Posts Tagged ‘molecular biology’

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.

To glycolisize or oxidative phosphorylize, that is the stem cell question

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 11-16-2011

Human pluripotent stem cells, which can develop into any cell type in the body, rely heavily on glycolysis, or sugar fermentation, to drive their metabolic activities.

In contrast, mature cells in children and adults depend more on cell mitochondria to convert sugar and oxygen into carbon dioxide and water during a high energy-producing process called oxidative phosphorylation for their metabolic needs.

How cells progress from one form of energy production to another during development is unknown, although a finding by UCLA stem cell researchers provides new insight for this transition that may have implications for using these cells for therapies in the clinic.
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Why you should NEVER throw out research samples. Even if they are 40,000 years old!

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 09-19-2011

Despite being extinct for 10,000 years, the wooly mammoth is still proving useful to medical research scientists. In fact, it has been proposed that wooly mammoth hemoglobin protein, may form the basis of future blood replacement products. However, one of the biggest challenges facing scientists was to produce protein from DNA samples that were over 25,000 years old.

To read more on this fascinating story click here .

Glowing kittens, transgenics and FIV: A step towards combating HIV

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 09-15-2011

What do humans and cats have in common? Apart from a liking for tuna and a tendency to get sleepy on a Sunday afternoon, both are AIDS-susceptible species, and researchers in the USA and Japan are looking at feline genome manipulation as a route to create better models for HIV and other infectious and non-infectious diseases.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic used gamete-targeted lentiviral transgenesis to transfect the feline egg cells with a gene for the restriction factor, TRIMCyp, along with a jellyfish gene as a fluorescent reporter gene to track the efficacy of transfection, before fertilisation in vitro. This was the first success of this technique in a carnivore.

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Cancer cells as cross dressers

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 08-22-2011

While many scientists have espoused the theory that each type of cancer cell comes from a unique cancer stem cell, research out of the Broad Institute of MIT, Harvard and Whitehead Institute points to a much more decentralized society, with cancer cells able to interconvert between different types.

To characterize how cancer maintains cellular equilibrium, the researchers studied two different breast cancer cell lines and examined three different cell states that were similar to normal breast epithelial cell types, known as basal, luminal, and stem-like. The team sorted the different cell types from each other and then grew their relatively pure populations for six days. Remarkably, each of the three populations quickly returned to the same equilibrium – and populations of non-stem cells generated new stem-like cells.

Click here to read more.

Citation: Gupta PB et al. Stochastic state transitions give rise to phenotypic equilibrium in populations of cancer cells. Cell. August 19, 2011. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2011.07.026