Notebook (old)
Stem cell rat race
Elie Dolgin | Mar 31, 2009
Rat embryonic stem cells were used to construct a chimeric animal (inset), shown here with two of his pups. Credit: Above: Courtesy of Ping Li and Qi-Long Ying Inset: Courtesy of John Agnew" />Rat embryonic stem cells were used to construct a chimeric animal (inset), shown here with two of his pups. Credit: Above: Courtesy of Ping Li and Qi-Long Ying Inset: Courtesy of John Agnew In 1981, Martin Evans and Matthew Kaufman, wor
Septic sperm
Elie Dolgin | Mar 31, 2009
Toxin-affected dead worm embryos and their antidote-carrying siblings. Credit: Courtesy of Hannah Seidel" />Toxin-affected dead worm embryos and their antidote-carrying siblings. Credit: Courtesy of Hannah Seidel In 2006, Hannah Seidel, a graduate student in Leonid Kruglyak's lab at Princeton University, performed an experiment that hundreds of C. elegans biologists had done before: She crossed two c
Working modeler
Virginia Hughes | Mar 31, 2009
One day in late 2004, television art director Karen Steward visited the penthouse floor of a glass office building in Los Angeles to sit down with UCLA epidemiologist Sally Blower and the half dozen members of Blower's Disease Modeling Group and talk about television. Steward was enlisting Blower's scientific expertise for the third episode of the CBS drama NUMB3RS, in which an FBI agent's
A matter of chow
Andrea Gawrylewski | Feb 28, 2009
Kozul holding standard chow (left) and purified chow (right). Credit: Photo by Jon Gilbert Fox" />Kozul holding standard chow (left) and purified chow (right). Credit: Photo by Jon Gilbert Fox Three hours after a particular poster session began at the 2007 Society for Toxicology meeting, the line to see Courtney Kozul's poster still wrapped around the room, and she had collected 90 business cards. Cl
Tooth ferrying
Kerry Grens | Feb 28, 2009
"These are from Justin," says Ruth McCarrick-Walmsley, as she slides a dish of cells under a microscope. The view through the eyepiece includes an array of silvery cells, fanned out in curved lines, looking like a school of fish. These bone progenitor cells, derived from an eight-year-old's baby teeth, represent a major advance in finding a cure for a rare, devastating disease that has stymied resea
Antifungal fight
Elie Dolgin | Jan 31, 2009
Kishor Wasan, a pharmacologist at the University of British Columbia, needed a negative control. It was 2000, and he was investigating a new way to deliver anti-fungal drugs in pill form, generally cheaper and easier to administer than intravenous injections. "I said, 'Let's take a drug I know doesn't work'," Wasan recalls. He turned to amphotericin B, an antifungal membrane disruptor that Wasan
Energy from E. coli
Brendan Borrell | Jan 31, 2009
From left: Jay Keasling with Francesco Pingitore and Chris Petzold. Credit: Courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley Nat'l Lab - Roy Kaltschmidt, photographer" />From left: Jay Keasling with Francesco Pingitore and Chris Petzold. Credit: Courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley Nat'l Lab - Roy Kaltschmidt, photographer Jay Keasling watches as 700 billion Escherichia coli swish around inside a benchtop bioreactor in the brand-spanking new
Catching crabs
Megan Scudellari | Jan 31, 2009
Blue Crab Credit: Wpopp / Wikimedia" />Blue Crab Credit: Wpopp / Wikimedia It was late last September when 73-year-old farmer Archie Page pulled a six-inch blue crab out of his pond in Swansboro, NC. After catching it, Page spent the day parading around in his pick-up with the crab in the back. "I couldn't believe it," he says with a soft Southern twang. Two months later, standing on a rickety dock a
Smells funny?
Brendan Borrell | Dec 31, 2008
Scanning electron micrograph of the head of a female Anopheles gambiae mosquito, indicating the olfactory appendages (antennae, maxillary palps and proboscis) Credit: Courtesy of LJ Zwiebel, colorization by Dominic Doyle / Vanderbilt University" />Scanning electron micrograph of the head of a female Anopheles gambiae mosquito, indicating the olfactory appendages (antennae, maxillary p
Lost in space
Joshua Tompkins | Dec 31, 2008
Few people possess a perfect sense of direction. Some need a GPS just to find their wits. Then there's Patient 1. Patient 1, as Giuseppe Iaria and his colleagues refer to her in an online article in Neuropsychologia(doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.08.021), doesn't even try to drive because she gets turned around in her own neighborhood. Family and friends accompany her almost every