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:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 02-08-2012
Remember MacGyver? He could do almost anything with a piece of scotch tape and a paper clip. The following story reminds me very much of McGyver and how much can be accomplished with a little imagination.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) research engineer Javier Atencia has a reputation for creating novel microfluidic devices out of ordinary, inexpensive components. This time, he has combined a glass slide, plastic sheets and double-sided tape into a “diffusion-based gradient generator”—a tool to rapidly assess how changing concentrations of specific chemicals affect living cells.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 02-07-2012
A couple of weeks ago, we were excited to report that coffee consumption helps protect drinkers against acquiring type 2 diabetes. In the same article we mentioned that the UConn scientist responsible for promoting the beneficial effects of resveratrol which is found in red wine was recently accused of fraud and has had many of his publications recalled from prestigious scientific journals.
However, a recent study out of the University of Florida is once again providing us with a reason to rejoice over our alcohol consumption (I knew that it wouldn’t take long!). According to the University, researchers with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have shown that Blueberry wine contain more antioxidants than white wines and many red wines.
The researchers found the Florida wine, produced from southern highbush blueberries, had more antioxidants than all of the reported white wine values and all but 20 percent of the reported values for red wines, which are considered high in antioxidants.
According to study author Wade Yang, a food science and human nutrition assistant professor with IFAS, “for people seeking the potential health benefits of a glass of wine, blueberry wine is a comparable, and, in many instances, better alternative to grape wines.”
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 01-02-2012
In a very entertaining talk, Neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert explains the “real” reason for brains and how evolutionary evidence proves that the brain has evolved to control movement and not as a thinking or feeling organ.
Perhaps one of Wolpert’s best lines is when he compares tenured professors to Sea Squirts. Appartently, Sea Squirts swim around the ocean as juveniles and then implant themselves on a rock where they remain indefinitely. Once they no longer need to move, they digest their brains which, Wolpert contends, is proof that their brain was only necessary for movement. As Wolpert so eloquently put it:
Once you don’t need to move, you don’t need the luxury of that brain. This animal is often taken as an analogy to what happens in universities when professors get tenure…
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 12-15-2011
Now that we’ve finished our series on Proteomics Application Tips, it’s time to reward ourselves with a captivating talk by Professor Danny Hillis on Understanding Cancer Through Proteomics. Yes…he’s preaching to the choir, but it’s still fun to see our cause promoted on the “big screen.” Enjoy!
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 12-13-2011
Nate “the great” Krefman of Bad Habits and Stickleback fame has once again outdone himself with a stellar lab video performance. Now, I have to admit that what you are about to see is some of the silliest and dorkiest filmography that I have ever watched but it is always a blast watching a highly educated molecular biologist have fun in the lab.
My challenge to you, my dear readers, is to send me the dorkiest and silliest lab videos you have seen on the web (or performed yourself…anonymity will be honored where requested). Once all submissions are in we will hold a vote to see who can be named the dorkiest molecular biologist of the year!
Submissions can be sent either by commenting on this post or by emailing avi (at) americanbiotechnolgist (dot) com.