Today I will briefly present to you the quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) that I used for my master thesis to verify the genic expression of some genes of interest (such as c-FOS, a marker gene for neuronal activation, or CGRP, have a look here for a brief explanation of why I elected… Continue reading What is the qRT-PCR?
This week I will take a break from the “brain facts” category and, consequently, from the description of the different neuromodulators our brain use (you can find a quick description of what a neuromodulator is here and a description of serotonin, oxytocin, adrenaline and dopamine by clicking on their names) to talk about a “news… Continue reading What is the CAR-T therapy?
As I have already anticipated last week, the differences in the central nervous system (CNS) among vertebrates was a very interesting course, so today I would like to talk about a byword for visual acuity, “hawk-eyed”, and why it is known that birds see better than humans. We use the catchword “hawk-eyed” as an adjective… Continue reading Why do we say “hawk-eyed”?
I reached my third and final year of the bachelor in October 2012. Finally, I was putting together all the pieces of the previous two years courses and I started applying all the basic biological knowledge (Chemistry, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and so on) to the more specialistic courses, as it was Physical Chemistry (the study… Continue reading Can we reprogram cells?
On my previous post I mentioned that another topic that got me hooked up was Pharmacology, so today I will give you a small overview of what I studied during those lectures and why I enjoyed it so much. Basically, Pharmacology is the branch of Biology that studies drugs (broadly defined as natural or endogenous… Continue reading What does Pharmacology study?
In my previous post I mentioned how vaccines are a pretty hot topic right now and I believe people should approach this issue with an open mind, in order to figure out how vaccines work and their importance for the single individual and for the community. Then this week, casually reading some news online, I… Continue reading Why are vaccines important?
After that first “basic” first year we finally got into the real biology world and it didn’t start easy at all: the first semester of my second year in Biotechnology was basically the two courses of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the two beasts of every degree that has something related to biology (and this includes… Continue reading How did Fleming discover penicillin?
I began my Biotechnology course at the university of Pavia in October 2010. I just turned 19 and luckily the first semester of this course started somehow smoothly. Since in Italy there is a great discrepancy between high schools, universities tend to use the first semester of the first year of each course to put… Continue reading How did Mendel discover inheritance?
Just before finishing high school I realised that what I was most curious about was figuring out how our brain works and how it is possible that chemical and electric signals can be converted in such complex behaviours as it could be having memories or feelings and in general everything we do in our everyday… Continue reading How do plants absorb and transport water?
Today I would like to drift a bit aside from Biology and move on to my last year of high school, when after two years of Chemistry and Biology we started studying Astronomy. We moved from studying atoms and molecules in the infinitely small to study atoms and molecules in the infinitely big and in… Continue reading Are we all made of stardust?