Exploring the Cell, by Dr. Danielle Hamilton

Next in our weekly series of articles, Dr. Danielle Hamilton, a Research Scientist with the Centre for Chromosome Biology, writes about her work “Exploring the Cell” and how understanding how a cell repairs damage to its DNA may lead to the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Diagram of the internal structures of the cell. (Image credit: https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/science-behind/genetics-overview/)
Diagram of the internal structures of the cell. (Image credit: https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/science-behind/genetics-overview/)

Every living creature is made up of one or more cells, and humans are no exception. These microscopic structures are the building blocks of our bodies and each is programmed to perform a specific function. Cells of the same type are often found clustered together and communicate with each other to form the tissues and organs that make up a functioning organism. Continue reading “Exploring the Cell, by Dr. Danielle Hamilton”

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Medicines, by Dr. Enda O’Connell

In the ninth of our weekly series of articles, I have taken off my ReelLIFE SCIENCE hat and put on my Scientist hat.  Or labcoat, gloves and goggles, to be more precise…  As a Senior Technical Officer in NUI Galway, I support a range of research projects across the campus, from Cancer Biology and Stem Cell Research to Chemistry and Biomaterials.  In this article, I write about ‘Medicines’ and how researchers at NUI Galway are looking for new uses for old drugs.

The History of Medicines

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Chinese Emperor Shennong tasting plants to test their qualities on himself (image from Wikipedia)

The word ‘medicine’ originally comes from the Latin phrase ‘ars medicina’, which translates as the ‘art of healing’, while the Oxford English Dictionary defines medicine (n) as ‘a substance or preparation used in the treatment of illness; a drug’. The earliest medicines were plant extracts, animal parts and minerals, and their use in healing rituals overseen by medicine men and shamans, often involved much more art than science.  Continue reading “Medicines, by Dr. Enda O’Connell”

The Science of Exercise, by Dr. Nicole Burns

In the fifth of our weekly series of articles by NUI Galway researchers, Dr. Nicole Burns, Lecturer in the Discipline of Physiology, in the School of Medicine, writes about ‘The Science of Exercise’.

Ever notice how, when you walk up three flights of stairs your legs begin to ache and you are a little out of breath? If you put your hand to your chest you may also notice that your heart is beating a little faster than normal.

Were you going “too fast”?

If you slowed down would you still feel your heart beating faster than it was at rest?

If you sped up, would you breathe harder?

A subject seated on a cycle ergometer. A heart rate monitor is worn across the chest under the clothing to measure pulse at rest and during exercise. The facemask is connected to a computer which analyses the expired for percentage oxygen, carbon dioxide and total volume. A blood pressure cuff is worn on the right arm to measure changing blood pressure during exercise. (Photo credit Dr. Nicole Burns)
A subject seated on a cycle ergometer. A heart rate monitor is worn across the chest under the clothing to measure pulse at rest and during exercise. The facemask is connected to a computer which analyses the expired air for percentage oxygen, carbon dioxide and total volume. A blood pressure cuff is worn on the right arm to measure changing blood pressure during exercise. (Photo credit Dr. Nicole Burns)

Continue reading “The Science of Exercise, by Dr. Nicole Burns”