I don't know how many of you have ever heard of or visited the website Reddit. But a few days ago in a section called IAmA where people present who they are and their story. There was a gripping story about a young man in college who contracted HIV from an encounter with someone from Craigslist. So it's not really a peer-reviewed article but its interesting to hear this guy's story and how he is dealing with being HIV positive. If you get a chance, check it out.
Yesterday PLS posted about "playing the game" and finding himself in the midst of players that make the big decisions and their power plays. I think all of us to some extent "play the game" whether you know it or not and we all learn the rules of the game at an early age. For example, I hate journal club. And I really really hate presenting in journal club. But luckily I know the person that runs the schedule for it. If I do something else for the person, the quid pro quo becomes I don't have to present this semester. Both of us are pawns and manipulators in the game, they manipulated me to get something done and I manipulated them to get out of journal club because I was taking care of something else.
My whole take on the issue is that don't act horrified like the game and gamesmanship exists, it has since the dawn of time. And it will go into perpetuity. I wonder if those elementary and grade school teacher's pets are not just early adopters to "the game?"
About a year or so ago, I got to see a really talented young musician named Daniel Park perform and he was awesome. So in the spirit of link love, I'm sharing a few videos of his to you. The first is about culture differences and how people say Hello and the second is his cover of Fleetwood Mac's Landslide. Enjoy.
I'm heading out to Houston today for a two day meeting, if any readers want to hang out or grab a bite to eat let me know. I'm already going to grub with The Protein Wrangler, a fine young gent who works in the Texas Medical Center. And for a nominal fee (i.e. cab money), I'd be willing to autograph whatever items you wish whether it be a pipet, a baby, a gallon of milk. Anything helps.
Many labs are either working with or have HEK293 cells frozen back in their repository. HEK293 embryonic kidney cells were cultured from an aborted fetus by Alex van der Eb, a researcher in Holland. Were you aware that they might not actually be of kidney cells and rather of neuronal origin. The cells also made Frank Graham, a researcher with van der Eb, famous for discovering that you could transfect some DNA if you just toss some calcium phosphate in with them.
A scientist by the name of Gerry Shaw was trying to stain 293's with a monoclonal antibody that he created to beta-adrenergic receptor kinase 1 (beta-ARK) which should be expressed in the cells. Wanting to be a proper scientist, Shaw wanted to have a negative control for staining, so he grabbed a neurofilament antibody, which should not stain a kidney cell line right? WTF this and other neurofilament antibodies were able to stain the cells! Scratching your head right, so was Shaw. Using microarray data, it was shown that 293's expression pattern of neuronal genes similar to that of other neuronal cell lines.
So if you are wanting an in vitro model for kidney research, you might want to go get another cell line.
Link to Shaw's data
Does each individual subfield have a sort of curator for the history of said research dominion? And I mean in context to what was known at the time, how things were discovered and what was so novel about it? The subtext and nuances of this is usually left out of the articles that have been largely sterilized of anything that is not data and conclusions. In the DNA repair field we are lucky to have a few great historians, namely Errol Friedberg, who has a fascinating book out Correcting the Blueprint of Life: An Historical Account of the Discovery of DNA Repair Mechanisms.
This book is a wealth of knowledge and takes you back to the days of Luria and Delbruck and beyond, including personal letters to colleagues and interviews with the living. Further enriching the history of our field is that our field specific journal, DNA Repair* has taken to publishing brief autobiographical perspectives each month. These are fantastic personal accounts of the days of science yonder from well respected scientists, they paint a rich picture of what the pulse of research was back then, challenges to overcome and new technologies that were opening up to them.
Much thanks to Errol and anyone else that works so hard to preserve the rich and engrossing history of their fields.
*Errol is also the Editor in Chief of DNA Repair and I can only assume he had a hand in setting up these perspectives.
is hilarious, you have to go visit this site.
A recent article in Nature talking about the HHMI's Janelia Farm Research Campus was quite interesting but has me a little aghast at a comment made by executive director Gerald Rubin. Rubin says that Janelia Farm needs to be able to pass the "deletion test" in order to be considered a success. The deletion test is analogous to knocking out a gene in order to determine its functions, so without the contributions of the might Janelia Farm what may we mere scientific plebes never have discovered. I have not heard such hubris since the cocaine-laden days of the 1980s or more recently strategic planning by institutional presidents (we'll cure cancer in 10 years). My skepticism in not to say that Janelia isn't a fantastic environment to foster scientific excellence or that they won't achieve great discoveries in the future, but my god man, temper your words. Don't flap your gums and say crap like that you would consider yourself a failure if 20 years from now you find that you have just "..recreated the Salk Institute."
Oh and the nature article plots out the # number of glamour mag publications over the years coming out of Janelia Farm (I wouldn't expect anything less from the folks at Nature, or Science, or Cell). So I guess if you are working at the farm its either go big or go home as well too? I have high hopes for this place but don't start pissing matches by running your mouth.
Longtime gay rights activist Frank Kameny passed away tonight. Frank served in the military during WWII was discharged for his sexual orientation so I hope the ending of DADT brought some solace and comfort to him for all his years of hard work.
you may not have reached your goal of equality but thanks to your work you generated momentum in the right direction. You will be loved and missed.
So Krystal D'Costa is a super rad anthropologist and unfortunately a Mets fan, but we'll let that crap slide. Anyways she is trying to get a panel together for New York Internet Week and she needs your help. Her panel, "The Evolution of Communication will trace the social ripples of communicative technologies through history (and prehistory if time allows) investigating what exactly is new about new media."
Click here and go vote for her. Now get off your asses and get the vote, consider it preparation for 2012. And folks, I heard a rumor that if she gets her panel she'll send a dozen warm fresh baked cookies to anyone that voted for her. Sorry I wasn't supposed to let the cat out of the bag.