Mar 8, 2023 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Selenocysteine: An Unusual Amino Acid

Previously, I listed some of my favorite educational YouTube channels, which includes the Kurzgesagt channel with its fun animations and soothing narration of scientific concepts, including many topics in biology and biological functions. As part of my algorithm, this one popped up in my feed recently:

Nov 9, 2022 10:54:28 AM       by Baoqi He

What is Oxidative Stress?

Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) and antioxidant defenses. [1] The body’s cells produce free radicals, which are nitrogen- or oxygen-containing molecules with an uneven number of electrons [2], during normal metabolic processes. [3] Meanwhile, cells also produce antioxidants that neutralize these free radicals to prevent excessive cell and tissue damage. In general, the body is able to maintain a balance between antioxidants and free radicals. [3] However, this balance could be disrupted under certain conditions or environmental stress or infection, and uncontrolled oxidative stress can accelerate the aging process.[3]

Jun 1, 2022 2:13:47 PM       by Kin Leung

Plant Power: Plant Chemicals and Proteins for Human Health

When I was growing up in Hong Kong, and even after I came to the United States, my parents and grandparents would periodically give me ginseng beverages and soups, which was not always pleasant due to the bitter taste. As a result, I don’t think I really appreciated the benefits of ginseng, both scientifically confirmed and perceived. It is fun and informative to read about the myriad studies of natural plant extracts and how they can improve our well-being. Many folks like to drink herbal teas or use plant-derived supplements such as aloe vera lotions, so maybe this is good incentive to grow more of these beneficial plants such that they can provide health products as well as some clean oxygen for us to breathe!