Molecular Biology

Interesting to look back on this interview I gave during my undergraduate offering perspectives on why I chose to study molecular biology and the course offered at the University of Manchester. Nice to see that I’ve been able to keep the same passion and am achieving some of the goals I set out for myself.

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Dr Susan CrosthwaiteCrosthwaite.jpg

When did you first you realise that you wanted to specialise in Molecular Biology?

Probably in the final year of my Genetics Degree. This was over 30 years ago and we had a new lecturer who taught us about regulation of gene expression. I guess he was the first molecular biologist I had come across and I found the subject fascinating.

What inspired you to go down this path?

After graduating I worked as a technician. My first project was on transposition in bacteria, my second on canine adenovirus-so both projects had a Molecular Biology base. I had applied for these positions simply because I thought they were interesting.

What is your area of research focus?

My research is on noncoding RNA.  My postdoc in the USA was all to do with the molecular basis of the circadian biological clock. One of the genes encoding a central…

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Science issue: The Science of Women in Science

She Talks Science

17b-ellen-robertson-photoNewsThere are women in science. And then there is the science of women in science. Exploring and applying this science is important to me as a social psychologist, from the USA.

Why do we need a science of women in science? Even though women now participate in the workforce almost equally to men, 46.8% in the USA in 2015 (United States Department of Labor, 2016), they are still missing from many STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. In the USA in 2015, women made up only 15.4% of architecture and engineering professionals, 25.6% of computer and mathematical professionals, 29.8% of chemists and materials scientists, 24.5% of environmental scientists and geoscientists, and 37.6% of all other physical scientists (United States Bureau of Statistics, 2015).

One way of interpreting these statistics is that women are inherently worse at science than men, and unfortunately this is a common interpretation. However, research…

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A Different Kind of Jukebox at Bakerie MCR

Last week I was invited to a blogging event at Bakerie in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The purpose for the event was to bring attention to their wine jukebox, which is a wonderful invention that allows you affordably sample a wide range of new and exciting wines that you probably would not purchase by the bottle. The wine jukebox (pictured below) contains 8 reds and 8 whites from around the world.


The evening began with a short lesson on how to taste wine, and the notes to look for in a wine depending on the grape and the region it comes from. I’m very much an oenophile and it was nice to learn how to properly taste wines. We were then left to play with the jukebox and try out all the different wines, and enjoy the sharing boards.


In terms of flavours the stand-out wine of the night for me was this lovely sauvignon blanc from India. I don’t normally pick white wines, but this wine has a brilliant and unique flavour, and is definitely worth the try!


The other wines that stood out for me were the two vegan options in the jukebox. Fining agents that are used to clarify wines are often made from animal products, however the use of alternative agents is increasing and the vegan wine market is growing. The two jukebox options were Roussanne La Croix, a French white; and Malbec Valentin Bianchi, an Argentine red. They are pictured below and as you can see the white is soo clear the glass almost looks empty. These are two beautiful wines and I can’t wait to try more vegan wines.


The sharing boards at Bakerie boast a wide variety for all dietary requirements, they have a vegan board, cheese board, seafood board, and a classic charcuterie board. I happily tucked in to the vegan and cheese boards with a hearty side of bread, and the food was amazing.

Bakerie is definitely a must visit in Manchester, special thanks to Keeley and Bakerie for organising such a fabulous event!


Meat Free Monday

Getting involved with meat free Monday is a brilliant way to cut back on animal product consumption and begin transitioning to a more plant-based diet.

This is a quick and easy meal idea that I saw on Instagram and expanded on to create a full dinner.

The centre piece of the meal is the sliced cauliflower. To prepare it I made a spice rub: olive oil, ginger, cumin, coriander, garlic, green and red chillies. Fried it gently on both sides, and then roasted until crispy.

The centre of the cauliflower is the only part that really holds well as a slice so I had quite a lot of cauliflower left to play with. I processed the cauliflower with chopped tomatoes in my blender until smooth and used this as a base for my sauce. I fried onions, garlic and mushrooms until brown, combined with the tomatoes and cauliflower and simmered for several minutes.


To complete the meal I heated up some sides that I had made over the weekend: carrot fries and roasted green beans; as always laid lots of greens on my plate; and topped everything off with a dash of lime juice.


Everything was absolutely delicious and all gobbled up before I’d even thought about getting my instagram game on. My favourite thing about cooking is always trying something new, and I hope this post inspires you to do just that.

Happy Monday!

Hello February

Hello February


February is the month of all things romantic and love related. I am a big lover of tulle and have been on the hunt for a tulle skirt for a while now. Tulle just feels and looks very classically romantic and elegant; fostering notions of princesses and ballet. Another thing I am greatly looking forward to this month is films in particular marvel’s new instalment Deadpool. Myself along with many marvel aficionados cannot wait for this laugh out loud, action packed flick.

P A R O S H pink skirt
£295 –

Chicwish elastic waist skirt
£37 –

Layered skirt
£20 –

Be Mine Valentine Card
£3.82 –

Dao Linh roses
£10 –

Breakfast Week- “Shake Up Your Wake Up”

I recently became aware of the “Shake Up Your Wake Up” campaign and their annual event known as “Breakfast Week”. The campaign and events seek to encourage people to be more mindful about eating breakfast and what their breakfast contains. This something very useful for me personally as I have a tendency to get up and go without a thought for breakfast. During the last few weeks with it being exam season and having lots of early mornings and late nights, I have found having breakfast really does make a difference to my day. Breakfast doesn’t have to be complex or heavy, and I can eat mine on the go…

I tend to start my day off with a smoothie and some tea. Normally I’m heading out the door to uni so I will make the smoothie more liquid and drink it through a straw on my way in, then get a venti hot water from Starbucks on campus for my tea (all my Instagram posts are not coffee shhh 😉 ). However today I am working from home and have more time to enjoy my food, so I’ve made the smoothie more thick for a smoothie bowl by using less water and including chia seeds.


This is what is typically in my smoothie: spinach, kale, raspberries, lemon, lime, and ginger. Today I had some extra fruit on hand so I threw in a clementine, and the chia seeds to bulk up the smoothie. I normally buy the spinach and raspberries frozen, and fresh kale which I freeze immediately after buying, I’ve found it keeps well.


I then give everything a few buzzes in my trusty magic bullet until I can see that it all looks well processed.


To finish the bowl off I top it with some whole chia seeds, and some sesame seeds. The tea I’m having today is mango & lychee flavoured green tea.

I hope this post inspires you to start you day off right.

Happy Breakfast Week!



On Sundays We Have Brunch

This week I’ve decided to talk about a meal that I didn’t make. It’s been a long busy week of revising, so it was nice to get out and have a treat meal. I’m a big fan of a good brunch and Revolución de Cuba did not disappoint.

They have a simple, but varied menu, and I was very pleased with the vegetarian option that I chose.

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My Huevos Rancheros was delicious, and such a great portion size. As I have an exam tomorrow I couldn’t sample the cocktails, but I have been here for dinner and drinks before and can honestly say they are amazing too.

There was some live music as well, which was not too overpowering, and made for a nice atmosphere to sit and decompress with my friend. I will definitely be going back to Revolución de Cuba  it’s already one of my go to restaurants, and I’m happy that they now do brunch!

Have a great week!