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Posts tagged with "Biological News"

  • 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
  • Biological News

    Chromium Supplements Appear Useless or Worse

    You can buy plenty of chromium supplements down at the vitamin store – chromium picolinate has been a big item for many years now. That’s because the element has been suspected as an essential trace constituent of the human diet, particularly for carbohydrate metabolism. Doubts have surface over the years, though. It’s actually qu… Read More
  • Biological News

    A New Natural Products Effort

    Since I mentioned natural products drug discovery the other day, I wanted to note that there’s a new effort at the NIH to screen samples. The CANVASS project is asking for pure isolated compound (not extracts), and will screen them across dozens of diverse cell assays, free of charge. The academic group that provides the… Read More
  • Biological News

    The Myth of Ethidium Bromide

    Ethidium bromide is found in pretty much every molecular biology lab around. Ask most biologists about handling it, and you’re get a fearful expression and advice to use gloves, etc. That’s because the compound is used to make DNA fluoresce when running gels, and it does that by slipping neatly between the base pairs (intercalation)… Read More