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:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 08-30-2011
A recent study published in Science has shown that potential interbreeding between Neanderthals, Denisovans and Modern Humans may have helped boost modern man’s immune system. Many reviews have already been published on this subject (see Science 2.0 for a good review or the ScienceDaily news release) and so we won’t dwell on the subject in this post. However, in light of these findings we would like to share with you a YouTube interview with Svante Pääbo, a Neanderthal researcher, produced by The DNA Learning Center in 2009.
It’s interesting to see how far we’ve come in just 2 short years!
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 08-01-2011
In a previous post we told you how how Dr. Anthony Atala’s lab at Wake Forest Institute uses a “printer” to print organs such as kidneys from cultured cells. Although the machine shown in that post “prints” cells into organs, the apparatus itself is far from a traditional printer.
However, Dr. Atala’s lab DOES have an actual inket printer which they have modified to print skin cells onto a 3-D scaffold which is currently being used by the US armed forces to treat severe burn victims.
When my friends saw this video they thought it was science fiction. However, as a molecular and cell biologist, I can actually appreciate the video and it is totally out of the realm of science fiction for me.
However, the 3-D printer shown below is unbelievably awesome! Isn’t it funny how our perspective changes depending on where we’ve come from!
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-28-2011
In these lazy summer days I find myself spending more time looking for and reading interesting/humorous blog posts by fellow scientists. My latest find is a blog by American PhD candidate “Try Nerdy” (TN). Although I don’t know his/her real name, (it is not listed in the TN about page), I do know that TN is a molecular biologist who helps distill complicated scientific material into easily digestible bits for his/her non-scientist readership. TN also has a great sense of humor and publishes some captivating stuff including TN’s latest post “The Inside Jokes of Scientists.”
If you were ever curious as to how crazy sounding proteins such as R2D2 and C3PO got their names, check out TN’s blog.
I am a scientist and despite TN’s claim that Try Nerdy is not focused on scientists I will continue to follow. Keep up the good work TN!
Now another cool app has been added to your iPhone’s medical repitoire. The Melenoma Risk Assessment Tool by Health Discovery Corporation, is designed to help users learn about melanoma and identify areas on their skin which may need attention from a physician specializing in the diagnosis of melanoma.
Using the iPhone camera feature, users can take a picture of their skin lesions and moles and within seconds receive a risk analysis of their uploaded picture being a melanoma. Utilizing your iPhone GPS, MelApp can refer you to a nearby physician specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma for proper medical follow up, without the need to input a zip code or any personal information. These pictures also can be stored on MelApp and reviewed for changes in the skin lesions occurring over time.