In 2018 we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Jędrzej Śniadecki’s birth. This work aims to show the importance of his thoughts for the development of natural sciences. He studied at some of the largest universities in Europe, where he met great scientists of the Enlightenment. The effects can be seen in his works. He was remembered as a founder of Polish biochemistry, anthropology and pathology, also as the author of chemical terminology and language. The essence of his thoughts is Theory of organic being, which is an attempt to answer the question: „what is life?”. Jędrzej Śniadecki introduced a new definition of life based on the term „organic power”. This work shows how import are the thoughts of Jędrzej Śniadecki in the context of the times in which he lived, as well as the following development of natural sciences, what makes him and his theories worth memory.
Cells of a multicellular organism are genetically identical but differ in structure and function. This heterogeneity is created by several epigenetic mechanisms during the development of the organism. The epigenetic changes- including DNA methylation, histone post-translational modifications, chromatin remodeling and RNA interference have all been shown to control chromatin structure and regulate a plethora of cellular and organismal processes. There is a strong evidence that epigenetics play a crucial role in the development of diseases such as cancer, schizophrenia or metabolic disorders. The epigenetic regulation underlie memory formation or adaptation to external stimuli. The extent to which environmental effects can provoke epigenetic responses represents an exciting area of future research. Here we review the current knowledge about the epigenetic mechanisms and their relation to the human health and disease.
This review compiles the pioneers of biological sciences who have been born and educated on the territories, which has got political independence as Poland state in 1918. Their work and passing knowledge to the next generations had a great impact not only on the progress in science but also on a newly formed Polish society. Many of these contributions laid foundations for chemistry, physics, biochemistry, genetics and other biological sciences.
This year we are celebrating 150 anniversary of the discovery of DNA by Friedrich Miescher. His finding initiated a series of discoveries that allowed to depicts life's most famous molecule with novel features with considerable biological interest. In this article we recall the biggest mile stones of 150-year history of DNA and present the context and meaning of several key observations that have brought us closer to understanding DNA. 150 years ago, people had no idea that DNA existed, and they certainly hadn’t heard of DNA structure and sequencing. We now know that DNA is a dynamic, tortuous coil, constantly shuffling and unwinding. Today DNA is all around us, in a physical sense and in a cultural sense. It is really part of our culture. We will discuss also the little known facts, often overlooked in similar discussions. We will focus particularly on Professor Richard Altmann's from Iława, whose contribution to knowledge about nucleic acids is significant, although not well recognized so far.