Posts Tagged ‘molecular biology’

Can a video game cure cancer?

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 02-17-2012

The cure for cancer comes down to this: video games.

In a research lab at Wake Forest University, biophysicist and computer scientist Samuel Cho uses graphics processing units (GPUs), the technology that makes video game images so realistic, to simulate the inner workings of human cells.

“If it wasn’t for gamers who kept buying these GPUs, the prices wouldn’t have dropped, and we couldn’t have used them for science,” Cho says.

Now he can see exactly how the cells live, divide and die.

Read Can a Video Game Cure Cancer on the Wake Forest University website.

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New study suggests researchers may be discarding important RNA information

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 02-02-2012

Traditional RNA isolations kits and techniques usually isolate linear RNA transcripts while discarding circular material that are thought to be unimportant. However, a new study at the Stanford School of Medicine suggests that circular RNA may play a more important role in gene expression than previously thought.

In the classical model of gene expression, the genetic script encoded in our genomes is expressed in each cell in the form of RNA molecules, each consisting of a linear string of chemical “bases”. It may be time to revise this traditional understanding of human gene expression, as new research suggests that circular RNA molecules, rather than the classical linear molecules, are a widespread feature of the gene expression program in every human cell. The results are published in the Feb. 1 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE.

Read More…

Looking for something to rock your central dogma? How about RNA, DNA…TNA?

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 01-09-2012

When I first read this I thought that it was simply written by a mistaken undergrad student. Alas, it is not!

In the chemistry of the living world, a pair of nucleic acids—DNA and RNA—reign supreme. As carrier molecules of the genetic code, they provide all organisms with a mechanism for faithfully reproducing themselves as well as generating the myriad proteins vital to living systems.

Yet according to John Chaput, a researcher at the Center for Evolutionary Medicine and Informatics, at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute®, it may not always have been so.

Click here to read the whole story.

Below is a PBS video of Dr. Chaput’s research from several years ago:

Imagine where genomic technology can take us

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 01-04-2012

Inspiring words from NIH director Francis Collins.

Contest: Silliest lab video of 2011

 :: 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.