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Ever wondered about the fights our body faces every single day? Whether it’s an invading pathogen or the lifestyle we live, how can this affect our bodies, and how do medical biologists monitor these changes that affect our population? Three scientists talk about how their work is helping us understand these vital questions.
Measuring Change at Different Levels
Dr. Adam Odell (Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences)
What is change? Is it purely subjective, defined by our own experiences and understanding of the world? Or is it actually measurable? As scientists, the concept of change is something we dedicate our lives to measuring, interpreting, and acting upon. We are tasked with finding solutions to the ever-growing health demands imposed by human habitation and population growth. Experimental design is critically important in sorting ‘fact’ from ‘fake’. The application of advances in medical technology to the fields of cancer and cardiovascular medicine will be used to highlight these challenges.
Dr. Owen Kavanagh (Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences)
How can an ”inanimate” nanoscale object result in the closure of countless hospital wards worldwide, and even quarantine cruise ships at sea, where they remain until the disease is flushed out? We will explore what causes this disease, the unique obstacles to defeating this pathogen, and what steps have been taken to circumvent these issues. Despite looking harmless enough, this “intracellular obligate parasite” is not something to mess around with! We will take you through a story that has both a sad and uniquely happy ending!
Cigarette smoke-induced transgenerational alterations
Dr. Adi Baumgartner (Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences)
The lifestyle we choose, the environment we live in, and our genetic make-up may have an adverse impact upon our health and susceptibility to disease. But what if it affected more than just our bodies? Cigarette smoke contains more than seventy chemicals that may cause damage to the DNA within cells of our bodies. However, this genomic damage may not just be localised to our own cells. Instead, it may affect the next generation even before conception. We will illustrate how fathers, who smoked prior to the pregnancy, can pass on damaged DNA to their children increasing their risk of cancer.