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Nature June 18, 2015
Tissue engineering: Organs from the lab
Organs, and physiology in general is difficult to model. Scientists exploring new ways to get that complexity onto their lab bench, to better understand the body’s dynamics, for drug development and to propel regenerative medicine.
Nature November 13, 2014
A deep look at synaptic dynamics
Synapses in the brain are busy messaging intersections. Neurotransmitters of various sorts are released, but then what. How are these vesicles refilled with neurotransmitters? There are multiple hypotheses about how that might occur.
Nature Methods, February 2015
Stem cells: disease models that show and tell
Stem cells are powerful in many ways. Gene-editing is powerful. Scientists are combining these two powerful techniques to obtain better models of disease. But stem cells are finicky in the lab and without the right experimental design, no disease-in-a-dish will result.
Die Welt, 14. November 2014
So wird die Hirnforschung zu einem großen Spiel
Die Crowd packt bei der Neurobiologie mit an, um harte Herausforderungen zu lösen. Mitwirken kann jeder/jede. Voraussetzung ist lediglich Neugierde.
Nature July 24, 2014
Cell communication: Stop the microbial chatter
Bacteria are chatterboxes. They communicate with one another, in large groups, and even across species. This exchange helps them survive and also helps them become more resistant to antibiotics. But by undermining all this chatter, scientists hope to treat infections in new ways. To do so, they are developing new ways to eavesdrop on microbial communication.
Nature Methods September 2014
Structural biology: ‘seeing’ crystals the XFEL way
X-ray free electron lasers vaporize samples. After they put so much work into obtaining them, it seems surprising to destroy the samples, usually proteins they have coaxed into crystals, with a blam. Then again, it is a way to capture, which allows researchers to reconstruct protein structure.
Sequencing: Ship-Seq sails the seas
Neurobiologist Leonid Moroz likes being out at sea. He likes having all the amenities there, too. Such as high-throughput sequencers. And his complete team.
Here is how he set up Ship-Seq. (Hint: sequencing quality goes up on the high seas.)
1 x 141-foot boat
1 x generous entrepreneur
1 x ship’s crew
1 x mobile molecular biology lab equipped with lab benches, a sequencer, reagents
1 x manufacturer of a high-throughput sequencer willing to donate an instrument
1 x satellite link to a supercomputer
1 x lab staff and scientist/wife willing to be scientist-sailors
1 x diving equipment
1 x funding National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
3 x support from non-profit organizations: Florida Biodiversity Institute, Florida Museum of Natural History, the International Seakeepers Society
1,000 international units of patience
Several remedies for seasickness
Nature June 13, 2013
Biology: The big challenges of big data
Life scientists have plenty of data and explore ever new ways to throw terabytes around to share, analyze and compare the data wealth. New science can emerge from analyzing existing data sets as well as new ones. That’s not exactly the wet-world of biology.
Nature Methods, February 2013
Author file: Loren Looger
He likes his shirts and biosensors bright. Loren Looger, who leads a research group at Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus, lights up message transfer in the brain. And he wants to go even further than tracking excitatory messages.
My data are your data. Sharing is easy, scientists do it in their sleep. Or do they?
June 8, 2012
FDA reform plan edges closer to realisation. A bill that gives the US Food and Drug Administration much new heft in addressing drug shortages as well as drug and device approvals has cleared House vote.
Newsweek/The Daily Beast
May 10, 2012
New Mayan Discovery: The World Isn’t Ending! The Mayans predicted that the world would end in 2012, right? Not according to the fascinating findings from a recent dig.
My blog: à propos
Latest entry: Study design matters. Statistics are boring, these scientists say, but important, of course. The authors find studies that fall into the WTD and WNTD, the categories of what to do and what not to do.
Contact me: v [dot] marx [at] alum [dot] mit [dot] edu
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Magazines and online-only publications: The Economist, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Methods, Nature, Newsweek/The Daily Beast, The Lancet, New Scientist, Popular Science, Science Magazine,Scientific American.com, Red Herring, Der Spiegel, MIT’s Technology Review, Utah CEO, Chemical & Engineering News, BioInform, Genomics & Proteomics, Drug Discovery & Development.
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