The Biochemist Blog

What would a year without antibiotics look like?

By Brendan Gilmore, Queen’s University Belfast

Grim? Certainly. Apocalyptic? Probably not. Antibiotics have been one of the most transformational discoveries in mankind’s history. Few drugs can make the impressive claims that antibiotics, which we have taken for granted, can. Antibiotics have slashed infant mortality and contributed to prolonging life and increasing life expectancy. Today antibiotics underpin the cornerstones of modern clinical medicine. Antibiotics save lives.

Getting in2science

By Joy Aston, in2scienceUK

In2Science helps young people from low income backgrounds progress to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers with the aim to not only improve social mobility, but also encourage a more diverse and inclusive culture within the sector. We work by leveraging the STEM community to host bespoke two-week work placements, matching students with active researchers in academia and industry. In2scienceUK coordinators also provide all the students with university access workshops and careers guidance.

The life of a Scientist…lessons learnt from The Big Bang Theory

By Priya Hari, University of Edinburgh

It’s season 11 of The Big Bang Theory – the well-loved comedy showcasing a group of stereotypical nerds (or as I like to think, scientists who are normal people like me and you). The show, based on the social lives physicists, engineers and biologists, is usually a comedic affair, but episode 2 of season 11 went a little beyond that. It highlighted a number of matters that certainly can be related to by a scientist of any discipline.

Why bacteria are smarter than we think they are

By Megan De Ste Croix, University of Leicester

Just like humans bacteria can catch a virus, however, when you’re just a single cell catching a virus can be pretty fatal. Because of this, bacteria have developed some effective systems to protect themselves. These systems, known as restriction-modification (RM) systems, come in a variety of shapes and sizes but it has always been thought their primary function is a defensive one against invading viruses and other invading DNA.