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Posts tagged with "Biological News"

  • Biological News

    Rewiring Bacteria

    Earth is basically a bacteria planet, despite humankind’s naked-eye-level profile. They’ve been here unfathomably longer than we have, they live in plenty of places where we can’t survive, and their biomass far outranks ours. This paper will show you just how adaptable the little creatures are. Wild-type E. coli (like many other… Read More
  • Biological News

    Sunlight And the Brain

    One of the impressive things about biochemistry and cell biology is how it can produce physical correlates to things that we know and experience, but have no detailed explanation for. There’s a really interesting example out in Cell that has to do with the effects of sunlight on mood and learning. Those effects are real, but… Read More
  • Biological News

    Gene Editing: Freely You Have Received, Freely Give

    This year has seen significant advances in the search for human gene editing of Mendelian disease. Back in April, a team from three major institutions in Seoul reported in Nature Biotechnology on the use of a recent CRISPR variation that does single-base-pair editing. Their proof-of-concept was the “Himalayan mutation“, an A-to-G switc… Read More
  • Biological News

    Soluble Proteins – And Those Other Ones

    Modifying proteins with unnatural amino acids is a wide field with a lot of interesting research areas. Nature has provided us with twenty-odd amino acids (counting some rare ones), but there’s no reason that we have to play the hand that we’re dealt. Modifications of protein transcription and translation machinery have increasingly all… Read More
  • Biological News

    The Chemistry Nobels, 2018

    The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has gone to Frances Arnold (for directed evolution of enzymes) and to George Smith and Gregory Winter for phage display. These are worthy discoveries, techniques that have gone on to be used for a huge variety of work ranging from blue-sky research to marketed drugs, and the Nobel committee… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Sitting There For Five Hundred Million Years

    This paper is really a tour de force of analytical chemistry, because it does something that I didn’t think was possible. The team is looking at a rather ancient creature, Dickinsonia. In fact, you could argue that it’s the ancient creature, since it’s one of the Ediacaran organisms that are part of the first explosion… Read More
  • Biological News

    Switching On Innate Immunity

    Cells couldn’t have a hope of working if they weren’t tightly spatially organized. The nucleus vs. the cytosol (and the cell membrane itself) are the two most obvious partitions, and then you have specialized organelles like the mitochondria, et very much cetera, dividing things further. Life itself is organized around things being diff… Read More
  • Biological News

    Cancer Cells Are Even Worse Than We Thought

    There are a lot of cancer cell lines out there, and many of them get used a lot, too. It’s not surprising, in a way, because these are cells that have already (and unfortunately) proven themselves to be robust and fast-growing, so many of these lines tend to take to cell culture conditions pretty well. Read More
  • Biological News

    GPCRs: Peeling The Onion Some More

    I like to say that when I was first working on G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) as drug targets, that after I while I thought I really understood a lot of what was going on. But that was the peak. Further experience eroded that confidence, and even though I’ve learned a lot more about them over… Read More
  • Biological News

    Cells Like Turbulence. Well, Some Cells.

    Let’s talk cell culture – specifically, how weird it is. There are an awful lot of ways to grow cells, naturally – different media of course, different scales, differences in how crowded you let them get, how often you split them, add nutrients, wash them, all those things. All of those make sense to me… Read More
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