Coming from a fusion of the words ‘protein’ (a molecule that a cell uses as a machine or scaffolding) and ‘stasis’ (meaning to keep the same), the term ‘proteostasis’ can essentially be simplified into “Each function reliant on proteins is running as it should. There are enough proteins to serve a function, and the concentrations…

This may seem to be obvious, but blood is made from many things. Blood plasma, for instance, is mostly made of water, carrying proteins and cells, along with various chemicals diluted within the plasma or bound to proteins. For instance, sodium bicarbonate – baking soda – is, in fact, a vital chemical that our bodies…

CRISPR (otherwise known as “Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat”) is a gene editing system, but it is not a human invention. It was originally part of the antiviral ‘immune system’ of a particular form of bacteria. Unlike our immune system, which destroys cells infected with viruses, CRISPR seeks to destroy the actual virus itself,…

As your body ages, increasing amounts of your cells enter into a state of senescence. Senescent cells do not divide or support the tissue they are a part of, but instead emit a range of potentially harmful chemical signals, which encourage other nearby cells to also enter the same senescent state. Their presence causes many…

Macrophages (Greek: big eaters, from Greek μακρος (makros) = large, φαγειν (phagein) = to eat) are a type of white blood cell that engulfs and digests cellular debris, foreign substances, microbes, cancer cells, and anything else that does not have the protein markers specific to healthy body cells on its surface, in a process called…

It is strange, really: we hear people talking about aging all the time, about the aches and pains, grey hairs and wrinkles, and yet few of us really understand the complex biology that is at work driving these processes. Let us explore what we know about aging so far thanks to science, but before we do,…

T cells are like soldiers who seek and destroy invaders, and support other immune cells for a combined response to threats. T cells are also known as T lymphocytes, with the “T” standing for “thymus” – the organ in which these cells develop and because they mature from thymocytes (hematopoietic progenitor cells present in the…

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