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Posts tagged with "Biological News"

  • Biological News

    Is Selective Ribosome Stalling Possible? Apparently So

    PCSK9 is a drug target that’s famous in several directions. If you’re interesting in human genetics, it’s famous as an example of a “human knockout” – people with nonfunctional PCSK9, and there are a handful, have extraordinarily low levels of LDL, a finding that immediately got drug companies interested in findi… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    The Limits of Big Data

    I fear that mentioning the phrase “Big Data” in the first sentence of a blog post will make half the potential readers suddenly remember that they have podiatrist appointments or something. But that’s the only way to approach this article at Wired. After all, the title is “The Cure For Cancer is Data – Mountains of… Read More
  • Biological News

    How We Smell Those Delightful Little Sulfur Compounds

    We humans have a huge number of different smell receptors, but some of the most famous are the ones that are sensitive to thiols. We don’t miss out on many low oxidation state sulfur compounds: S-alkyl and SH groups reek to the skies as far as our noses are concerned (as do the corresponding selenium… Read More
  • Biological News

    Another Bad Effect of Antioxidant Supplements

    It’s been increasingly clear that the widespread marketing of antioxidants as vital health-giving nutrients is often mistaken. Taking antioxidants reduces the cellular effects of exercise, and interferes with many forms of cancer treatment (both of which effects are exactly the opposite of the popular conceptions of what should be happening). Read More
  • Biological News

    Are Superenhancers Even Real?

    I wrote back here about the idea of “super-enhancers” in molecular biology, back when the idea first came out. The reports were that there are many sequences involved in transcriptional regulation that could be more than the sum of their parts. Generally, these bind to the Mediator protein complex, and there do seem to be many… Read More
  • Biological News

    Galvani: GSK Goes “Bioelectronic”

    You’ll likely have seen the news that GSK is partnering with Verily (a Google startup) to launch a company called Galvani. This will investigate devices that directly modify nerve transmission, which is something that I don’t think any large drug company has ever put money into – certainly not the $700 million that GSK has… Read More
  • Biological News

    Covalent Fragments Yield A Pile of Information

    What happens when you expose a reactive, covalent-bond-forming compound to cell extracts (or to living cells)? The answer is complicated. You might expect the compound to go around grabbing every reactive group it sees, shotgunning across the proteins it encounters and labeling without discrimination. But it turns out that you only see that with th… Read More
  • Biological News

    Ever Finer Splitting

    Charles Darwin once divided scientists into two types: “splitters” and “lumpers”. The splitters are the ones who keep finding finer distinctions between things that were once thought to be the same, and the lumpers, naturally, keep finding underlying similarities between things that were thought to be different. Recently, th… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Not So Verily

    The folks at Stat clearly have some good sources inside Google’s Verily startup. They ran a story back in March about problems with the CEO (blogged about here), and now they’re back with more opinion from within. This piece has a number of people expressing dissatisfaction with how Verily’s three big projects are actually going… Read More
  • Biological News

    Understand the Brain? Let’s Try Donkey Kong First.

    I didn’t think I’d actually see someone try the thought experiment mentioned in this post, but by golly, someone has. That was a discussion of the attempts to simulate the workings of an actual brain, neuron connectivity and all, and the article I quoted went into great detail about just how far we are from… Read More