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Posts tagged with "Biological News"

  • Analytical Chemistry

    The Good Stuff Goes One Way. . .

    I’ve always like the idea of aptamers – as generally used, that word refers to oligonucleotides that are selected for binding to something else (a protein target, for example). You get to use all the tools of molecular biology, which means that you can start out from insanely huge numbers of possible binders and select… Read More
  • Biological News

    Precision Medicine Real Soon Now

    Here’s a strongly opinionated look at where the “precision medicine” field is these days, and I think that this is just the sort of article that the field (and the journalists covering it) need to see, whether you agree with it or not: In 1999 Francis Collins published a foundational document of precision medicine entitled… Read More
  • Biological News

    Exercise And Its Signaling

    It’s a truism among metabolic researchers that if you could find a drug that simulates the effects of exercise you would be very happy with the market for it. But what causes the effects of exercise? That’s one of those simple questions that members of the general public might think that they know the answer… Read More
  • Biological News

    Quinine’s Target

    Every “history of pharmaceuticals” article ever written probably mentions quinine, and well they should. (I certainly reserved an entry for it while writing my own chemical history book). It’s a classic example of a natural product drug, one that was not known to the classical Mediterranean world but was only appreciated by Europe… Read More
  • Biological News

    Bacteria and Depression: Something to Test

    Microbiome, microbiome – you haven’t been able to turn around in this business the last few years without hitting some sort of story about the microbiome. It’s easy to roll your eyes and decide that it’s all hype, but that’s the thing: it really is important. It can’t be dismissed just because we don’t unde… Read More
  • Biological News

    Room For Improvement

    How much can we improve on Nature? Fixing defective proteins and pathways is one thing, but in those cases we’re trying to get back to what the function should be (and what it is in healthy organisms). But what about “better than healthy”? That’s a tricky area to enter, because (for one thing) billions of… Read More
  • Biological News

    We Have Given People Amyloid Disease

    Unfortunately, it’s time to talk transmissible protein pathology again. That’s the unnerving idea that misfolded proteins can, under some conditions, act as infectious agents (prions are the most famous examples and the most widely-used name for these). I wrote in 2015 about a particularly alarming possibility. It’s known that up… Read More
  • Biological News

    Right Side, Left Side

    I wrote here about chirality, on several levels, finishing up with some speculations on how we know our left hands from our right and why. As mentioned in that post, that’s one of those questions that can sound stupid and/or trivial until you start to think about it, and as the comments section proved, things… Read More
  • Biological News

    Tumor-Specific Antigens From Way Out There

    The pileup in immuno-oncology is already the stuff of legend: it’s difficult to even count the number of therapies, combinations, and clinical trials that are underway or in development. And that’s for good reason, of course – the promise here is huge, the field is wide open, and there are vast tracts of things that… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    The Genomics of Neurons. And Alzheimer’s. And Everything Else.

    The brain is a complicated organ. Let’s start there. It’s complicated at every level that you care to examine, and if you get down to the genomic sequences of individual neurons, it’s worse than ever. The sheer variety of neurons and other cell types is quite extreme, and a lot of work over the years… Read More
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