September 29, 2014

8:08 PM | From Berlin to Yerkes
Yerkes immunologist Guido Silvestri and colleagues have a paper in PLOS Pathogens shedding light on the still singular example of Timothy Brown, aka "the Berlin patient", the only human cured of HIV. The post From Berlin to Yerkes appeared first on Lab Land.
6:14 PM | HIV vaccine insight via Rwanda
Rebuilding a shattered society is compatible with HIV vaccine research The post HIV vaccine insight via Rwanda appeared first on Lab Land.
2:12 PM | More than just the pizza: A new approach to Journal Club
> It’s September again! That means new grad students in the lab, seminars and courses start again, committee meetings, grant deadlines, product shows, and… Journal Club. What is Journal Club – and why am I about to spend an entire post talking about it? Ideally, it is a dedicated meeting where lab members come together...Read more
4:00 AM | Human Frontier Science Program Signs DORA but Chief Calls for Action from Those Making Real Career Decisions
Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker's organization, the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP), made it official on September 19 when it signed DORA, the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment. In signing, the HFSP, an international coalition funded by 15 countries to support basic life science research, pledged to follow the DORA principles to minimize the use of journal impact factors (JIFs) in scientific assessment for hiring, promotion, and funding. The HFSP's Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker says […]

September 27, 2014

12:58 AM | Banking on baby: all about umbilical cord blood stem cell transplants
Over the summer, my then-pregnant friend asked for my opinion about umbilical cord blood banking, naturally sending me into a world of fascinating biology, cutting edge medicine and some ethical quandaries. If you can afford the $1000-2000 processing fee and at least $100 a year to store the blood, banking seems like a no-brainer. “You […]

September 26, 2014

1:15 PM | Right Turn: Dear teacher, this is how I spent my summer vacation…
. An interest and appetite for science appears to be alive and well in two jurisdictions where high school students competed for the chance to spend part, or all, of their summer learning about stem cells and biomedical research. The winners of a science animation festival spent one week at the Institute of Biomaterials and...Read more
12:00 PM | Biomarkers in Cancer Research: An Introduction
As a term, “Cancer Research” covers a broad range of scientific investigation. Many of us think of cancer research as the development of new drugs to treat patients – known […]

September 25, 2014

4:00 AM | Outreach Grants Will Promote Basic Science from Galway to San Quentin Prison
Inmate-college students at San Quentin Prison will soon have microscopes for their biology lab through an ASCB Outreach Grant, offered by the Committee for Postdocs and Students (COMPASS) outreach subcommittee. ASCB members Ryan McGorty and Adam Williamson, both postdocs at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), asked for the outreach grant to help their volunteer efforts as instructors for a introductory biology course for prisoners.  Susan Walsh shows […]

September 24, 2014

7:29 PM | Cardiac cell therapy: three papers at a glance
Cardiac cell therapy sounds like a promising idea: use the patients’ own cells to enhance healing or even regenerate the damaged heart muscle. Doctors have taken up the promise, testing it in clinical trials involving thousands of patients. But a basic problem facing the field is this: naked cells don’t appear to stay in the […] The post Cardiac cell therapy: three papers at a glance appeared first on Lab Land.

September 23, 2014

1:15 PM | Explosive growth in cell therapy just around the corner?
. With contributions from James Smith, a recent Oxford University graduate and current SENS Research Foundation Summer Scholar working at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.   Assume a single bacterium weighs one thousand billionth of a gram. If it, and each of its progeny, divides once every 20 minutes then the population will reach approximately...Read more
4:00 AM | Empathy Comes Before Data in Talking Evolution with Doubters, Says NCSE’s Ann Reid
In Philadelphia this December, Ann Reid's mission will be to talk to scientists about talking about the science of evolution without losing their scientific cool. "It's not about the science," says Reid, the new Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), "or at least you have to get a lot of stuff out of the way before you talk about the science." Fighting the good fight for evolution requires empathy first, PowerPoint slides later, NCSE’s Ann […]

September 19, 2014

6:00 PM | Mother Nature Sets the Tune in Cell Biology, Walter Tells Lasker Awards Ceremony
Mother Nature made an unexpected appearance this afternoon at the Lasker Awards luncheon in New York City when Peter Walter of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and ASCB President Elect for 2016, described her as a mix of biological referee, evolutionary trickster, and puzzle mistress. "In biology, Mother Nature presents the playing field, and it is our task to decipher how it works," Walter declared. "Disconcertingly, Nature deploys the strategy of random walk, of mutation and […]
2:45 PM | Alternative antibody architecture
The complex genomic apparatus for making lampreys' antibody-like receptors The post Alternative antibody architecture appeared first on Lab Land.
2:36 PM | Comparing Planck's noise and dust to BICEP2
In case anyone reading this doesn't recall, back in March an experiment known as BICEP2 made a detection of something known as B-mode polarisation in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). This was big news, mostly because this B-mode polarisation signal would be a characteristic signal of primordial gravitational waves. The detection of the effects of primordial gravitational waves would itself be a wonderful discovery, but this potential discovery went even further in the wonderfulness […]
2:20 PM | Right Turn: Get an earful of stem cells
> There are a multitude of ways to stay informed about research trends and advances in the field. Obvious ones, for a researcher or trainee are lab or journal club meetings, conferences, or journal subscriptions. Then there’s the online world, including any number of news aggregators, blogs and twitter — Science recently published an article of...Read more

September 18, 2014

7:35 PM | The age of blood
Investigating how long blood can be stored before the benefit of transfusion is compromised The post The age of blood appeared first on Lab Land.
2:43 PM | Update from the Clinic: August
. Welcome to your Update from the Clinic for the month of August. Asterias Biotherapeutics breathes new life into a cell therapy shelved two years ago and initiates a Phase I/II study in patients with spinal cord injury. Northwest Biotherapeutics provides an update on the use of its dendritic cell-based immunotherapy in patients with brain...Read more

September 17, 2014

4:08 PM | PTH for stroke: stem cells lite
Spur the body's regenerative agents to emerge from the bone marrow The post PTH for stroke: stem cells lite appeared first on Lab Land.
1:28 PM | Builders and Blocks – Engineering Blood Vessels with Stem Cells
Back in 2001, when we first began studying how regenerative cells (stem cells or more mature progenitor cells) enhance blood vessel growth, our group as well as many of our colleagues focused on one specific type of blood vessel: arteries. Arteries are responsible for supplying oxygen to all organs and tissues of the body and arteries are more likely to develop gradual plaque build-up (atherosclerosis) than veins or networks of smaller blood vessels (capillaries). Once the amount of plaque […]

September 16, 2014

4:15 PM | Divide and conquer vs lung cancer
Biomarkers that can predict whether doctors will see a response with common chemotherapy drugs vs lung cancer The post Divide and conquer vs lung cancer appeared first on Lab Land.
1:15 PM | Life, death and regulation
. With contributions from James Smith, a recent Oxford University graduate and current SENS Research Foundation Summer Scholar working at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.   Consider this question: if I gave you the option to take a drug offering a 100 percent chance of survival to average life expectancy at which time you would...Read more
4:00 AM | Nontraditional Careers: Science Policy
A doctorate in biology is preparation to do more than just bench work, said Lyric Jorgenson, a PhD who now works as Science Policy Advisor and Analyst at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). "It's a degree in logic," she contends. Logic and problem solving, an interest in politics, combined with the ability to write for different audiences are essential skills for PhDs looking to make the leap into science policy. A doctorate in biology is preparation to do more than just bench work, […]

September 15, 2014

6:00 PM | Run Towards The Light!: Characterising Near-Death Experiences
The term Near-Death Experience conjures up thoughts of walking down a long tunnel towards a bright light or floating above an operating table – easy to dismiss as a paranormal […]
4:00 AM | Celldance 2014 Announces Microscopic Blockbuster Commissions
It will be a triple feature, short but powerful, says Duane Compton. The three "Tell Your Own Cell Story" videos just commissioned by ASCB's Celldance Studios will feature eye-popping live cell imaging and scientific storytelling, according to Compton, who chaired the Celldance selection panel. The panel today announced the names of the ASCB members from whom videos have been commissioned and the cell stories they plan to tell. Illustration by Johnny Chang, ASCBIt will be a triple feature, […]

September 13, 2014

1:12 PM | Back to the Basics- The (Not So) Simple Cell
With Freshers week upon us for many students across the country, we thought it might be a nice idea to recap some of the basics of “the cell” for those […]

September 12, 2014

12:33 PM | Right Turn: Super Cells takes flight
> Those of you who’ve been following this blog regularly will know that we were in the process of building a science exhibit — we’ve published a few teasers, here and here. This week, Super Cells: The power of stem cells was unveiled in the small, historic city of Sherbrooke, Québec (well worth a visit,...Read more

September 11, 2014

1:15 PM | Regenerative Medicine Deal Review: August
. Welcome to your deal review for the month of August. As would be expected at the end of the summer news flow was modest, but Northwest Biotherapeutics kept things alive with a $17.5 million financing via convertible debt, while Gamida Cell announced a game-changing deal with a large Pharma partner that is placing its...Read more

September 10, 2014

3:49 PM | Apple Does 3D Cell Culture
Andrew Pelling has a new application for the apple, but it is not the latest i-gizmo from Cupertino, CA. Pelling and colleagues at the University of Ottawa have come up with a possible solution to the limitations of traditional, two-dimensional (2D) cell culture, which does not reproduce the microenvironment and tissue architecture that surrounds cells in a living organism—the apple, the one-a-day fruit that keeps the doctor away and is an essential ingredient to the All-American […]

Modulevsky DJ, Lefebvre C, Haase K, Al-Rekabi Z & Pelling AE (2014). Apple derived cellulose scaffolds for 3D mammalian cell culture., PloS one, 9 (5) PMID:


September 09, 2014

1:57 PM | What are exosomes?
Tiny virus-like bubbles containing micro RNA, potentially carrying heart-healing factors The post What are exosomes? appeared first on Lab Land.
1:30 PM | CRISPR and Rejuvenation Biotechnology: have you been hiding under a rock?
. With contributions from James Smith, a recent Oxford University graduate and current SENS Research Foundation Summer Scholar working at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.   ‘Bay Area biotechnology’ is a description that conjures images of the proud Hoover Tower at Stanford, and the iconic Genentech sign marking “Birthplace of Biotechnology,” set against the backdrop...Read more
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