January 26, 2015

6:19 PM | Extend that New Year’s energy – to what benefit?
Data from the Center for Health Discovery and Well Being cohort The post Extend that New Year’s energy – to what benefit? appeared first on Lab Land.
1:00 PM | Travelling to another dimension: going from 2D to 3D cell culture
With contributions from David Brindley . Cell-based treatments are being developed and marketed for a variety of indications: from rare orphan diseases like graft versus host disease (GvHD), to blockbuster conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease that affect huge numbers of people. For these conditions, assuming that the treatment is effective, generating adequate quantities of...Read more

January 23, 2015

1:00 PM | Right Turn: Blockbuster toy or super (silly) biomaterial?
. Signals’ mandate is to bring you, dear reader, blogs about stem cells, commercialization and biomaterials, but lately there hasn’t been much of the latter; therefore, I’ve decided to try to fill that gap. But before you get too excited, I am in no way an expert on biomaterials, despite my affection for them (and...Read more

January 20, 2015

4:15 PM | General-heavy army disastrous in immune battle
Having more helper T cells around is actually no help The post General-heavy army disastrous in immune battle appeared first on Lab Land.
1:00 PM | Luck is on their side in “bad luck” cancer study
. Before you read my blog, I recommend that you first read Sara Nolte’s blog “Bad luck, bad science, or bad reporting?” In it, Sara does an excellent job explaining and commenting on Drs. Cristian Tomasetti’s and Bert Vogelstein’s study “Variation in cancer risk among tissues can be explained by the number of stem cell...Read more

January 19, 2015

10:23 PM | Beauty Is Not In The Eye Of The Beholder
“Celebrity-endorsed” beauty products are not a construct initiated by modern society. Ancient medical authors often claimed that someone famous had used their products, such as Cleopatra or Thaïs in order to make their concoctions sound more appealing. Aetius of Amida (sixth century CE) related the recipe of a famous “soap used by the Patrician Pelagia […]
1:00 PM | Bad luck, bad science, or bad reporting?
. If you’ve been on the Internet at all in 2015, you’ve probably stumbled across headlines like “Two-thirds of cancers are due to ‘back luck,’ study finds” (CBSNews), “Most cancers are caused by bad luck not genes or lifestyle say scientists” (The Telegraph), “Cause of cancer revealed: majority of cases down to ‘bad luck’ rather...Read more
10:00 AM | Float like a jellyfish, sting like a bee
It is common knowledge that to anger a bee is a bad idea as in situations of danger or in response to attack pheromones, the bee may sting you, injecting […]

January 16, 2015

7:27 PM | Penalty for Regenetek – Two minutes for obfuscation
> There are few things in Canada that grab national attention than a story related to hockey. News that surfaced last month that hockey legend Gordie Howe had received an unproven stem cell therapy for stroke continue to grab headlines in this country. In the past week alone, our office has fielded several media calls...Read more

January 15, 2015

2:00 PM | Fixing ‘Leaky’ Blood Vessels in Severe Respiratory Ailments and Ebola
When you get an infection, your immune system responds with an influx of inflammatory cells that target the underlying bacteria or viruses. These immune cells migrate from your blood into the infected tissue in order to release a cocktail of pro-inflammatory proteins and help eliminate the infectious threat. During this inflammatory response, the blood vessel barrier becomes “leaky.” This allows for an even more rapid influx of additional immune cells. Once the infection resolves, […]

January 14, 2015

10:39 PM | ‘Groovey’ Asymmetries
Our brains are three times the size of those of chimps, yet anatomical features possessed only by humans have been extremely difficult to pinpoint. It is clear that the two species’ brains are composed differently in the areas that control social skills and language. So far, the predominant observed difference has been in a region […]
4:25 PM | How Often Do Books Mention Scientists and Researchers?
Here is a graphic showing the usage of the words "scientists", "researchers", "soldiers" in English-language books published in 1900-2008. The graphic was generated using the Google N-gram Viewer which scours all digitized books in the Google database for selected words and assesses the relative word usage frequencies.   (You can click on the chart to see a screen shot or on this link for the N-gram Viewer) It is depressing that soldiers are mentioned more frequently than scientists or […]

January 13, 2015

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

January 12, 2015

6:46 PM | Sneaky Chaperones in our War Against Bacterial Infection
I guess most of you know about the ‘central dogma’ of science of DNA-> RNA->Protein. But what happens next? You get a beautiful (in my opinion) folded functional protein that […]
3:21 PM | Carbohydrates not silent to immune system
A systems bio scan of carbohydrate binding by donor antibodies, facilitated by the Emory glycomics team The post Carbohydrates not silent to immune system appeared first on Lab Land.

January 10, 2015

6:10 PM | Sharing Is Caring
Biology textbooks commonly talk about how bacteria can carry out horizontal gene transmission, that is, transfer rings of free DNA called plasmids between different bacterial cells. This allows them to pass traits like antibiotic resistance from one bacterium to the next. Until recently, this was the only recorded case of DNA transmission between cells. Now, […]

January 09, 2015

4:55 PM | Unexpected mechanism for a longevity lipid
Satiety lipid OEA may act as lysosomal signal to nucleus The post Unexpected mechanism for a longevity lipid appeared first on Lab Land.
1:00 PM | Right Turn: Remembering the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease
. Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic, neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of memory and changes in behaviour in the early stage. It typically starts slowly and progresses, within a decade, to death from an external factor, such as an infection or pneumonia, or the person’s body completely shuts down. According to the Alzheimer Society of...Read more

January 08, 2015

9:26 PM | Max Cooper celebrated in Nature for 50 yrs of B cells
Studying immune cells in chickens, mice and lampreys The post Max Cooper celebrated in Nature for 50 yrs of B cells appeared first on Lab Land.
3:28 AM | Everything entomologically wrong with the Ant-Man trailer.
Ant-Man is one of the nerdiest of superheroes. He’s an entomologist who shrinks down to the size of an insect, and uses ants to do his bidding. To someone who knows about insects this is kind of terrifying. Ants are extremely tough insects, and they work together to bring down prey thousands of times their […]Read Post ›
2:37 AM | New year’s blogging resolutions.
Since it’s the new year, everybody is making lists of the stuff they’d like to do for the year. I’m doing the same, and a lot of my resolutions are fairly standard stuff. I’m going to work out more, and spend more time getting to know people outside of work. I plan to do these […]Read Post ›

January 07, 2015

3:29 PM | Lab Land looking back: Top ten themes for 2014
A look at what Lab Land has covered in the last year The post Lab Land looking back: Top ten themes for 2014 appeared first on Lab Land.
1:00 PM | Regenerative Medicine Deal Review: December
. Welcome to your deal review for the month of December. Juno Therapeutics made its leap into the public realm with the largest biotech initial public offering (IPO) in 2014. bluebird Bio announced pricing of a common offering to raise over $200M. Read on to find out more. Earlier this year, we saw privately held...Read more

January 05, 2015

9:34 PM | Point mutation in fragile X gene reveals separable functions in brain
How it usually works - but not always. Rare point mutation in patient shows FMRP has additional functions beyond RNA-binding. The post Point mutation in fragile X gene reveals separable functions in brain appeared first on Lab Land.
8:06 PM | Typical Dreams: A Comparison of Dreams Across Cultures
But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.                                     William Butler Yeats – from "Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven"       Have you ever wondered how the content of your dreams differs from that of […]

January 04, 2015

4:06 PM | Pathomx Linux Developer Release
A developer release of Pathomx (Python3) is now available. This release can be installed by using the ./ script from the cloned Github repository. This script installs all dependencies (via apt-get and pip) that are required for Pathomx to run. This developer release is an important first step to getting Pathomx successfully packaged for Linux. Any contributions, comments and feedback most welcome. Hope you’ve had a great Christmas and […]

January 03, 2015

7:17 PM | Happy New Year, Indeed!
Alzheimer’s disease is predicted to be affecting 15 million people by 2050. That is, unless a form of cure or prevention is found. Some exciting news to be starting 2015 with is that researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine may have discovered a solution. A study carried out by Katrin Andreasson, professor of neurology and […]

January 02, 2015

7:50 PM | Right Turn: How your New Year’s Resolution works
One of the most common New Year’s Resolutions made every year: Exercise regularly and get in better shape. It’s a noble resolution, often broken, but worthwhile nonetheless. But have you ever wondered how that resolution works? Wonder no more: This great video, from EuroStemCell, explains how stem cells respond to the cues given during workouts...Read more
7:23 PM | Lab Land’s crystal ball: 2015 Top 5 topics
1. Alzheimer's 2. Ebola 3. Hypersomnia 4. Microbiome/antibiotic resistance 5. Endovascular stroke The post Lab Land’s crystal ball: 2015 Top 5 topics appeared first on Lab Land.

December 29, 2014

6:53 PM | Sleepy, Selfish Success
“People who stay awake late at night are more self-admiring, more manipulative, and more psychopathic than people who arise early in the morning.” You may be shocked (and possibly offended), but Dr Peter Jonason from University of Western Sydney, along with two colleagues, won an Ig Nobel Prize this year for amassing evidence that proved […]
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