Posts

January 14, 2015

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12:13 AM | Robots learn to use kitchen tools by watching YouTube...
Robots learn to use kitchen tools by watching YouTube videos Imagine having a personal robot prepare your breakfast every morning. Now, imagine that this robot didn’t need any help figuring out how to make the perfect omelet, because it learned all the necessary steps by watching videos on YouTube. It might sound like science fiction, but a team at the University of Maryland has just made a significant breakthrough that will bring this scenario one step closer to […]

January 13, 2015

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9:26 PM | Hey vaccine deniers–a huge study says measles vaccines are safe
Unless you’re a serious science denier, who thinks that the measles vaccine is more dangerous than measles, we have ample evidence that the measles vaccines have just about eliminated measles, although an uptick in measles this year probably can be tied to the antivaccine crowd. We have boatloads of evidence that vaccines have prevented morbidity and mortality […]Continue reading «Hey vaccine deniers–a huge study says measles vaccines are safe»
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5:26 PM | Improved Characterization and Quantification of Complex Cell Surface N-Glycans
N-Glycosylation is a common protein post-translational modification occurring on asparagine residues of the consensus sequence asparagine-X-serine/threonine, where X may be any amino acid except proline. Protein N-glycosylation takes place in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) as well as in the Golgi apparatus. Approximately half of all proteins typically expressed in a cell undergo this modification, which […]
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4:30 PM | Please, where Umbrella octopus can be found?
I couldn’t find info for them in general, other than that they’re “pelagic”, which means they hang out toward the upper parts of the ocean, but not close to the shore. However, I did find this info about “dumbo” octopuses, which are a type of Umbrella Octopus. (Maybe one of my readers knows more.. Feel free to shoot an update or comment.) (Prob not what anon had in mind. Photo from x) Geographic Distribution Worldwide having been found in New Zealand and […]
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4:24 PM | Getting to grips with the secondary cell wall
As I describe elsewhere on this blog the secondary cell wall could be a realistic and highly desirable locus for plant SynBio. Two papers from the end of 2014 made this seem a little more realistic: One from the Brady lab in UC Davis (among others) is an impressive study describing the complex set of transcription factors that work […]
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3:11 PM | [#2015PostPubRev] #365papers digest 2
With apologies to the many I have missed, and for having to restrict my selection to papers that belong to this blog, here’s the second round of #365papers digest. Please feel free to add/comment!   editorial about RSC efforts to advance chem … Continue reading →
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1:00 PM | Update from the Clinic: December
. Welcome to your Update from the Clinic for the month of December. bluebird bio’s first four patients are transfusion-free after treatment with its gene therapy Lentiglobin. Fate Therapeutics’ hematopoietic stem cell-modulating technology ProHema seems to be on track to produce results in the clinic. bluebird bio (BLUE), which recently priced a common offering to...Read more
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12:06 PM | Pharma condemns Cancer Drug Fund cuts
NHS says that 16 medicines across 25 indications will be removed from list
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11:57 AM | NICE says cost of Dendreon’s cancer vaccine is too high
Another blow as the bankrupt company goes to auction next month
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11:31 AM | Roche pays $1bn-plus for stake in genomics specialist
Shares in Foundation Medicine Inc doubled following the announcement
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11:10 AM | Biogen Idec buys pain specialist Convergence for $675m
Will gain access to lead drug for neuropathic pain
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10:40 AM | NHS England reveals plan to improve cancer survival rates
Independent taskforce to be led by Cancer Research UK’s chief executive
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8:12 AM | Illumina's new sequencers - my initial thoughts
Illumina continue to push hard on making DNA sequencing cheaper and easier to access for everyone. The announcements at last night's JP Morgan included a smaller X Ten, HiSeq 3000/4000 and NextSeq 550. I'm not going into much detail about the instruments, you can get the specs on Illumina's website, but I will talk about the impact the next step in Genome Analyser evolution.Briefly the XTen is joined by the X Five System, half the price and only 9,000 genomes a year. The NextSeq 550 allows labs […]
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4:47 AM | Sooo… the new Amazon “Echo” sounds...
Sooo… the new Amazon “Echo” sounds awesome… but I can’t shake the feeling that this video is supposed to be a parody of itself! Kind of reminded me of the SNL “Nest-Spresso” sketch. (Poe’s Law?)
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12:16 AM | Immunocore names CEO
Eliot Forster is chairman of the MedCity project
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12:15 AM | PI ARM names Mike Burman as senior director
He has experience working with Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca

January 12, 2015

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9:50 PM | “I wanted to offer people content that they would never, almost never find anywhere else.”
The excerpt copied below from one of #MySciBlog research interviews speaks for itself. It represents a few very common themes in my analysis (so far) of qualitative interviews with science bloggers about their practices and especially their content decisions. One of these themes is the science blog as a place for opinion, interpretation and/or personal commentary. In other words, relatively few science bloggers I've interviewed leave their personal opinions and thoughts out of their […]
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8:10 PM | Avoiding a Global Train Wreck: Hope in the Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance
"You can look at antibiotic resistance as a slow moving global train wreck, which will happen over the next 35 years," health law expert Kevin Outterson at Boston University, told Scientific American.  When it comes to antimicrobial resistance, the headlines paint a bleak picture. And perhaps that’s for the right reason. The issue isn’t something we should take lightly, and in most cases, articles on the subject seem to be written in an attempt to motivate […]
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6:19 PM | Your chance to change the future of biotechnology!
Anyone reading this blog knows that while excitable I try not to be provocative or sensationalist. So you can tell I feel strongly about this post when you read the title. For the last two decades the approach taken to plant biotech in Europe (and exported to parts of Africa and Asia) has been alarmist […]
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5:33 PM | Monday SMILE
Monday lab meeting? Journal club? Long weekend in the lab? Enjoy this classic from the Promega Cartoon Lab.
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2:42 PM | How to nearly derail a woman’s career: Mary-Claire King’s BRCA1 project grant
This item was floating around the twitterz this weekend. I can’t remember who pointed it out first, but I didn’t have a chance to get to it then. I was able to look for it later, and it was worth looking for. Mary-Claire King talks about her some career struggles she faced right on the […]
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1:02 PM | Personalised medicine is changing our view of disease
If three patients present with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms to their doctor each may be prescribed methotrexate, an antifolate. Statistically, this medication will work for only one of the three. The other two will return to the doctor to be switched to a more expensive biologic therapy. In the meantime the hope is that irreversible damage toRead More
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12:10 PM | Novartis forms digital health investment company with Qualcomm
Expands work with Tricorder prize firm to develop 'beyond-the-pill' initiatives
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11:25 AM | Monthly dosing effective for Sanofi's alirocumab
New data puts pressure on Amgen's evolocumab
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11:18 AM | AZ signs yet another cancer immunotherapy deal
Will work with Omnis to develop viruses that target tumour cells
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11:09 AM | EC gives nod to restless leg syndrome drug Targin
Mundipharma’s medicine is first opioid granted a licence for condition in the EU
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10:39 AM | Shire signs deal to buy NPS for $5.2bn
Firm hopes to boost its presence in rare disease sector
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8:14 AM | Jargon is Jibberish: Alan Alda’s 10 Commandments of Science Communication
I’m going to take a break from science this week to talk about writing and communication because I was lucky enough to hear Alan Alda’s thoughts on science communication at UCSD. Alan Alda, of course, was Hawkeye in M*A*S*H, but has since written, directed and starred in many other productions. He also, more to the […]
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1:18 AM | COUCH names Jenny McParland as account executive
She is a recent neuroscience graduate
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12:16 AM | Evan Lippman joins Aileron Therapeutics
He has experience at EMD Serono, Pfizer and AstraZeneca
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