If you’ve never seen the movie “Waiting,” you’ve done a true disservice to yourself. You’re missing out on the inner workings of a crappy chain restaurant, a horribly hilarious coworker game, and, most importantly, I don’t know how you’ve made it until now without Dave Koechner’s sage advice, “Remember, the difference between ordinary and extraordinary…is that little extra.”
Seems like that little extra is just as important in other avenues in life, as evidenced by a paper published recently in Cell Metabolism by Dr. Manuel Serrano’s group. His team in Madrid has discovered that mice with an extra copy of a cancer suppressing gene live longer, healthier lives with a lower cancer incidence.
Image taken from Phillip and Samayoa, et. al. 2011
In the spirit of the bright lights and big ideas of the new year, I thought I would share a pretty cool story of ingenious genetic engineering published a few weeks ago in Nature.
A team led by Arthur Prindle and Phillip Samayoa in the lab of Jeff Hasty at UC San Diego has created a network to make bacteria synchronously glow like so many twinkling Christmas lights. (Image shows a still photo of one of these chips.) Continue reading →
I’m sure we are all quite familiar with the story of the Trojan War. The King of Troy falls in love with the fair Helen of Sparta and steals her away from her husband, only to have his city attacked by the Greeks. If not that, at least we all know of the famous Trojan Horse that ended said war. Presented to Troy as a sacred offering, the giant hollow horse was in fact filled with soldiers that would be the downfall of the city of Troy once they brought it within their city gates.
And so from a battle over a beautiful ladies, scientists now employ a similar measure in the battle to save all of our present day lovely ladies. Dr. David Ateh and colleagues at Queen Mary, University of London have recently published work in Biomaterialsdescribing their efforts to trick cancer cells into accepting small, drug filled particles in order to combat tumor growth.
Hours of my life were once wasted trying to keep an imaginary avatar happy. Getting them up for work on time, making sure they’re fed, even keeping up awkward social interactions in some made-up language. And all for what? Nothing, mostly.
Recent news would seem to suggest that I’m not the only scientist that every enjoyed spending a little time in the virtual world. Now, scientists are beginning to try to incorporate this love into a sort of simulated experiment. Dr. Daniel Beard and his team at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee plans to begin crafting computer models of rat physiology to fashion a ‘virtual rat’ that will be used for the study of a range of diseases. Known as the “Virtual Physiological Rat”, this is a project just beginning that will receive funding support from the NIH over the next five years.