The Biochemist Blog

Why is clean meat so important?

Shaked Regev, Stanford University, California

Imagine a world where people can continue going about their lives exactly as they are, while making animal friendly and environmentally conscious choices. Clean meat, also known as cultured meat, could very well make this a reality within the next few years. The idea is essentially to create meat without necessitating the slaughter animals, by growing their cells in a bioreactor under suitable conditions, such as a medium with all the nutrients the cells need, as well as the ideal temperature and pressure for their growth. But why bother changing our food system? What’s wrong with it as things stand?

Yellow fever: Brazil’s current outbreak

Louise Corscadden, University of Leicester, UK

Most people are first introduced to yellow fever at the travel clinic; upon imminent jet-setting to a tropical destination far away, we are told we need a yellow fever vaccine. To us, yellow fever is a disease of places far away: out of sight, out of mind. However, to those in the 47 at-risk countries in South America and Africa (WHO, 2018), it is a highly lethal disease. The World Health Organization estimates that in 2013 between 84,000 and 170,000 people suffered from the severe form of the disease, with 29,000 to 60,000 dying as a result (WHO, 2018). Last year, the disease once again reared its head in Brazil in a precedence recently unseen in years.

New therapy helps your own immune system kill cancer cells

Emma Pettengale, Portland Press

You might have seen the recent news story about Judy Perkins – the woman cured of terminal breast cancer using her own immune cells in a world first. Some doctors believe that the pioneering development could mark a “paradigm shift” in cancer research and we’re going to take a look at the case, and explain the science behind it!