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Posts tagged with "Biological News"

  • 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
  • Biological News

    After Such Knowledge

    So now we know more about the CRISPR human baby story. And it’s even worse than it looked. Let me recommend this report from Sharon Begley at Stat, from the International Human Genome Summit in Hong Kong, but it’s not going to make you happy to read it. It turns out that He Jiankui devoted quite… Read More
  • Biological News

    Born CRISPRed. Now What?

    Are there CRISPR-modified human babies now or not? I was waiting to write about this story in hope that it might get a little more clear, but so far that doesn’t seem to be happening. So here we go. What we know so far is that He Jiankui, a researcher from Shenzhen’s Southern University of Science… Read More
  • Analytical Chemistry

    Disorder and Order

    An interesting feature of many proteins is a disordered region down at the carboxy end. The reason for this feature has been obscure: if there’s part of the protein that just spends its days flailing around uselessly, why go to the trouble of translating it? Many of these tails certainly seem to have no defined structural… Read More
  • Biological News

    Engineering Biology, For Real?

    Any article titled “How to Engineer Biology” is going to get a look from me – and when I’m referenced in the opening paragraphs, especially so. This is a piece by Vijay Pande in Scientific American, and I get called out for my naming of the “Andy Grove Fallacy” (found in this post and the… Read More
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