No. 3: An antibody whodunnit

Most people who have worked in a molecular and cell biology or biochemistry lab will have encountered Santa Cruz products at some point. Rather thrillingly, it would appear that the company, based in Dallas, Texas, has come under fire for allegedly abusing their animals, specifically goats. It seems that while these allegations were being investigated, the thousands of rabbits and goats around which the case revolved disappeared from the Santa Cruz facilities. Where are they? Who took them? Why? Is this the end of Santa Cruz products? We’re stocking up on our favourite antibodies just in case.

No. 2: We know a little bit more about mitochondria

Mitochondria are the compartment in the cell that is in charge of producing energy. They are arguably the most interesting of organelles, hosting some of the most complex reactions in the cell as well as partaking in some extraordinary evolutionary history. One of their most fascinating features is the fact that they retain DNA, which is transmitted from mother to child and is a very useful tool in population genetics and forensics. We now know a bit more as to why mitochondria have retained these genes through their complex evolutionary history. Scientists from Birmingham and from Cambridge, Massachusetts, have found that proteins involved in the core processes occurring in the mitochondria are preferentially encoded within the mitochondrial DNA throughout eukaryotes. This means cells can control mitochondria activity more directly and more easily, which is an indirect way of fine-tuning their energy levels.

No. 1: The US really should follow through with the Paris Agreement

We all remember how climate change was in the news in December, when world leaders came together to come up with a plan for governing greenhouse gases and mitigate dangerous emissions.  A Nature Climate Change paper published this week has indicated that policies following the guidelines set in the Paris Agreement could prevent about 300,000 deaths by 2030, as well as saving about $250 billion a year. Calculating the real humanitarian and social cost of climate change makes us all consider the issue from a different, human perspective that no amount of theoretical understanding can ever match.

Written by: Gaia Cantelli