Looking for new teaching resources or inspiration for innovative biology lessons? If so, you will be pleased to read that the 28th issue of Science in School is now available! Biology teacher will not be disappointed by the breath of life sciences content in the current edition of the magazine – topics range from infectious diseases to basic and applied cell biology and epigenetics, cancer research and drug discovery.
The issue’s feature article discusses how archaeologists and geneticists have joined forces to uncover the mystery behind one of the most intriguing infectious diseases in history – the Black Death. A palaeo-geneticist involved in the research explains how the scientists used molecular genetics techniques to analyse DNA from the bacterial pathogen Yersinia pestis which was found inside the teeth of plaque victims from medieval Britain. Their research provided crucial clues on the reasons behind the large death toll caused by the infection.
Looking at the science of natural medicines, a further life sciences article focuses on the interface between chemistry and medical biology, and takes the reader through current routes of drug design and production. Processes discussed are the use of chemical synthesis to obtain increased amounts of medical compounds from natural products, the production of semi-synthetic medicines, and the utilisation of natural compounds as templates for new drug designs.
If you ever wondered what eating broccoli or cashew nuts does to your genes, the article “Food that shapes you: how diet can change your epigenome” will give you plenty of ‘food for thought’. And a report on the World Cell Race – the Olympics for cell lines – will provide lots of reasons why it is important to study cell mobility. Cell division, rather than mobility, is the focus of an article on the yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe – a model organism which gives biologists essential clues about the behaviour of cancerous cells.