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RotM: Interview with Marie Hornig

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For the current instalment of Researcher of the Month, we spoke to Marie Hornig, a third year PhD student at the Cytology and Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Greifswald, Germany. Her recently published paper, co-authored by Joachim Haug and Carolin Haug, researchers at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, provides further details about the predator behaviour in mantodeans (animal order that consists of insects such as praying mantis and some 2400 other species). The subject of her study was a praying mantis fossil that is 110 million years old. 


CTS: The smallest of discoveries regarding dinosaurs get highlighted in the media. Here, a fossil preserved over 110 million years exists among us and there is hardly any mention in the media regarding this?
MH: I am fully aware that the focus of media does not represent the recent scientific findings, since non-vertebrate species have never gotten the attention that vertebrates do.
CTS:How do you feel about this? 
M…

RotM: Interview with Dr. Suresh Thareja & Dr. Sant Kumar Verma

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For this edition of Researcher of the Month (RotM), we interviewed researchers Dr. Suresh Thareja and research fellow Sant Kumar Verma from Guru Ghasidas Central University located in Bilaspur, Chattisgarh, India.  Dr Thareja is the assistant professor for Pharmaceutical Chemistry in the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Ghasidas Central University and currently visiting scholar at the Georgia State University, USA. Mr. Sant Kumar Verma is the senior research fellow at the University working on management of diabetic complications. His research is being funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). 

Aldose reductase (AR) is an important enzyme since it converts glucose to sorbitol and begins the metabolism of glucose in the body. In patients, with diabetes, the body faces a hyperglycemic condition, which prompts the cells to make high amounts of AR, thereby producing high amounts of sorbitol which is impermeable in the cells and causes osmotic stress. Additionally, AR als…

RotM: Interview with Prof. Steve Winder

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For our recent Researcher of the Month, we spoke to Professor Steve Winder, Professor of Molecular Cell Biology, at the Department of Biomedical Science, The University of Sheffield. His laboratory focuses on the study of dystroglycan, a protein that plays an important role in cell adhesion and signalling. His recent paper in Human Molecular Genetics speaks about the a FDA approved drug, currently being used for treating leukemia as a treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Here is Professor Win
der telling us more about his lab's findings and how we might cure DMD in the near future. 
CTS : For the benefit of our readers, could you please tell us more about your  findings in the recent study. 
SW: Identification of a systemically acting and universal small molecule therapy for  Duchenne muscular dystrophy would be an enormous advance for this condition. Based on evidence gained from studies on mouse genetic models, we have identified tyrosine phosphorylation and degradation…

RotM: Interview with Dr. Marta Llimargas Casanova

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As we approach International Women's Day, we spoke to our first woman Researcher of the Month (RotM) at Coffee Table Science, Dr. Marta Llimargas Casanova. Dr. Marta is the Principal Researcher at the Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona where her team studies formation of tissues and organs during development. Her recent publication in PLoS Genetics sheds more light on chitin deposition. 
Here's Dr. Marta speaking more about her publication, women in science and working as a scientist. 

CTS: How has your recent publication added to existing knowledge about the chitin deposition? 
Chemical structure of chitin
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)MLC: Chitin is a natural polysaccharide made of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine monomers (a derivative of glucose). It is the second most abundant polymer in nature after cellulose, and from a functional point of view it has activities comparable to those of the protein keratin. Chitin is present in the cell wall of fungi and it is the major component…