Posts

November 24, 2014

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11:24 PM | Glow in the dark
Why do cats’ eyes glow in the dark? When a light shines into a cat’s eyes in the dark, it causes them to “glow”. In fact, while driving at night, you might have noticed that effect is not unique to cats; headlights will cause the eyes of any nocturnal animal to shine brightly. The secret […]
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6:31 PM | How the 5:2 Diet Reduces More Than Just Your Waistline
Intermittent fasting is the seemingly miraculous new weight loss method, popularised by the 5:2 diet followed by Benedict Cumberbatch, George Osborne, and Philip Schofield. Adherents to the 5:2 diet practise […]
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5:24 PM | Calling attention to collagen, the lesser known “triple” helix
> For anyone who follows crime dramas, you’ve probably come across the token episode where the resident computer genius pulls up a double helix to unravel some genetic clue about an elusive villain. Of course, most people know that the information in DNA requires more than a few clicks of the “zoom” button. But my...Read more

November 21, 2014

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7:48 PM | In landmark study of cell therapy for heart attack, more cells make a difference
Results from one of the largest studies of bone marrow cell therapy for heart attack in the United States. Researchers made real progress in determining the cell type and dose that can benefit patients. The post In landmark study of cell therapy for heart attack, more cells make a difference appeared first on Lab Land.
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2:30 PM | Right Turn: Out of the bubble with gene-edited stem cells
> This is a rather exciting time to be in the stem cell and regenerative medicine field and one of the main reasons for this is the number of announcements and articles about clinical trials taking place. Seven years ago, when I joined the Stem Cell Network, these were a rare occurrence, but today it’s...Read more
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8:17 AM | PyQtConfig: A simple API for keeping your PyQt Widgets and config in sync
Introducing PyQtConfig: a simple API for handling, persisting and synchronising configuration within PyQt applications. This module was built initially as part of the Pathomx data analysis platform but spun out into a standalone module when it became clear it was quite useful. This post gives a brief overview of the API features and use. It is still in development so suggestions, comments, bug reports and pull-requests are very welcome. Features consistent interface to read values […]

November 20, 2014

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10:13 PM | Cell death drug discovery: come at the king, you best not miss
Researchers tried to chemically inactivate the king of one form of cell death, only to find their tools triggered another form. The post Cell death drug discovery: come at the king, you best not miss appeared first on Lab Land.
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1:00 PM | Lessons from Dendreon
. You have all by now heard that Dendreon has filed for bankruptcy protection. If you’re a regular reader of Signals, you may have first heard the news here. While the company has successfully reached agreements on a financial restructuring with a majority of its senior debt holders, its fate remains unclear and could include...Read more

November 19, 2014

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1:58 PM | Zombie CellSlam Adds “Undead Video” Category; Top Prize Still $1,000 in Live Science Slam at ASCB 2014
A separate Undead Video category has been added to the bill at the Zombie CellSlam, a juried, stand-up science slam set for Monday evening, December 8, at the 2014 ASCB/IFCB meeting. The Undead Video entries will compete for a single $200 prize. “The undead have a zero cost of living,” explained Simon Atkinson, Chair of ASCB’s Public Information Committee (PIC), which is bringing CellSlam back from the dead by popular demand. “We thought $200 would more than cover […]
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1:00 PM | If cell therapy isn’t about the cells or the therapy, what is it about?
. With contributions from James Smith, a recent Oxford University graduate and current CASMI Translational Stem Cell Consortium Research Associate.   Both the IBC Cell Therapy Bioprocessing (ICTB) conference and the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Congress (SCRMC) took place recently. The conferences shared several common themes: one being the presence of a significant focus...Read more

November 18, 2014

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9:10 PM | Gremlins in the Machine: Creating custom tools for the Pathomx data analysis platform
Pathomx is a workflow-based data analysis tool built on IPython. It began as a metabolomic-analysis toolkit, but has extended to support general data analysis workflows. It aims to be simple to use for non-experts while powerful enough for complex analysis tasks. Key to both of these goals is the ability to create ‘custom tools’ that can be drag-dropped together to form larger workflows. Previously custom tool creation required a developer installation, however with the […]
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5:27 PM | Research Focus: Prof. R Lewis, Newcastle University
Today we’re talking to Prof. Rick Lewis about his lab’s recent research article just published in Nature Communications, titled “Structure and function of a spectrin-like regulator of bacterial cytokinesis.”  Rick […]

November 17, 2014

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1:17 PM | A Broken System or a Fatal Flaw? High-Level Panel to Tackle the Future of Research at ASCB/IFCB Session
The biomedical research ecosystem is changing. The resources are scarcer, yet more trainees are competing for coveted tenure-track positions than ever before. The competition is made tougher by the impact factor of journals being used as a measure of research success. Fewer than 10% of PhDs go on to become tenure-tracked professors, yet this is the default career for which graduate students and postdocs are trained. Harvard postdocs Jessica Polka and Kristen Krukenberg […]

November 14, 2014

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9:47 PM | Pitch Perfect Drugs: In Tune or a Little Off-Key?
My feature article was recently shortlisted as one of the top 10 (from 600+ entrants) for the Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize 2014. An edited version will be published on the Wellcome Trust website at the end of the year, but I thought I would share my views with all of you first. Ella Fitzgerald is […]
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4:09 PM | Breaking the rules: flagellin vs rotavirus
It’s not chicken soup, the cure for every illness, or duct tape, the fix for every mechanical problem, but flagellin is getting there. The post Breaking the rules: flagellin vs rotavirus appeared first on Lab Land.
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1:00 PM | Right Turn: “Changing the face of men’s health” (one moustache at a time)
. The month of November can mean different things to different people. For example, Canadians recognize Remembrance Day on November 11, Americans have Veterans Day and my Polish friends celebrate National Independence Day. There’s American Thanksgiving immediately followed by the countdown to how many shopping days are left until Christmas. Today, as it turns out,...Read more

November 13, 2014

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1:00 PM | Revolution and reimbursement in the cell therapy industry
. With contributions from James Smith, a recent Oxford University graduate and current CASMI Translational Stem Cell Consortium Research Associate   In the early 1770s, Britain faced a significant financial dilemma. One of its most important commercial institutions, the East India Company, had come into considerable financial problems; a large quantity of tea was being...Read more
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5:00 AM | A Car Crash, a GED Diploma, a Nap on a Concrete Floor—The Making of Cell Biologists Explored in MBoC Prize Essays
For biologists, we are surprisingly shy about the facts of life. After all, where do cell biologists come from? Storks or DNA are not adequate answers. So who are our scientific ancestors and who are our human ones? Who were the influencers, the supporters, and the guides? And from where inside came the endless questions and the itch to see how a thing works? What were the outside events that turned so many into explorers, plodders, geeks, glass washers, and the occasional genius? A man of […]

November 11, 2014

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9:08 PM | Paul Offit: rock star of vaccine advocacy
Title: talking to parents about vaccines The post Paul Offit: rock star of vaccine advocacy appeared first on Lab Land.
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2:04 PM | Ebola’s capriciousness in kids
Ebola virus disease may affect children in different ways. Biomarker research provides some molecular clues. The post Ebola’s capriciousness in kids appeared first on Lab Land.

November 10, 2014

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4:26 PM | Acidity of aging leads to new Alzheimer’s drug target
Acidic conditions activate an enzyme (AEP) that snips tau, which forms neurofibrillary tangles in AD The post Acidity of aging leads to new Alzheimer’s drug target appeared first on Lab Land.
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3:02 PM | A Larger Than Life Cellular Imagery Show Lands at the Philadelphia Airport
A cellular eye-opener is awaiting ASCB/IFCB meeting attendees arriving at the Philadelphia International Airport next month for the December 6-10 meeting. Twenty-three ASCB members from the greater Philadelphia area have mounted Larger Than Life, a stunning exhibition of microscopy imagery blown up into massive prints. Larger Than Life comes on the heels of the joint ASCB National Institute of General Medical Sciences photo exhibition, Life: Magnified, at Dulles […]
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1:00 PM | Cell Therapy Commercialization: A View from Lonza on Bioreactors
. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Eytan Abraham over lunch on the first day of the Till & McCulloch Meetings, held last month in Ottawa (October 27-29). After some discussion about cell therapy manufacturing, I learned that he is the new Head of Research and Technology at Lonza, based out of Walkersville, Maryland....Read more
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10:30 AM | Experimental Techniques Explained; High Performance Liquid Chromatography
This week I’ve decided to focus on a scientific experimental technique used quite frequently nowadays, and one that can still be a bit of an enigma to rising students and […]
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8:43 AM | Endothelial Cells & The Endothelium Layer
Presented by Regen Center to learn more about the science behind regenerative medical technologies please visit Regeneration Center of Thailand - Regenerative Medical Solutions using Enriched Multipotent Progenitor cells. Treatment Center in Bangkok Thailand. HLA Matched Allogenic Cells With PRP Human Endothelial cells “EC” are estimated to account for nearly 1 kg of mass in the human body. This mass is about the same as our livers. Endothelial cells are thought to be produced by […]

November 09, 2014

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9:16 PM | Validation of RNAseq Experiments by qPCR?
This post is in response to a couple of twitter discussions regarding whether its "useful" to do qPCR validation of RNAseq hits:As preliminary data for a talk can I graph transcript counts of particular genes (transcriptome data) instead of qPCR (haven't done it yet)?— Sciencegurl (@sciencegurlz0) October 27, 2014In response to the that I posted a response I made in response to a similar query from a reviewer for a recent manuscript (original available here). Based on the fact that this […]

November 08, 2014

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5:23 PM | Identity Revealed.
Apologies for the delay, but here is the answer to last Saturday’s “Guess Who” post: Sir Gavin Rylands de Beer (1899-1972) One of Sir Rylands de Beer many influential works expanded on Walter Garstang’s paedomorphosis theory. Paedamorphosis is the retention of juvenile, or even larval traits (feathers in this case) by an organism into later […]

November 07, 2014

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6:53 PM | No junk: long RNA mimics DNA, restrains hormone responses
Molecular details on the function of a long intergenic noncoding RNA (lincRNA), a player in some forms of cancer. The post No junk: long RNA mimics DNA, restrains hormone responses appeared first on Lab Land.
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2:13 PM | Right Turn: Seeing the potential of retinal stem cells
> The well known expression that “the eyes are the gateway to the soul” has tragic connotations in the context of retinal disease. Rhetoric aside, the potential for regenerative medicine to improve our ability to treat ocular disease and injury makes it an exciting area of stem cell research. It is also one that has...Read more
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1:28 PM | Trials funded by rich patients could help find cures for us all
Disease can affect any person, rich or poor. While your bank balance can’t really protect you from getting sick, it could potentially buy you – and many other patients – access to a better treatment for your disease. A new … Continue reading →
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