SARS-CoV-2 binds to ACE2 receptors on our cells but what are ACE2 receptors and what do they do?
We’ve known for some months now that the novel coronavirus — SARS-CoV-2 — binds to ACE2 receptors on the surface of some of our cells. In fact, the first SARS-CoV, which caused an epidemic in 2002–3, was also found to bind to these same ACE2 receptors. But what does this actually mean? And what are these ACE2 receptors and what do they even do?
You may be familiar with the typical representation we see in the media of a generic virus (like…
A new study has found dexamethasone to be an effective treatment for the worst hit sufferers of COVID-19 but what is it and does it work?
Have you heard of this game-changing drug? Are you sick of hearing the words “game-changing?” Of course you have, and of course you are, because today is a day that ends with ‘day’.
Please excuse my dour cynicism but it seems every day we hear about an ‘exciting’ drug already in use for other ailments which can be co-opted for COVID-19 treatments. Then, about a month later, we hear that the drug is actually…
What do China, the Diamond Princess, and Iceland have in common? They have the media in a frenzy over COVID-19.
At the time of writing, the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, confirmed cases approach 1.5 million people worldwide, with over 87,000 deaths. With cases and deaths on the rise in places like the United Kingdom and the United States, those numbers are sure to keep rising for the near future.
Anxiety is running high throughout the world, around a third of which is under some sort of lockdown. With more and more people becoming infected and critically ill, including the U.K. …
As the confirmed novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, cases surpass one million worldwide, and deaths rise to over fifty thousand souls, one small silver lining in these dark times is that people are finally taking notice of science and scientists.
2019 seems so distant now, so long ago, so pre-COVID-19. But if we cast our minds back to that year we may just be able to remember that it was also a tumultuous year in itself, albeit for what seems like much more trivial reasons, now. Brexit. Megxit. Impeachment of President Trump. How simple times were way back when.
One stark difference…
How can we know if someone has already contracted the novel coronavirus, especially if many are mild-to-asymptomatic? New antibody tests could have the answers.
Anxiety around the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and the disease it causes, COVID-19, is on the rise as governments all over the world start locking down people, businesses and, in some cases, entire continents. The real severity of the situation is finally starting to sink and I, for one, am certainly feeling the worry creep in.
Much of this anxiety stems from the fact that people just don’t know if they have the virus or not at…
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic the U.K. has strayed from the pack and into the herd.
On Thursday it was reported that the United Kingdom government has moved out of the containment phase and into the delay phase of their four stage plan to attempt to tackle the pandemic novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19.
It was expected that the U.K. would follow in the footsteps of its continental neighbours and begin to close schools, colleges, and banning mass gatherings to help prevent the spread of the virus. However, this was not the case.
The U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson…
Infection, replication, destruction. What actually is coronavirus and what does it do?
You’ve all heard its name, you all know what’s happening across the world right now, and we are all acutely aware of the danger. So, I’ll spare us all and won’t retread that old ground.
It seems like every day this deadly new virus gains a foothold in a new country and spreads quickly. It’s scary. It scares me. If it scares you too then I truly empathise. But when something scares me I find the more I learn about it, the less it scares me.
Like all creatures, humans are still evolving in response to our environment. Some humans have even evolved to withstand low oxygen environments.
We speak about evolution as if it’s something that previously happened and has been completed. That all that is now is all that will ever be. But this simply isn’t true. From tuskless elephants to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, evolution is constantly around us — the culmination of micro-changes in DNA — and humans are no exception. We are, afterall, organisms of this world and, like everything else, are subject to change.
Oxygen is one of, if not the, most…
Europe have approved the use of a new tumour-agnostic cancer treatment pill which can be administered to both adults and children. But what does this mean and how does it work?
Lung cancer, skin cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer… We are all familiar with many different types of cancer and there are many more for which we may not be. It’s likely that many of you will know the existential dread of sitting in a doctor’s office and just hoping the ‘C’ word doesn’t come up. And it’s likely that even more of you know about the standard treatments for…
Many factors affect the Tasmanian devil but none so severe and urgent as Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) which has killed up to 90% of the wild population and continues to threaten the species with extinction.
Sarcophilus harrisii, better known as the Tasmanian devil, is the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world and makes its home solely on, as you would imagine, the island of Tasmania, Australia.
Many factors affect the Tasmanian devil, such as habitat loss, introduced predators and roadkill, but none are more threatening to the entire species as Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD).