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Some of my latest stories:
Nature April 3, 2014
Cancer treatment: Sharp shooters
Radiation treatment helps to control cancer. With types of beams unlike traditional X-rays, the hope is to reach tumors more precisely with more lethal force and to have less effect on healthy tissue that is next to a tumor. Charged particles such as carbon ions might be the answer. Facilities around the world have treated around 12,000 people with carbon ions. The particles need to be accelerated to around 70% of the speed of light and shot with great precision at a person’s tumor.
Nature Methods April 2014
Cancer genomes: discerning drivers from passengers
A tumor is not born as a diseased tissue with many mutations; rather, these mutations accumulate over time. Driver mutations give a tumor a tiny growth advantage, which may be as low as an estimated 0.4%. Finding which drivers play a role in cancer might get easier now that there are data mountains from large-scale cancer genome sequencing projects. But it is still a ways to a comprehensive cancer gene variant catalog.
Nature Sept 13, 2013
Next generation sequencing: The genome jigsaw
High-throughput gene sequencing is fast. But re-assembling the genomes into their original sequence is like shredding 1,000 copies of Charles Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities in a woodchipper and then trying to put the text back to gether in a single book.
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
A platform in the making: SeeSaw.
SeeSaw weighs news and comments, showing the community of readers the spectrum of reporting and views on a topic.
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