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Promega’s MethylEdge™ Bisulfite Conversion System

Promeg'as DNA Methylation Workflow

 

 

 

 

Promega’s  MethylEdge™ Bisulfite Conversion System is a fast and efficient method for DNA methylation analysis.

The MethylEdge™ System provides an efficient method to rapidly perform bisulfite conversion, giving you more intact, converted DNA for downstream applications. Use the MethylEdge™ System with other DNA Methylation Workflow reagents to perform sensitive DNA methylation analysis on many sample types.

Promega’s MethylEdge™ Bisulfite Conversion System Video

 


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Shining a Light on Science Misconceptions

The Scientific American Journal News this month talks about seven misused science words that include Hypothesis, Theory, Model, Skeptic, Nature vs. Nurture, Significant, and Natural.
Words like these are frequently misunderstood by students in middle school and high school who are learning them incorrectly. Knowing these words is the difference between knowing what is an absolute truth and what is a lie. According to science, words are an evolutionary continuum and scientists are continually building their understanding with each new invention or experiment.

According to Kat Friedrich of Boston, “Correcting science misconceptions requires a sophisticated understanding of both communication and science. Investing more resources in science education can help improve public science literacy. But scientists may also need to consider using alternate words for concepts that most people misunderstand.”

Sources:

Scientific American
CITRL Network

Kat Friedrich

When scientists describe how non-specialists misunderstand their language, there’s often a note of sadness in the discussion. If only the United States public was more enlightened than it is today, some bloggers say, then people would understand the language of science. 

A recent Scientific American blog post described how non-scientists in the United States misunderstand the scientific meanings of words like “theory,” “significant,” “hypothesis” and “natural.” A post on the Science 2.0 website provides a longer list of words that are often misunderstood.

What’s wrong with hoping the public will understand scientific language someday? Nothing. But we live in a society where scientists are a specialized group, often socially distant from many of the people who misunderstand them. If scientists want to eradicate misunderstandings and strengthen public awareness of the value of science, better communication and more social interaction is the best solution.

There are tips available online for…

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BRAIN INITIATIVE for the Science Community

Neural Connections in the Human BrainPresident Obama announced on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, a White House initiative called Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) designed to revolutionize our understanding of the human brain. BRAIN will be a 10 year initiative to the tune of $100 million.

Due to the enormous complexity of the human brain, which holds nearly 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion connections, this initiative is necessary in order to analyze the vast amounts of data that will be generated and will also increase understanding of how thoughts, emotions, actions and memories are represented in the brain.

DARPA, NIH and NSF researchers will attempt to learn how the brain functions in order to develop effective ways of helping people suffering from neurological and psychiatric disorders like Parkinson’s disease, autism, epilepsy, schizophrenia, depression, and traumatic brain injury. The NIH is establishing a high level working group of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) to help shape this new initiative, which is co-chaired by Dr. Cornelia “Cori” Bargmann (The Rockefeller University) and Dr. William Newsome (Stanford University). The ACD will present scientific goals of the BRAIN initiative and work to develop a multi-year scientific plan in order to achieve goals that include a timetable, milestones, and cost estimates.

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) intends to invest $50 million in 2014 with the goal of understanding the dynamic functions of the brain and demonstrating breakthrough applications based on these insights

NIH (National Institutes of Health) will provide $40 million to develop new tools, training opportunities, and other resources.

NSF (National Science Foundation) intends to contribute $20 million in research that will help to advance the initiative and will include research into the development of molecular-scale probes that can sense and record the activity of neural networks.

Partners who will also be contributing to the research and funding:

The Allen Institute for Brain Science will invest $60 million annually in order to understand how brain activity leads to perception, decision-making and ultimately action.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute will invest $30 million annually to develop new imaging technologies and understand how information is stored and processed in neural networks.

Kavli Foundation will invest $4 million annually for 10 years in order to provide the knowledge for addressing debilitating diseases and conditions.

Salk Institute for Biological Studies will invest $28 million inorder to produce a sophisticated understanding of the brain, from individual genes to neuronal circuits to behavior.

Sources:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/infographics/brain-initiative

http://www.nih.gov/science/brain/

http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=127477&org=NSF&from=news

http://www.darpa.mil/NewsEvents/Releases/2013/04/02.aspx


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The immortal HeLa genome

Looking for a good read? Then check out The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks! This book is an amazing biography and journey of the HeLa Gemone and a favorite book among many life scientists.

Musings of a mitochondriac

Henrietta Lacks could never have imagined that tiny, invisible parts of her would enthrall, empower, and perplex scientists for decades. In 1951, she developed a particularly aggressive cervical cancer, which unfortunately could not be treated – Henrietta died just a few months later. But her cells lived on, becoming arguably one of biology’s most valuable tools for decades to come.

Yet until now, our knowledge of the genetics of these so-called HeLa cells was rather hazy. I’m happy to be part of the team that has just published the first genome sequence of a HeLa cell line. (We were a little shocked by the amount of coverage our press release generated, even including a NatureNews feature!) Here I’d like to explain why we did this and what we learned – and perhaps also importantly, what we did not learn.

(Part 2 of this post will be an interview…

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CDC Warns Medical Professionals Must Prepare To Combat Rare, Potentially Deadly Superbug

super bug

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health care settings like hospitals and nursing homes need to make preparations to prevent the spread of a rare “superbug,” the CDC is warning. There’s recently been a sharp jump in the number of reports of the potentially deadly bacteria, which is resistant to all last-resort antibiotic treatments — and the CDC is prompting health […]/p

via CDC Warns Medical Professionals Must Prepare To Combat Rare, Potentially Deadly Superbug.


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Leukemia Cure for Emma

leukemia-versus-normal-blood-eps8

NY Times Article “Breakthrough Experimental Treatment for Advanced Leukemia”
“Emma was near death from acute lymphoblastic leukemia but is now in remission after an experimental treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The experiment, in April, used a disabled form of the virus that causes AIDS to reprogram Emma’s immune system genetically to kill cancer cells.”

A disabled form of the virus that causes AIDS was used to reprogram Emma’s immune system in order to kill her cancer cells. Three adults with Leukemia, who have also had the experimental treatment are now cancer free.  However, the altered T cells do have a drawback: they destroy healthy B-cells as well as cancerous ones, leaving patients vulnerable to certain types of infections, so Emma and the other patients need regular treatments with immune globulins to prevent illnesses. 
Click on the link above to read more about this amazing breakthrough in Science!

RELATED

NY Times – An immune system trained to kill cancer”

New England Journal of Medicine – Chimeric Antigen Receptor–Modified T Cells in Chronic Lymphoid Leukemia

Science Magazine – Tumor immunotherapy with T lymphocytes


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Epigenetics may be a critical factor contributing to homosexuality, study suggests

epigeneticsWhy does homosexuality occur?

Epigenetics is the term used for how gene expression is regulated by temporary switches called epi-marks.  Epi-marks appear to be a critical and overlooked factor contributing to the unanswered question of why homosexuality occurs.

A recent article found on Science Daily concerning this topic was authored by William Rice, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Urban Friberg, a professor at Uppsala University in Sweden.

Sources:

http://www.nimbios.org/press/FS_homosexuality