science stories to hit the headlines this year. Who knows what discoveries will be made by this time next year…

Plastic Planet

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National Geograhpic’s June cover, by Jorge Gamboa

2018 was the year that the planet finally seemed to wake up to the problem of plastic pollution. Helped along by Blue Planet II’s final episode late last year, along with an iconic National Geographic cover (pictured left) showing plastic as, literally, the ‘tip of the iceberg’, in the last 12 months we’ve seen plastic being discussed a lot more in the public eye. …


November is National Diabetes Awareness Month in the US, with World Diabetes Day falling on the 14th of the month. Diabetes is a chronic condition which causes a person’s blood sugar (or glucose) levels to remain abnormally high, which can cause complications such as blood vessel damage, cardiovascular disease, and vision loss. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce any insulin at all, and Type 2 diabetes involves the cells not being able to respond to insulin.

Global cases of diabetes have increased from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014, and prevalence has been rising rapidly, especially in low-income nations. As of 2016, the World Health Organisation estimates that diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death worldwide. As such a common disorder, it’s highly likely that you know someone who suffers from diabetes, so it’s important to try and understand how it works. As November draws to a close, we take a look at the molecular mechanisms behind glucose regulation

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Glucose is needed for cellular respiration and the production of energy; hence, hormonal…


Reading the Tea Leaves of History

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“person holding cup of coffee” by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

“Don’t talk to me till I’ve had my second cup of tea in the morning” is something you’ll eventually hear me say during the process of getting to know me. Mainly it’s an attempt to excuse my general morning brain fog that persists throughout the day, but I do have an addiction to tea which renders me useless without it. If I don’t get my second cup before setting about my day, I’m like a zombie. I’ll be dizzy and shaky and won’t be able to think properly at all. …


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It’s that time of year when Christmas adverts start flooding our screens, each trying to outcompete the other in the contest of who can tug on the heartstrings most, whilst also displaying all their great products and convincing us to shop with them.

But this year we’ve seen something different.

It certainly meets the heartstrings criteria, but instead of trying to sell us something, Iceland appear to be heading a conservation campaign. Now that’s pretty new in the world of Christmas advertising.

The advert, which has been banned from television for being too politically charged, tells the story of a…

Roisin Conneely

Currently studying a masters degree in Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation. Founder of Seeking Science (seekingsciblog.wordpress.com)

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