“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” That phrase has followed me my entire life. It is my mother’s favorite movie. It is my wife’s favorite movie. I transferred ownership from one woman to another, and Dirty Dancing followed me.
I can’t complain much, as my wife has to watch Jurassic Park at least annually. Still, I do not look forward to the inevitable night of boredom when she wants to again subject me to the ultimate chick flick.
Nobody argues with baby when she wants to watch Swayze.
Sadly, as you’re all aware, he’s no longer with us, claimed by the horrifying menace that is pancreatic cancer. Luckily, we may have a new tool towards prevention. In a recent issue of the AACR Journal Cancer Discovery, Dr. Alison Klein’s group at Johns Hopkins University reports the discovery of mutations in a gene that may lead to increased risk for developing pancreatic cancer.
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.
Never have I found a game that simultaneously stirred such nostalgia and disgust as Monopoly. Something so timeless, so simple, so polarizing. I guess it’s understandable when the game usually plays out something like this:
Six. One, two, three, four….five. Boardwalk, are you *%#$ing kidding me?!? All I’ve got is a hundred bucks. Fine! You win – I quit anyway.
And that’s only if you’re lucky. Half the time it seems like it drags on forever until someone inevitably throws their beige benjamins skywards in frustration. Personally, I quite enjoy the game when I can actually find someone to join me.
I enjoy it, that is, until it manifests itself in my daily life. In a stunning recent turn of events, a federal appeals court has overturned a previous court ruling that declared the patenting of genes illegal. The landmark case involving Myriad Genetics, Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. United States Patent and Trademark Office, has kept the attention of eyes and ears in my field for the past few years. Can you imagine someone snatching up ownership of your genes just like Monopoly properties? Just hope you hold the deed to Boardwalk when the times comes you need it. 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 →