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Posts tagged with "Biological News"

  • Biological News

    Vaccine Manufacturing Woes at Emergent

    The New York Times has a good story on the problems at the Emergent vaccine plant in Baltimore, following up on this one. They’ve uncovered a report from last summer that warned that the facility had quality control problems: A copy of the official’s assessment, obtained by The New York Times, cited “key risks” in… Read More
  • Biological News

    Mysteries in Human RNA

    Let’s put this one in the category of “more things that we didn’t know about human biology”. We’ve known for some time now about ribozymes – catalytic enzyme-like structures made out of RNA instead of proteins. But they’ve been studied more in lower organisms overall. We know that the hammerhead ribozymes a… Read More
  • Biological News

    A Nobel for CRISPR

    The 2020 Chemistry Nobel has gone to Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier for the discovery of CRISPR. An award in this area has been expected for some time – it’s obviously worthy – so the main thing people have been waiting for is to see when it would happen and who would be on it. Read More
  • Biological News

    Nanobodies Against the Coronavirus: Something New

    So let’s talk about nanobodies – there’s a coronavirus connection to this, but it’s a good topic in general for several reasons. We begin at the beginning: what the heck is a “nanobody”? Antibody Structure The name is derived, rather loosely, from “antibody”. So let’s spend a minute on what anti… Read More
  • Biological News

    Watching For Mutations in the Coronavirus

    The coronavirus outbreak has been accompanied by a huge amount of sequencing data, as well it should be. Nextstrain.org is a great place to see this in action: region by region, the spread of the infection can be tracked, often with enough detail to say where the virus must have come in from and how… Read More
  • Biological News

    New Proteins In New Ways

    Well, biology is marching on, even outside the virology that’s on all of our minds. Have a look at this paper, which is looking at the very small proteins I last wrote about here. (Here’s a commentary on this new work as well). What we’re seeing is yet more strong evidence for such species being… Read More
  • Alzheimer's Disease

    Congo Red

    Many roots of organic chemistry, and of medicinal chemistry in particular, often originate in what might seem like an unlikely place: the dyestuff industry of the late 19th century. I had already known this to some degree, but writing the historical vignettes in The Chemistry Book really brought it home to me. And if you… Read More
  • Biological News

    Opioid Signaling: Think Again

    Opioids are some of the most effective and most problematic drugs in the entire pharmacopeia. For severe, intractable pain we really have nothing to match them, despite decades of searching for alternatives. The history of research for new pain medications itself calls for pain medication, because it is a tapestry of expensive late-stage clinical f… Read More
  • Biological News

    Free-Floating Mitochondria

    Here’s a weird one for you – one of those papers that, if it holds up, will make us all wonder about just how much we really know about cell biology. It’s from the IRCM at Montpellier, along with another INSERM lab (Gustav Roussey) and a lab at the Jacques Monod Institute at the Univ. Read More
  • Biological News

    Unscrambled Eggs

    This is a rather eerie result. Two researchers at Stanford report that the often-used model system of Xenopus frog eggs have self-organizing properties. Extracts from homogenized eggs had already been known to be more functional than one might have predicted (the paper has a number of references to such studies), but this paper finds that… Read More