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?
Biochemistry Filter: I believe I have some kind of resistance/insensitivity to opioid painkillers, although I have not been able to verify that this is a medically known phenomenon. I am due to give birth soon, and I am concerned with the possible efficacy of drugs that may be administered for labor pain. Do you have any experience with this in yourself or others, or can you comment on the chemical plausibility of it? [more inside]
What to get as a going-away present for my classical-music-and-science-loving mentor when I make a great deal less money than them and don't have as much knowledge as them in their interests? [more inside]
Lab workers: With which brand of pipette driver / pipettor should we stock our lab? [more inside]
What non-academic career paths are open to a freshly-minted biology PhD? [more inside]
Has anyone completed the "Genomics Technology," and "Computer Skills for Scientists" certificate programs at the City College in San Francisco? My plan is to take these classes while finishing up pre-med requirements at the City College. Then I want to find a job in genetics research while I decide between medical school/finishing my biochem education at Berkeley. Is this feasible? Is this a good plan? [more inside]
If a sample of cells was taken in 1972, reproduced in laboratory by cell division to create a cell line used in science today based originally on the sample, what "generation" of cell would be used today, and how far back in history BC/E would a comparable human generation be? Is that even calculable? [more inside]
How is it that a tiny housefly has enough energy to drive me mad by flying around my house for an hour or more? How long could it keep going?
Biologists, biochemists, and microbiologists: how did you choose your field? I'm coming to the end of my undergraduate research year, and hope to apply for doctoral study for 2013, but am finding it very hard to settle definitively on a field and a lab to target. If you were a bright young thing about to start your research career in earnest, where would you hope to end up? [more inside]
Folks that have taken the GRE Subject Exam in Biology: Is it absolutely necessary to take Biochemistry before tackling the exam, or can I study for the exam and still knock it out of the park? (specifics follow) [more inside]
What would be the best way to create an infective agent that caused hallucinations? I was thinking a virus that modifed serotonin to psilocin - but how exactly would this take place in the cell, and how would a hypothetical virus catalyse that process? Is it realistic for a modern virology lab to design such a virus? I considered a bacterial vector, but I figure that bacterial infection of the CNS would probably just straight-up kill you due to the host response? Perhaps a bacterial species that just hangs out in your gut and squirts out psilocin that it synthesises itself, rather than having to methylate free serotonin? I know a fair bit of biochemistry but not much at all about microbiology, if that helps guide your explanations.
I'm looking for a sampling of where biochemistry students wind up after college. Basically, where did you start out and where did you end up? How difficult was it for you to find a position out of college? [more inside]
I'm considering going to law school. I have BSs in chemistry and biochemistry. If I went, I'd like to end up practicing in an area where my scientific education is useful. Other than patent law, in what legal specialties would my background be helpful? [more inside]
Also, I'm not to keen on working for free, either, unless that's not as outlandish a concept as I perceive it to be.
Thinking way, way ahead filter: I would like an industry internship for summer 2012, between the first and second year of my MSc in Biochemistry program. How do I go about securing it? [more inside]
Biochemistry filter: What do you consider the best evidence that would show a direct protein-protein interaction? [more inside]
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.
Biochemistry Masters Program: Is a medical school environment worth it? [more inside]
Looking for a chart or table that broadly summarizes/compares the relative bond energies of the most common intramolecular bonds found in organic molecules (think single and double bonds among C, H, O, N, and maybe S too). [more inside]
Why do I feel electric currents? [more inside]
Recommend me fascinating, intelligent and neutral reading regarding biology, biochemistry, or medicine. [more inside]
Once I saw a drawing accompanying Jacques Monod's biochemical maxim "What is true of E. coli is true of the elephant." Can you help me find it again? [more inside]
I'm looking for a particular video clip of a CGI animation of a biochemical process. [more inside]
Are our feelings/emotions (love, anger, lust, sadness, etc.) a result of chemical reactions that take place in our body? Or do chemical reactions occur as a result of our emotional state? What comes first?
My college's biological sciences dept has run out of student internship/research positions. The professors have emailed me back, saying that they might have openings in the spring. But I want to do something now. What are my other options? I'm in Los Angeles. [more inside]
Why can't I find a job with my biochemistry bachelor's degree in Seattle, WA (grad school is most certainly on the agenda, but not for another couple of years)? What other options should I explore, and how do I go about it? [more inside]
Alternative-biochemistry-filter [more inside]
Another grad-school-after-poor-undergrad-grades question. What can I do to maximize my chances of being admitted to the grad school of my choice in the year before I apply? [more inside]
Help me knock the biochem/cell and molecular bio GRE out of the park! [more inside]
What is the brain chemistry involved in reading a good book? What areas of the brain are stimulated? What chemicals experience an uptick? Is there a particular combination unique to reading for pleasure? [more inside]
Biochemists, cell biologists and assorted biotech types, what's your favorite method for removing gelatin from antibody solutions? No amines allowed! [more inside]
What's new and exciting in the fields of molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics? I'm looking for an exciting/interesting journal article to present to my classmates along the lines of heterologous eukaryotic expression of a gene or gene therapy utilizing knockouts as a technique or with an emphasis on transgenic organisms. I could, of course, slog through the journals on my own and guess at what might be exciting in the field, but I thought I would ask the hive first. Any biochemists or molecular biologists out there want to give this a go? Citations would be incredibly helpful.
Speak to me of blocks to polyspermy. [more inside]
Why does holding a strong magnet up to your brain not do anything bad? [more inside]
Attention Biochemists or Anyone Else working with RNAi-expressing cell lines: Help me troubleshoot! [more inside]
BioChemistryFilter: How do I read the vMax and Km off of a Lineweaver-burk plot? [more inside]
To the biochemists: what's so special about phosphorus? [more inside]
"Within 24 hours of curtailing food intake, enzymes stop entering the stomach and travel instead into the intestines and into the bloodstream, where they circulate and gobble up all sorts of waste matter, including dead and damaged cells, unwelcome microbes, metabolic wastes, and pollutants." [cite] Could this possibly be true? I know that eventually the body will start metabolizing itself, but is the process selective in its initial stages to only metabolize "waste matter" and not healthy tissue?
What are the best jobs for a new graduate with a BS/MS in biochemistry? Looking for $$$, creative input, least-evil corporations. [+] [more inside]