[I pin this post to the top for a little while in February most years now; some of it (not the important stuff) is obviously out of date!]
OK I’ve mostly avoided mentioning anything about today’s date but a few people scuppered the plan as expected. Oh well. Happy greetings-card-marketing day ;)
I’ll stop being miserable now, let’s talk science!
People ask me what I do quite a lot. I work* in a Cancer Research centre in a group called the ‘Cell Adhesion and Angiogenesis lab’, which is a mouthful. *Ed: used to work, pre-2013
Cells, for anyone who is unaware, are the building blocks of the body. One single bacterium is a cell; they’re unicellular organisms. We mammals are multicellular; our bodies are made up of lots of individual cells. Those cells obviously have to stick to each other and to the non-cell elements of the body (bones and all the other inter-cellular stuff) or we’d fall apart!
So that’s what cell adhesion is – how cells stick to and interact with each other and their environment.