Tomasetti and Vogelstein recently published an analysis that suggests the variation in the number of stem cell divisions leads to cancer incidence rates that are higher for tissues with relatively greater numbers of divisions. They recently posted a follow-up which attempts to address some of the counterarguments to their results. Acting on the premise that their work is correct or at least "in the right direction", are there labs or drug companies working on gene therapies that attempt to improve DNA polymerase fidelity (even in model organisms), as a means to one day perhaps reduce cancer incidence in higher-risk tissues? While it is easy through mutagenesis to worsen fidelity rates and increase cancer rates (as has been demo'ed in mice, say) can this aspect be engineered to be improved — that is, what biochemical aspects of (human) DNA polymerase have evolved to control its fidelity rate such that it might be possible to improve upon it?
My +1 is outfitting the molecular biology and biochemistry side of a physics lab. He would like to get books (electronic and/or paper) to fulfill two needs: 1. protocols and reference - for in lab use 2. history or textbook of molecular biology - to help familiarize physics people with the field. Looking for suggestions for solid books that are readable and have good figures. [more inside]
This seems like it ought to be a simple question but I'm not finding the answer myself. Someone here must already know. I would like to buy sheets of printable adhesive labels suitable for sticking on 1.5ml/2.0ml microcentrifuge tubes. Ideally I would like both dots for the caps and little rectangles for the sides. They don't need to be able to stand up to particularly tough conditions, except that they shouldn't run if they get wet. Also, they should be cheap as I am a grad student and would be buying them out of my own pocket. I am just sick of writing the same teeny tiny letters over and over and over again with an ultrafine Sharpie. Can somebody here point me to a product that I can buy that would suit my needs? [more inside]
I'm looking for two books, one biology, one chemistry. They are related to GCSE, they say that on the front of the books, but I don't know if they're licensed. One has a green cover, one has a blue cover, but they both have pictures on the front. The good thing about these books is that they explain scientific concepts through diagrams in one-pagers, which are conveniently in both Chinese and English. Help me find these books? [more inside]
I want to write a science fiction story where somebody spends a few weeks or so living off a food that was intended for people colonising another planet, with odd effects. I'm not that scientifically knowledgeable and I want this to be grounded in facts. More details below. [more inside]
Looking for videos to create a youtube playlist to entertain a group of science-minded teenagers for about 30 min that are largely visual. Sound is fine but the bulk shouldn't be someone talking to the class like an instructor - visualizations are best - ideally they should look really, really cool. Class is engineering focused, but chemistry, robotics, wobbly bridges, comp-sci, biology, are all welcome. [more inside]
What is this thing my cat brought to my porch? http://i.imgur.com/cejZcGe.jpg It appears to be something between an animal fetus and organ. When I turned it over it looked the same on the other side. There were no visible eyes/mouth/features. It was larger than a quarter and there was no blood present. A possum visits regularly, and the area has many moles, birds, and raccoons.
I recently accepted a sales position within a company that sells laboratory equipment. (i.e. centrifuges, GC's, HPLC's, Thermal Cyclers, etc) I have no previous lab or science experience, so learning about a myriad of highly technical products/methods is a quite challenging. My main challenge comes from the fact that I need to engage in conversations with scientists, chemists, biologists on a daily basis. With no previous lab experience, I've been having a hard time talking to them on technical level. [more inside]
What are some non-institution-specific scholarships or grants for someone who wants to do primate research this summer? [more inside]
Science grad school application filter: I have informally (but explicitly) accepted a graduate assistant position (in conservation biology) at my current undergraduate institution. I am now having second thoughts and am wondering what, if anything, I should do about it. Help me, Hive Mind! I don't know what to do! [more inside]
What's some of the best, most illuminating, and most entertaining writing about conservation bio on the net?
What are some of the best technical blogs out there in conservation biology, biogeography, evolutionary biology, and ecology? [more inside]
I am a college freshman in my school's the College of Letters of Sciences. Currently, I'm pursuing a B.A. in Computer Science. I'd like to pursue a more technical understanding of software engineering as it applies to biological system, but need help maneuvering the many subfields. [more inside]
I am a senior undergraduate biology student who wants to become a conservation biologist and a professor. I work part-time in a lab at my university, and my principal investigator recently made me an offer that on the face of it seems pretty great. Should I take it? [more inside]
Wondering whether I should go for the PhD that I wanted when I went back to school, or whether it's more sensible to stay where I am and do a Master's first. [more inside]
What is happening in the body when food poisoning occurs? Are the symptoms defensive actions or purely symptomatic? [more inside]
A couple months ago I found a very long document talking about academic networking. I believe it was written over 20 years ago but still seemed incredibly relevant. As a young student trying to get his footing in academia, I'd love to find this networking primer again, as well as other things to read that would be helpful. [more inside]
What non-academic career paths are open to a freshly-minted biology PhD? [more inside]
Was reading about microchips that are designed to allow a few mistakes (known as 'Sloppy Chips'), and pondering equivalent kinds of 'coding' errors and entropy in biological systems. Can a fair comparison be made between the two? [more inside]
How and why do we become accustomed to smells? What makes some odours personally super-pungent one day and unnoticed 'background noise' later on, despite the smell remaining objectively unchanged? [more inside]
What's some great new bioscience themed art? The more hands-on and interactive the better. Mapping genetic sequences to procedurally generated pictured is all good and well, but does seem a bit trite and decorative these days. What's out there these days saying something in the intersection between wet labs and the gallery?
Looking for an awesome primer on genetics! It should start somewhere around the highschool level, and continue through to some college-level material. Bonus points if it touches on some recent developments and research. Oh! And readability is key. [more inside]
Questions about biology, genes, humans and apes, courtesy of the movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes. SPOILERS WITHIN. [more inside]
What are my options for acceptance into PhD programs for Neuroscience or Molecular Biology [more inside]
How common is human chimerism of the sort described in this Boing Boing post? What implications does the existence of chimerism have for DNA testing, especially with respect to the criminal justice system? Does it pose a practical limit on the usefulness of DNA evidence, or just a theoretical one? Has chimerism come up in any cases, or been considered as a problem in legal scholarship?
Help me write yet another science fiction story. I need to figure out the environmental damage resulting from an accidental sewage spill. [more inside]
How does a biotech postdoc simultaneously explore academic and industry job opportunities? [more inside]
Looking for a resource to help me get a better layman's understanding of natural biology. [more inside]
What's the best way to financially support of evolution education in Kansas? [more inside]
Is there a term for travel accounts of explorers, both fictional and real-life? Also, tell me some of your favorites. [more inside]
What is this organism? [Electron micrograph of spikey tentacle thing with an apparent human-looking face]
I'm a final year biochemistry undergrad, and through my internships / reading of papers / etc, I've become keenly aware that I'd like to be more conversant with computer science approaches to the field. The sheer volume of approaches and strategies in bioinformatics is a little overwhelming, though: where's a good place to start focusing my attention? I have strong maths skills, but my programming ability is limited to pecking out simple instruction sets in Python or Matlab, and my research work thus far has mostly been on isolating and characterising protein markers from serum / urine / etc.
What should I be doing to position myself for grad school? I'm a freshman biology undergrad and my long-term goal is to earn a doctorate and start a career in research, either private or academic. What should I be doing now and over the next few years to open doors and set myself up for success? [more inside]
How can I get the most out of my science internship? [more inside]
Anybody know of a science book that has large colour pictures that can be cut up to make posters for a classroom?
Garden snail behavior-- how far and fast do they travel (etc.)? [more inside]
Why is it assumed that all forms of life evolved from a single common ancestor, instead of any number of different instances of abiogenesis?
What are the best academic journals in each field? [more inside]
Is there a set quota of white blood cells that the human body produces over its lifetime, and if so do routine vaccines (e.g. the flu) tax the immune system enough to significantly shorten the person's lifespan? [more inside]
Help me find a half-remembered anecdote about robotics and computing taking a cue from ant- or bee-like, hive-mind biological processes -- a story about a car factory's paint process organized with just three rules. [more inside]
What is the most important scientific question of our time? [more inside]
I'm toying with an idea for a short story or maybe a long story or maybe no story, but the idea has led me to a point where I have a question for those of you who have some knowledge about science and biology. Read on, brave adventurer! [more inside]
Are the benefits of sauna therapy real? Some family members of mine talk about saunas being useful for "getting out heavy metals." Supposedly, the body sweats them out. [more inside]
What have been the significant advances in biology since 1993? [more inside]
Looking for a good source to search for biology, ecology, conservation, zoology, etc, type jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area [more inside]
I’m trying to remember the name of a set of themed encyclopedias for children from my childhood. [more inside]
Can somebody help me identify this ancient lab equipment? I'm doing some research and have posted two photos to my flickr account, here and here. (PS, I know what the typewriter is!) Thanks!
As a senior-level science PhD student, how do I find an academic conference to go to? And how do I know if a conference is going to be suitable, both it for me and vice versa? [more inside]
I'm going to college soon. (Age 24; been working a desk job in health care since I was 18.) I've got an inkling I want to study biology. Recommend me some books to help me get the lay of the land and get fired up about this. [more inside]
Help me find a book about evolution by Kirchner. [more inside]
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