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Posts tagged with "Biological News"

  • Biological News

    The Secret Life of the Insulin Receptor

    You’d think that we would understand the workings of something like the insulin receptor by now, wouldn’t you? I worked in the metabolic disease area for several years, and I can give you the canonical version of its activities as it relates to insulin levels and glucose handling out in the canonical tissues (muscle, adipose). Read More
  • Animal Testing

    Autism Mouse Models for the Microbiome?

    Many readers will have seen the paper that just came out on a possible mouse-model demonstration of a connection between autism and the gut microbiome. It’s certainly generated a lot of headlines, and its very title guaranteed that it would: “Human Gut Microbiota from Autism Spectrum Disorder Promote Behavioral Symptoms in Mice“.… Read More
  • Biological News

    Antibody Design, Publicly Challenged

    Comes now some rather disturbing news in the antibody field. These things are extremely important, both as therapeutics and as research reagents, and developing them for either purpose is no stroll down the garden walk. There are a number of techniques for raising and producing antibodies (see that first link), but they all have their… Read More
  • Biological News

    What’s Artificial Life, Anyway?

    Do you know the Ship of Theseus problem? That one was first stated in its canonical form by Plutarch in his Parallel Lives, speaking of the ship that the hero used to return to Athens from Crete after slaying the Minotaur. Here we go: The ship on which Theseus sailed with the youths and returned… Read More
  • Animal Testing

    Muting Mutations

    A solid, believable animal model of a human disease (preferably in a small animal like a mouse!) is a very important thing to have in a drug discovery project, but they are hard to come by. A mouse is not a human, and neither are the other small organisms that we’d like to use. But… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Down To the Single Cells

    This is a good brief overview of a topic that’s becoming more important all the time: analysis on the single-cell level. And as the authors mention, it’s partly a case of wanting to do this, and partly a case of there being no other choice. Larger pooled tissue samples just don’t have the level of… Read More
  • Biological News

    Sydney Brenner, 1927-2019

    A scientific giant, Sydney Brenner has died at the age of 92. He was present at the beginning of molecular biology – while in the chemistry department at Oxford, he car-pooled with Dorothy Hodgkin, Leslie Orgel, Jack Dunitz and others over to Cambridge to see Watson and Crick’s new model for the structure of DNA… Read More
  • Biological News

    Targeting microRNAs

    Medicinal chemists spend the vast majority of their time targeting proteins. Enzyme active sites, receptors, allosteric sites, interfacial sites – it’s one protein after another, to the point that you can mentally assume that your compounds are going to be hitting the familiar landscape of backbone amide bonds, pi-interacting tryptophan… Read More
  • Biological News

    Reaching Into the Cell

    One would like to be able to reach into a cell and mess around with its functions in real time. Thanks to CRISPR and other gene-editing technologies, we can (more or less selectively) tweak individual genes, to a wide number of interesting effects. What if that gene just disappears? What if it gets expressed even more?… Read More
  • 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
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