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  • Hopes Rise for Anti-Cholesterol Vaccine

    Hopes Rise for Anti-Cholesterol Vaccine

    via COSMOS : An initial clinical trial testing a vaccine that may protect people against high cholesterol levels is due to finish later this year. In the meantime, the European Heart Journal features a paper by the vaccine’s inventors – a team led by Günther Staffler of Austrian pharmaceutical company AFFiRis – reporting the results of a trial using mice. The vaccine, code-named AT04A, targets an enzyme called proprotein covertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9). The enzyme […]

  • Five Reasons We’re Excited by How Structural Biology is Advancing Cancer Research

    Five Reasons We’re Excited by How Structural Biology is Advancing Cancer Research

    via ICR : Several research teams at the ICR are devoted to structural biology – a crucial discipline in cancer research that is shedding light on some of life’s most fundamental processes. We are excited about the potential this field has to enable the discovery of brand new cancer drugs. There are five key reasons why structural biology research excites us: It means we can look at proteins in atomic detail We can use X-ray crystallography […]

  • Utah company merging technology, biology to treat diseases

    Utah company merging technology, biology to treat diseases

    Via Deseret News : SALT LAKE CITY — Chris Gibson is a really big thinker. The kind of thinker who strives to become an M.D. and a Ph.D at the same time. That was his plan a few years ago when he was in the University of Utah’s dual degree program studying to become a cardiothoracic surgeon and a researcher. It was in the process of pursuing those degrees when he found himself in a laboratory […]

  • XENOMORPH BIOLOGY (MOSTLY) EXPLAINED!

    XENOMORPH BIOLOGY (MOSTLY) EXPLAINED!

    Via Nerdist : No movie monster is more menacing than the mysterious “xenomorph” (yes, small “x”–I’ll get to that). It’s ruthless, cunning, heavily armored, and filled with acid. Ever since we first saw H.R. Giger’s now infamous design come to life in Alien, fans have wanted to know more about the deliberately vague creature. Unfortunately, in the nearly 40 intervening years, xenomorph biology has become even more complicated, confusing, and sometimes contradictory. Let’s take off […]

  • Diabetes? There’s an App for That

    Diabetes? There’s an App for That

    Via Seeker : Researchers are developing a smartphone-controlled system that can trigger insulin-producing cells implanted in the body. How’s this for a useful app? Researchers in China are developing a system that could one day allow diabetics to control their blood sugar using just a smartphone. Well, not just a smartphone. There are some genetically engineered cells involved — along with near-infrared LEDs, subdermal hydrogel capsules, and electromagnetic field coils. In a study published Wednesday in […]

  • Early school start times for teenagers are at odds with biology, scientist says

    Early school start times for teenagers are at odds with biology, scientist says

    Via Breaking News : Teenagers are “biologically predisposed” to sleep in later than society requires them to wake up for school. Research by Professor Mary Carskadon, a professor of psychiatry and human behaviour at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Rhode Island has found that circadian rhythms and sleep pressures change over childhood. Professor Carskadon‘s decades of research on the topic found that teens, like younger children, need nine to 10 hours of […]

  • Biology explains why men kill big game like Cecil the lion — and how that behavior might be stopped

    Biology explains why men kill big game like Cecil the lion — and how that behavior might be stopped

    Via Los Angeles Times : Why do some humans engage in expensive ventures to hunt lions, elephants and other big-game species that often are endangered or otherwise threatened? The cost, according to a trio of scientists, is exactly the point: These pricey big-game hunts are meant to show off men’s high social status to competitors and potential mates. The findings, published in Biology Letters, offer an evolutionary hypothesis for why humans kill animals they don’t need […]

  • Light Offers New Way to Control Cell Biology

    Light Offers New Way to Control Cell Biology

    Via R&D Magazine : Biochemists have seen the light in developing a new way to control biology at the cellular level. Researchers at the University of Alberta have developed a tool called a photocleavable protein that breaks into two pieces when exposed to light, allowing scientists to study and manipulate activity inside cells in new and different ways. The scientists first used the photocleavable protein to link cellular proteins to inhibitors in a process known as […]

  • The work shows an 'unprecedented recovery of inner ear function' and could be used in humans

    Biologists help deaf mice hear again by inserting healthy genes into their ears

    Via Wired : Hearing loss affects millions of people around the world, and in around half of those cases the root cause is genetic. Now, medical researchers have been able to restore the hearing and balance in mice by inserting mutated genes into their bodies. Two papers published in the Nature Biotechnology journal describe the results. “We demonstrate recovery of gene and protein expression, restoration of sensory cell function, rescue of complex auditory function and recovery […]

  • Eye close-up

    Why You’re Still Smarter Than A Computer

    Via Fortune : You have really great eyes. Computers today are smart. Recently, they’ve mastered the art of one of the most difficult board games. They’ve proven themselves capable of reading human expressions well enough to pick a “most smiled at” ad out of the Super Bowl. And one clever bot recently scored 59% on its 8th grade science test—barely missing the mark for a passing grade. But despite recent gains in artificial intelligence, humans still […]