Trypanosoma brucei: epigenetic regulation and coat switching

By Zandile Nare, University of Edinburgh

Trypanosoma brucei is a parasite which is responsible for causing African sleeping sickness and nagana in cattle in sub-Saharan Africa. Cell differentiation in T. brucei is associated with the upregulation and downregulation of several genes some of which seem to be regulated by epigenetic mechanisms. T. brucei could therefore be a key tool in advancing knowledge in this field.

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Epigenetics: past and present

By David Hornby, University of Sheffield

Forty years ago this month I sat in my first lecture, an intensive introduction to ‘University Chemistry’. This was partially tempered with an Integrated Biology course on Darwinian evolution. Maybe this ‘christening by fire’ gave me the strong view that all biochemists should be equally grounded in both of these subjects. I also remember being told at school that Darwin’s ideas were all about chance and selection, while Lamarck’s theory centred on inter-generational adaptation. Who hasn’t been told about Lamarck’s giraffes!

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