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Posts

April 24, 2014

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2:46 AM | RNAi Therapies as Possible Cure for TTR Amyloidosis and Other Diseases
TTR amyloidosis is a rare hereditary disease characterized by abnormal production of a protein called transthyretin, or TTR, which is responsible for shuttling the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4) and retinol (an animal form of vitamin A) around the body. Hence, the name transthyretin: transports thyroxine and retinol. The defective version of the protein is unable to perform […]

April 23, 2014

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6:00 PM | Gloria Ophthalmologist Geoff Tabin has performed thousands of...
Gloria Ophthalmologist Geoff Tabin has performed thousands of cataract surgeries and has created systems to facilitate many thousands more through the Himalayan Cataract Project. In this ​video, courtesy of the Himalayan Cataract Project, Dr. Tabin ​helps a young woman with a damaged cornea, and witnesses an unforgettable transformation. via NOVA’s Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers. Web: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/secretlife/ Facebook: […]
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2:25 PM | Illustrating the Epic Battle Between Cells and Viruses Using a Sweet Cartoon (Video)
If you’re not familiar with the TED organization, you really ought to be. TED, which stands for technology, education and design, is a series of conferences where great minds give presentations (known as TED talks) on the topics I just mentioned. While browsing videos of these presentations on their website, TED.com, I stumbled upon this awesome […]
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1:37 PM | What drugs can astronauts take in space?
It is really, really inconvenient to get sick in space. At least, that’s what I took away from some recent reporting on astronaut microbiomes and zero-gravity…
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12:00 PM | Chili Peppers Run Hot And Cold
Biology concepts – obesity, brown adipose tissue, agonist/antagonist, protective hypothermia, hyperthermia, reactive oxygen species, ischemia, hypoxiaWhen The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939, it just barely turned a profit. The '39 version was the third attempt at filming the children’s classic, and the first two efforts had not fared much better. I don’t see how people didn’t take to the Wizard of Oz right away. It had new technology for the movies, a good villain, […]

Yoneshiro T, Aita S, Matsushita M, Kayahara T, Kameya T, Kawai Y, Iwanaga T & Saito M (2013). Recruited brown adipose tissue as an antiobesity agent in humans., The Journal of clinical investigation, 123 (8) 3404-8. PMID:

Feng Z, Hai-Ning Y, Xiao-Man C, Zun-Chen W, Sheng-Rong S & Das UN (2014). Effect of yellow capsicum extract on proliferation and differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes., Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 30 (3) 319-25. PMID:

Yoneshiro T & Saito M (2013). Transient receptor potential activated brown fat thermogenesis as a target of food ingredients for obesity management., Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 16 (6) 625-31. PMID:

Muzzi M, Felici R, Cavone L, Gerace E, Minassi A, Appendino G, Moroni F & Chiarugi A (2012). Ischemic neuroprotection by TRPV1 receptor-induced hypothermia., Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 32 (6) 978-82. PMID:

Cao Z, Balasubramanian A & Marrelli SP (2014). Pharmacologically induced hypothermia via TRPV1 channel agonism provides neuroprotection following ischemic stroke when initiated 90 min after reperfusion., American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology, 306 (2) 56. PMID:

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12:00 PM | Chili Peppers Run Hot And Cold
Biology concepts – obesity, brown adipose tissue, agonist/antagonist, protective hypothermia, hyperthermia, reactive oxygen species, ischemia, hypoxiaWhen The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939, it just barely turned a profit. The '39 version was the third attempt at filming the children’s classic, and the first two efforts had not fared much better. I don’t see how people didn’t take to the Wizard of Oz right away. It had new technology for the movies, a good villain, […]

Yoneshiro T, Aita S, Matsushita M, Kayahara T, Kameya T, Kawai Y, Iwanaga T & Saito M (2013). Recruited brown adipose tissue as an antiobesity agent in humans., The Journal of clinical investigation, 123 (8) 3404-8. PMID:

Feng Z, Hai-Ning Y, Xiao-Man C, Zun-Chen W, Sheng-Rong S & Das UN (2014). Effect of yellow capsicum extract on proliferation and differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes., Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 30 (3) 319-25. PMID:

Yoneshiro T & Saito M (2013). Transient receptor potential activated brown fat thermogenesis as a target of food ingredients for obesity management., Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 16 (6) 625-31. PMID:

Muzzi M, Felici R, Cavone L, Gerace E, Minassi A, Appendino G, Moroni F & Chiarugi A (2012). Ischemic neuroprotection by TRPV1 receptor-induced hypothermia., Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 32 (6) 978-82. PMID:

Cao Z, Balasubramanian A & Marrelli SP (2014). Pharmacologically induced hypothermia via TRPV1 channel agonism provides neuroprotection following ischemic stroke when initiated 90 min after reperfusion., American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology, 306 (2) 56. PMID:

Citation
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12:00 PM | Chili Peppers Run Hot And Cold
Biology concepts – obesity, brown adipose tissue, agonist/antagonist, protective hypothermia, hyperthermia, reactive oxygen species, ischemia, hypoxiaWhen The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939, it just barely turned a profit. The '39 version was the third attempt at filming the children’s classic, and the first two efforts had not fared much better. I don’t see how people didn’t take to the Wizard of Oz right away. It had new technology for the movies, a good villain, […]

Yoneshiro T, Aita S, Matsushita M, Kayahara T, Kameya T, Kawai Y, Iwanaga T & Saito M (2013). Recruited brown adipose tissue as an antiobesity agent in humans., The Journal of clinical investigation, 123 (8) 3404-8. PMID:

Feng Z, Hai-Ning Y, Xiao-Man C, Zun-Chen W, Sheng-Rong S & Das UN (2014). Effect of yellow capsicum extract on proliferation and differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes., Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 30 (3) 319-25. PMID:

Yoneshiro T & Saito M (2013). Transient receptor potential activated brown fat thermogenesis as a target of food ingredients for obesity management., Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 16 (6) 625-31. PMID:

Muzzi M, Felici R, Cavone L, Gerace E, Minassi A, Appendino G, Moroni F & Chiarugi A (2012). Ischemic neuroprotection by TRPV1 receptor-induced hypothermia., Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 32 (6) 978-82. PMID:

Cao Z, Balasubramanian A & Marrelli SP (2014). Pharmacologically induced hypothermia via TRPV1 channel agonism provides neuroprotection following ischemic stroke when initiated 90 min after reperfusion., American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology, 306 (2) 56. PMID:

Citation
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12:00 PM | Chili Peppers Run Hot And Cold
Biology concepts – obesity, brown adipose tissue, agonist/antagonist, protective hypothermia, hyperthermia, reactive oxygen species, ischemia, hypoxiaWhen The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939, it just barely turned a profit. The '39 version was the third attempt at filming the children’s classic, and the first two efforts had not fared much better. I don’t see how people didn’t take to the Wizard of Oz right away. It had new technology for the movies, a good villain, […]

Yoneshiro T, Aita S, Matsushita M, Kayahara T, Kameya T, Kawai Y, Iwanaga T & Saito M (2013). Recruited brown adipose tissue as an antiobesity agent in humans., The Journal of clinical investigation, 123 (8) 3404-8. PMID:

Feng Z, Hai-Ning Y, Xiao-Man C, Zun-Chen W, Sheng-Rong S & Das UN (2014). Effect of yellow capsicum extract on proliferation and differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes., Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 30 (3) 319-25. PMID:

Yoneshiro T & Saito M (2013). Transient receptor potential activated brown fat thermogenesis as a target of food ingredients for obesity management., Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 16 (6) 625-31. PMID:

Muzzi M, Felici R, Cavone L, Gerace E, Minassi A, Appendino G, Moroni F & Chiarugi A (2012). Ischemic neuroprotection by TRPV1 receptor-induced hypothermia., Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 32 (6) 978-82. PMID:

Cao Z, Balasubramanian A & Marrelli SP (2014). Pharmacologically induced hypothermia via TRPV1 channel agonism provides neuroprotection following ischemic stroke when initiated 90 min after reperfusion., American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology, 306 (2) 56. PMID:

Citation
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10:00 AM | World Malaria Day: a reason to celebrate
In the spirit of World Malaria Day on 25th April, Anna Ashton takes a look at progress on a cure for malaria. Since the turn of the millennium, the number of deaths caused by malaria has been cut by a quarter worldwide. This is an impressive figure, but the battle is far from over. Despite …
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8:34 AM | Researchers identify a new variant of Ebola virus in Guinea
In an article which appeared in The New England journal of Medicine on 16 April, researchers from Inserm (Jean Mérieux-Inserm BSL-4 Laboratory, Lyon) and the Institut Pasteur have published their initial findings on the characteristics of the Ebola virus discovered in Guinea. Initial virological investigations enabled them to identify Zaire ebolavirus as the pathogen responsible …
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8:25 AM | Phenylalanine and schizophrenia: new directions for intervention?
As regular readers might already have noticed, amino acids are a bit of a obsession of mine on this blog. Out of all of them - and there are quite a few - I'm particularly interested in the aromatic amino acids and the their various connections to health and wellbeing. I've talked at length about some of the proposed connections made between amino acids such as tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylalanine to all manner of conditions but specifically with the autism spectrum in mind (see here).The […]

Olaoluwa Okusaga, Olesja Muravitskaja, Dietmar Fuchs, Ayesha Ashraf, Sarah Hinman, Ina Giegling, Annette M. Hartmann, Bettina Konte, Marion Friedl, Jason Schiffman & Elliot Hong (2014). Elevated Levels of Plasma Phenylalanine in Schizophrenia: A Guanosine Triphosphate Cyclohydrolase-1 Metabolic Pathway Abnormality?, PLoS ONE, 9 DOI:

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7:52 AM | Criticism is not “hate speech”
I sense a new disturbance in the antivaccine force. I hadn’t planned on blogging about the antivaccine movement again, but I felt that I needed to do a follow up to yesterday’s (hopefully) amusing little takedown of the antivaccine stylings of new member of that group personification of the Dunning-Kruger effect and arrogance of ignorance,…

April 22, 2014

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10:50 PM | Happy Earth Day!
April 22nd marks Earth Day, the annual U.N.-sponsored event to celebrate our planet and raise awareness of the impact that human activity has on our environment. TheWorldPost looks into some of Earth’s natural wonders that face the possibility of destruction. Additionally, the Huffington Post has captured the incredible diversity of Earth’s biomes landscapes in a […]
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10:30 PM | Debunking the AIDS Denialist Movie House of Numbers - Part 6 -...
Debunking the AIDS Denialist Movie House of Numbers - Part 6 - HIV James from the History of Infection talks about HIV replication and the evidence we have for its existence. JimtheEvohttps://www.youtube.com/user/JimtheEvo via Myles Power. Website: http://www.mylespower.co.uk Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/#!/powerm1985 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/powerm1985
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10:14 PM | Meet Dr. John Sotos from the Festival’s “Getting the Science Right in Hollywood” Panel
Guest blog by Dr. John Sotos Getting the Science Right in Hollywood Panel Member and Book Fair Author at the USA Science & Engineering Festival  I love medicine.  But maybe not for the reasons you think. Most people go into the field desiring to help others.  Not me, at least not at first. Many people go into medicine…
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6:56 PM | Polar Opposites? The Social Construction of Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa
Some might argue that bulimia nervosa is more “hidden” than anorexia nervosa — it is not always obvious that someone is suffering from bulimia (though, I would argue, it is not always obvious that someone is suffering from any eating disorder). Even when it is “discovered,” BN is often placed in opposition with AN — as if the two were polar opposites. Indeed, attempts to define a phenotype (a set of observable traits or characteristics) for AN and BN tend to […]

Burns, M. (2004). Eating Like an Ox: Femininity and Dualistic Constructions of Bulimia and Anorexia, Feminism & Psychology, 14 (2) 269-295. DOI:

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4:00 PM | Alzheimer’s? Forget about it!
Let’s face it, diseases that affect the brain are some of the hardest to deal with. Anyone who’s lost someone to alzheimer’s knows exactly what I am talking about. Looking […]

Acharya S., Safaie B.M., Wongkongkathep P., Ivanova M.I., Attar A., Klarner F.G., Schrader T., Loo J.A., Bitan G. & Lapidus L.J. & (2014). Molecular Basis for Preventing  α-synuclein Aggregation by a Molecular Tweezer, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289 (15) 10727-10737. DOI:

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4:00 PM | Alzheimer’s? Forget about it!
Let’s face it, diseases that affect the brain are some of the hardest to deal with. Anyone who’s lost someone to alzheimer’s knows exactly what I am talking about. Looking […]

Acharya S., Safaie B.M., Wongkongkathep P., Ivanova M.I., Attar A., Klarner F.G., Schrader T., Loo J.A., Bitan G. & Lapidus L.J. & (2014). Molecular Basis for Preventing  α-synuclein Aggregation by a Molecular Tweezer, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289 (15) 10727-10737. DOI:

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4:00 PM | Alzheimer’s? Forget about it!
Let’s face it, diseases that affect the brain are some of the hardest to deal with. Anyone who’s lost someone to alzheimer’s knows exactly what I am talking about. Looking […]

Acharya S., Safaie B.M., Wongkongkathep P., Ivanova M.I., Attar A., Klarner F.G., Schrader T., Loo J.A., Bitan G. & Lapidus L.J. & (2014). Molecular Basis for Preventing  α-synuclein Aggregation by a Molecular Tweezer, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289 (15) 10727-10737. DOI:

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1:54 PM | No link between STAP cells and acid reflux, except for paper’s authors
> If you’ve stayed current with the STAP cell fiasco you know it’s been a wild ride. STAP cells, or Stimulus-Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency cells, caught the imagination of many in late January through their sheer simplicity: You hit cells with a shock of acidic conditions, and they become pluripotent. That’s it. No Yamanaka factors...Read more

Chen X., Qin R., Liu B., Ma Y., Su Y., Yang C., Glickman J., Odze R. & Shaheen N. Multilayered epithelium in a rat model and human Barrett's esophagus: similar expression patterns of transcription factors and differentiation markers, BMC Gastroentereology, 8 (1) DOI:

Wang X., Yang S., Zhao X., Guo H., Ling X., Wang L., Fan C., Yu J. & Zhou S. (2014). OCT3 and SOX2 promote the transformation of Barrett's esophagus to adenocarcinoma by regulating the formation of tumor stem cells., Oncology reports, PMID:

Wang X., Ouyang H., Yamamoto Y., Kumar P.A., Wei T.S., Dagher R., Vincent M., Lu X., Bellizzi A.M. & Ho K.Y. & Residual embryonic cells as precursors of a Barrett's-like metaplasia., Cell, PMID:

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1:54 PM | No link between STAP cells and acid reflux, except for paper’s authors
> If you’ve stayed current with the STAP cell fiasco you know it’s been a wild ride. STAP cells, or Stimulus-Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency cells, caught the imagination of many in late January through their sheer simplicity: You hit cells with a shock of acidic conditions, and they become pluripotent. That’s it. No Yamanaka factors...Read more

Chen X., Qin R., Liu B., Ma Y., Su Y., Yang C., Glickman J., Odze R. & Shaheen N. Multilayered epithelium in a rat model and human Barrett's esophagus: similar expression patterns of transcription factors and differentiation markers, BMC Gastroentereology, 8 (1) DOI:

Wang X., Yang S., Zhao X., Guo H., Ling X., Wang L., Fan C., Yu J. & Zhou S. (2014). OCT3 and SOX2 promote the transformation of Barrett's esophagus to adenocarcinoma by regulating the formation of tumor stem cells., Oncology reports, PMID:

Wang X., Ouyang H., Yamamoto Y., Kumar P.A., Wei T.S., Dagher R., Vincent M., Lu X., Bellizzi A.M. & Ho K.Y. & Residual embryonic cells as precursors of a Barrett's-like metaplasia., Cell, PMID:

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1:54 PM | No link between STAP cells and acid reflux, except for paper’s authors
> If you’ve stayed current with the STAP cell fiasco you know it’s been a wild ride. STAP cells, or Stimulus-Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency cells, caught the imagination of many in late January through their sheer simplicity: You hit cells with a shock of acidic conditions, and they become pluripotent. That’s it. No Yamanaka factors...Read more

Chen X., Qin R., Liu B., Ma Y., Su Y., Yang C., Glickman J., Odze R. & Shaheen N. Multilayered epithelium in a rat model and human Barrett's esophagus: similar expression patterns of transcription factors and differentiation markers, BMC Gastroentereology, 8 (1) DOI:

Wang X., Yang S., Zhao X., Guo H., Ling X., Wang L., Fan C., Yu J. & Zhou S. (2014). OCT3 and SOX2 promote the transformation of Barrett's esophagus to adenocarcinoma by regulating the formation of tumor stem cells., Oncology reports, PMID:

Wang X., Ouyang H., Yamamoto Y., Kumar P.A., Wei T.S., Dagher R., Vincent M., Lu X., Bellizzi A.M. & Ho K.Y. & Residual embryonic cells as precursors of a Barrett's-like metaplasia., Cell, PMID:

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7:38 AM | An antivaccine “Thinker” calls for a boycott
There is a perception that strikes me as common enough to be considered “common wisdom” that antivaccine views are much more common on the “left” of the political spectrum than they are on the “right.” I’ve discussed on multiple occasions how this perceived common wisdom is almost certainly wrong, or at least so incomplete as…

April 21, 2014

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10:30 PM | Interviews: Ep 9 - Ed Clint A fascinating discussion with Ed...
Interviews: Ep 9 - Ed Clint A fascinating discussion with Ed Clint on evolutionary medicine. He discusses stress, sanitation and fever and the importance they have in our evolution. via Michael Greiff.
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6:56 PM | Easter Chocolate Cravings: The Power of Polyphenols
With the Easter weekend over for another year and the family festivities drawing to a close, we can sit and contemplate one thing…just how much chocolate have I eaten the […]

Katz, D., Doughty, K. & Ali, A. (2011). Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease, Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, 15 (10) 2779-2811. DOI:

Franco R, Oñatibia-Astibia A & Martínez-Pinilla E (2013). Health benefits of methylxanthines in cacao and chocolate., Nutrients, 5 (10) 4159-73. PMID:

Selmi C, Cocchi CA, Lanfredini M, Keen CL & Gershwin ME (2008). Chocolate at heart: the anti-inflammatory impact of cocoa flavanols., Molecular nutrition & food research, 52 (11) 1340-8. PMID:

Ellam S & Williamson G (2013). Cocoa and human health., Annual review of nutrition, 33 105-28. PMID:

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4:01 PM | SIRT1 protein equired for integrity of induced pluripotent stem cells
This image shows chromosome abnormalities in reprogrammed cells in which SIRT1 protein has been removed (in red).Credit: Centro Nacional de Investigaciones OncologicasCell reprogramming converts specialised cells such as nerve cells or skin cells towards an embryonic stem cell state. This reversal in the evolutionary development of cells also requires a reversal in the biology of telomeres, the structures that protect the ends of chromosomes; whilst under normal conditions telomeres […]

De Bonis, M., Ortega, S. & Blasco, M. (2014). SIRT1 Is Necessary for Proficient Telomere Elongation and Genomic Stability of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, Stem Cell Reports, DOI:

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3:53 PM | Developing bulletproof vests using stem cells?
Stem cells demonstrate a bizarre property never before seen at a cellular level, according to a new study published today by researchers at the University of Cambridge. The property -- known as auxeticity -- is one which may have application as wide-ranging as soundproofing, super-absorbent sponges and bulletproof vests.Most materials when stretched will contract. For example, if one pulls on an elastic band, the elastic itself will get thinner. The opposite is also true: squeeze a material and […]

Pagliara, S., Franze, K., McClain, C., Wylde, G., Fisher, C., Franklin, R., Kabla, A., Keyser, U. & Chalut, K. (2014). Auxetic nuclei in embryonic stem cells exiting pluripotency, Nature Materials, DOI:

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3:43 PM | Researchers pinpoint the role of cancer stem cells in drug resistance
Credit: UC San Diego School of MedicineMost drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a molecule, or biomarker, called CD61 on the surface of drug-resistant tumors that appears responsible for inducing tumor metastasis by enhancing the stem cell-like properties of cancer cells.The findings, published in the April 20, 2014 online […]

Seguin, L., Kato, S., Franovic, A., Camargo, M., Lesperance, J., Elliott, K., Yebra, M., Mielgo, A., Lowy, A., Husain, H. & Cascone, T. (2014). An integrin β3–KRAS–RalB complex drives tumour stemness and resistance to EGFR inhibition, Nature Cell Biology, DOI:

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3:38 PM | How Horseshoe Crabs Are Saving Human Lives
I spent spring break down at Slaughter Beach, Delaware. Away from the board-walk, outlet mall, bar-heavy Rehoboth, Slaughter is a little bit in-the-middle-of-nowhere for some people’s taste. While it was a pain to drive for 20 minutes to stop by the grocery store, a chance to commune with nature was just what I needed. The […]
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1:23 PM | Patterson and Kehoe, and the great lead debate
You know what is really impressing me about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos? That he doesn’t hesitate to draw connections between science and how we live our lives — there is an implicit understanding that science has become fundamental to how we see the universe. Last night’s episode was no exception. What started as an explanation…
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