buying a ham too big for my crockpot has become an easter tradition
First Embryonic Stem Cells Cloned From A Man’s Skin
Eighteen years ago, scientists in Scotland took the nuclear DNA from the cell of an adult sheep and put it into another sheep’s egg cell that had been emptied of its own nucleus. The resulting egg was implanted in the womb of a third sheep, and the result was Dolly, the first clone of a mammal.
Dolly’s birth set off a huge outpouring of ethical concern — along with hope that the same techniques, applied to human cells, could be used to treat myriad diseases.
But Dolly’s birth also triggered years of frustration. It’s proved very difficult to do that same sort of DNA transfer into a human egg.
Last year, scientists in Oregon said they’d finally done it, using DNA taken from infants. Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology, says that was an important step, but not ideal for medical purposes.
"There are many diseases, whether it’s diabetes, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, that usually increase with age," Lanza says. So ideally scientists would like to be able to extract DNA from the cells of older people — not just cells from infants — to create therapies for adult diseases.
Lanza’s colleagues, including Young Gie Chung at the CHA Stem Cell Institute in Seoul, Korea (with labs in Los Angeles as well), now report success.
Writing in the journal Cell Stem Cell, they say they started with nuclear DNA extracted from the skin cells of a middle-age man and injected it into human eggs donated by four women. As with Dolly, the women’s nuclear DNA had been removed from these eggs before the man’s DNA was injected. They repeated the process — this time starting with the genetic material extracted from the skin cells of a much older man.
"What we show for the first time is that you can actually take skin cells, from a middle-aged 35-year-old male, but also from an elderly, 75-year-old male" and use the DNA from those cells in this cloning process, Lanza says.
They injected it into 77 human egg cells, and from all those attempts, managed to create two viable cells that contained DNA from one or the other man. Each of those two cells is able to divide indefinitely, “so from a small vial of those cells we could grow up as many cells as we would ever want,” Lanza says.
They look like the cells in a human embryo — in fact, they’re called embryonic stem cells. And with a bit of coaxing, these cells could, theoretically, be prodded to turn into any sort of human cell — nerve, heart, liver and pancreas, for example. That’s what makes them potentially useful for treating all sorts of diseases.
In the 18 years since researchers cloned a sheep, scientists have found another way to produce cloned human cell lines. And the other technique, which produces “induced pluripotent stem cells,” skips the step that requires a human egg cell, so some people find it less fraught, ethically.
It also means that finally getting the sheep technology to work with cells from adult humans may not turn out to be a turning point for this technology, after all.
"We now have two ways and we’re not sure which of the two methods is likely to work best," Lanza says.
Ideally he would like to screen millions of adults and choose just a hundred or so whose genes would make them good DNA donors. He’d like to see a library of cells created with those carefully chosen genes.
In principle, scientists could produce a series of cell lines that would allow a close match for the majority of would-be cell recipients — just as transplant surgeons currently seek a close match for organ donors.
Physicians could also extract DNA from the person who is going to receive the cellular transplant — creating a patient-specific treatment — though that would end up being far more expensive than drawing from a library of ready-made cells.
Paul Knoepfler at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine is excited about this advance from a medical point of view. But he says this does mean we could be getting closer to being able to go beyond cloned cell lines to cloning an entire human being.
"I don’t think that’s coming anytime soon, but certainly this kind of technology could be abused by some kind of rogue scientist," Knoepfler says.
And while many people consider that idea dangerous and repugnant, it is not broadly illegal.
i finally got my clean deletion mutant, that lack of which has been delaying my graduation. took four weeks to get the damn thing.
this is the single positive candidate i got after picking nearly 300 colonies, even with using a positive selection. file under: rare event.
ashley-amelie replied to your post “the problem with needing to type N. gonorrhoeae over and over and over…”
check out phraseexpress :)
oh, nice! thanks!
I think I saw one headline that was ‘Marijuana reshapes the brain’ and I groaned — that’s not what we did … The conclusions were modest in the paper — we never say marijuana causes these changes,” Gilman said, who’s a neuroscientist with a Ph.D. from Brown University. “The media may have given that impression in headlines, but the study doesn’t show causation.
Dr. Jodi Gilman, 31, author of the now-famous Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital study on marijuana’s effects
Follow policymic(via policymic)
the problem with needing to type N. gonorrhoeae over and over and over again is that half the time i end up typing ctrl + n and word starts cooking up a blank document instead of giving me italics
why is everyone coming to work tomorrow i wanted a day where it was just me at lab
NIH has just announced a significant change in its policy for resubmission applications.
Effective immediately, for application due dates after April 16, 2014, following an unsuccessful resubmission (A1) application, applicants may submit the same idea as a new (A0) application for the next appropriate due date. NIH will not assess the similarity of the science in the new (A0) application to any previously reviewed submission when accepting an application for review.
I concur with this. What is the letter for? I’m currently writing a blog post about cover letter writing. (Which I think I also need some wine to help write.)
postdoc positions that i don’t even know if they exist! with PIs i have no connection with!
you know what might help me write my cover letters? wine. several glasses.
i hate don draper so much
Q:Hi there! I'm interested in pursuing a chemistry degree. Do you have any tips?
I guess just what to expect:
I don’t have a chemistry degree. I have a technical diploma in Chemical and Environmental Technology. Its safe to say I have taken a LOT of chemistry and related science courses in this program so I hope this helps.
If anyone else wants to pipe in with their experience in getting/during a chemistry degree, feel free.
-There will be math; General Mathematics, Calculus, Math heavy courses like Physical Chemistry. If Math is difficult for you I recommend putting in extra time to practice or considering hiring a tutor. I have trouble with mathematics but it wasn’t completely overwhelming. It was difficult but I managed to pass everything.
-Really focus on getting your work done early so you have time to review and ask your professor questions. This really comes in handy for content heavy courses like Organic Chemistry. Also as an exam preparation tool, study early. Cramming will not work.
-PRACTICE. Practice all your problem sets and read over your notes regularly.
-Buy a molecular model kit. These are really helpful for visualizing atoms, molecules and chemical bonds.
-Arrange study groups with your friends or classmates. Learning together helps iron out problem and fosters understanding of concepts.
-Learn how to do technical writing and neatly summarize your experiments, observations and calculations. There will be a lot of lab reports to write, and this is a particularly useful skill in the sciences.
Beyond that just try hard. Learning chemistry can be a challenge. Its a lot to take in, but I find it really fascinating and interesting. Its definitely my favourite science. If you have the interest and passion you should definitely go for it. :)
Any other questions I’ll be happy to ask.
One thing that really helped me with Chemistry is the mentality of studying/hard-work. There are plenty of people who talk about how you need to have a head for physical sciences and math, IGNORE THIS. There is innate talent, but this gets you so far. Hard work and good study habits are what really takes you through a chemical degree. There will be times you pull all-nighters, times were you study on a Friday night when other people are at a party, but if you plan accordingly you’ll still be able to have a lot of fun without cramming for every test.
1. Talk to your professors early if you have a problem understanding the material, they will always help you a lot more than you expect. Be proactive and talk to them before the first test.
2. Make sure to swap contact info and make friends early on. Study groups are a great idea amongst a bunch of friendly nerds. That’s what carried me through Quantum Chemistry when the concepts were too hard to understand alone. Bonus: teaching others helps you learn! Other bonus: You’re likely to meet people who’ve had your classes before and will give you tips for specific teachers.
3. Arrange a time and place to study and be vigilant about it. If you allow other people to disrespect your time when you’re studying, you’ll have difficulty catching up.
4. Don’t panic. Chemistry is a lot of fun, and if you have good habits and a good schedule going, you’ll have plenty of free time.
+ Schedule your labs as early in the week as possible. If something goes wrong or your results don’t add up, you’ll have an easier time scheduling a do-over with another section’s group. (this saved me once or twice)
+ Browse your school’s EBSCO (or whatever academic database you have access to) and pull up some research papers and experiment summaries to help you get a feel for the structure and language expected from lab write-ups. Pharmaceutical trials are pretty good for this.
+ The first two years have a lot of general courses too - calculus, physics, stats, biology. It’s helpful (and fun) to think of how these other courses apply and overlap to your own interests/major, even if you’re not particularly interested in the subjects themselves.
- UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH! Find out what research is going on at your school’s chem department (or even related sciences). If something in particular sounds really cool to you, ask the professor of that research group if they take undergraduate researchers. You may be able to do research for credits or possibly even money. (Some programs even require research in a lab for the degree!)
- Apply for summer research opportunities, such as an REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates). You can find programs are paid and/or include housing, travel expenses, etc. This is especially a good idea if there are no undergraduate research opportunities at your school!
- Don’t start a lab report the night before it’s due. Ever.
- On that note, don’t start problem sets the night before either.
- Ask for help sooner rather than later. Your professor or TA is probably willing to help you, as long as you’re not asking two hours before your assignment is due or the exam starts.
- Search engines specifically geared toward science, such as Web of Science or SciFinder, are your friends, especially when you need references for lab reports or other assignments.
- You will find reading papers from scientific journals difficult at first. In fact, unless it is a review article or you’re familiar with the subject matter, reading and understanding scientific papers might always be challenging. Don’t sweat it. Read carefully and reread as much as needed.
- If for some reason your school’s degree requirements are really light on the math (for example, my school required ONLY up to Calc II for a B.S. in chemistry), take more math courses. Personally, I think Calc III and linear algebra are extremely useful for physical chemistry courses, particularly when you cover quantum mechanics.
- Lastly, HAVE FUN!
DO NOT GO INTO A CHEMISTRY WITH THE MIND-SET THAT YOU WILL PASS BY MEMORIZING EVERYTHING.
IT WILL NOT WORK.
Chem isn’t something you can just memorize your way through. Especially ochem. You have to understand the underlying reasons why things behave the way they do: there’s a certain underlying “flow” of ideas you need to be able to grasp. Whether that’s the flow of electrons during arrow-pushing mechanisms, the flow of logic when working through a numerical problem, or the flow of nitrogen gas in a Schlenk line, you need to grasp the concepts firmly. There’s just too much content to be able to memorize and BS.
Another helpful tip is to realize that just because you didn’t do so great in one type of chemistry, you’ll fail at all types.
I’m not the greatest at ochem and that’s the first specific chemistry class I took. If I had changed majors after that, I wouldn’t have realized that analytical chemistry is my forte.
A lot of good advice here! I was to re-iterate the study groups things. Most of my closest friends from undergrad I met in study groups.
Spend time figuring out how you study best. Your gen chem classes will likely need a different approach then ochem, which may be different than pchem. If you fail a test, 1) it’s ok and 2) try doing something a little different with your study habits.
For o-chem my friends and I would get together either with individual whiteboards or reserve a library room with whiteboards and just go to town quizzing each other. While we’d cover all the basic “one step” reactions, we’d also generate or use more complicated problems from the book or previous tests that would require needing to be able to think about both conditions/catalysis as well as the types of starting molecules. And when you solve these problems, don’t just write the answers. Draw the electrons. Over and over and over until you get a good sense for electron pushing. It will save you.
(can you tell ochem was my fav?)