Oh, Google. I remember the days before your name became a verb associated with mild stalking. The days long ago when you were just the weird alternative to Yahoo! for email and internet queries. How far you’ve come – pervasive in every part of my life.
Maybe it’s about time you get used a little more for the science world. Above and beyond searching for job openings for graduate students, that is. A group of researchers from Dresden University of Technology in Germany have tailored the Google PageRank algorithm to better be able to predict clinical prognosis for pancreatic cancer patients. Their work is published in the May issue of PLoS Computational Biology.
Every woman I know has a squirt bottle of hand sanitizer, there are ad campaigns about washing your hand, and Lysol is never not in my kitchen. So much effort to get rid of bacteria. But what if we started using them for good, in the fight against cancer?
In a recent article in the journal PLoS ONE, a group led by Dr. Mark Tangney, of University College Cork in Ireland, has reported the use of genetically engineered bacteria being used to develop better tumor imaging techniques.
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 many of you have been subjected to the age-old urine test at some point or other. You know the drill – pee in the cup, we’ll see if you’ve been behaving, and then maybe you can keep your job. What if – in a surprising turn of events – this sample could be used for a greater good? What’s that, you ask? How about early cancer diagnosis?
By now you’re aware with my small obsession with early diagnosis. In fact, this is not even my first post on using urine samples for detecting early signs of cancer (find that here). Seems like Dr. Holger Husi, working in the lab of Dr. James Ross at the University of Edinburgh, is working towards a very similar end goal. In the June 2011 issue of Proteomics – Clinical Applications, this group reports the discovery urinary markers that could be used for the detection of gastrointestinal cancers. Continue reading →