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Recent Posts

The Next Cancer Model

Posted by Michele Mei on Jan 21, 2019 7:46:19 PM

The Problem with Cancer Models

Very few cancer drugs succeed in clinical trials, despite showing promise in the lab. Treatments that may work on animal models, cell lines, or even patient-derived xenografts often do not have the same efficacy in patients. The underlying reason is tumor environments within the human body are far more complex than in research models. For example, the tissue structure (histological complexity) and genetic heterogeneity of an animal model is different than that of humans. Even cell lines and patient-derived xenografts, which are human-derived, have their own pitfalls such as genetic mutations and animal-specific tumor evolution, respectively. Due to the inability to reproduce human tumor environments, many drugs fail clinical trials after lengthy and costly development.

Key Targets in the Hippo Pathway

Posted by Panyue (Penny) Hao on Jan 15, 2019 12:32:35 PM

The Hippo signal is very conservative in evolution. It regulates organ size and tissue stability by regulating cell proliferation, apoptosis, and stem cell renewal. The core process of Hippo signaling is a kinase tandem process, Mst1/2 and Sav1 form a complex, phosphorylate and activate Lats1/2; Lats1/2 kinase then phosphorylates and inhibits transcriptional coactivators Yap and Taz. Yap and Taz are the most important effectors downstream of the Hippo pathway. Upon dephosphorylation, Yap and Taz translocate to the nucleus and interact with TEAD1-4 or other transcription factors (such as CTGF) to induce gene expression, thereby initiating cell proliferation and inhibiting apoptosis.

4 Successful Writing Habits for Scientists

Posted by Michele Mei on Jan 7, 2019 12:33:37 PM

As scientists, writing is a major component of the job, yet having “no time to write” is a common complaint echoed amongst PhD candidates, post-docs, and professors alike. On top of experiments, data analyses, and taking/teaching courses, writing can easily end up on the back burner. But publishing papers, like it or not, is critical for a career in science. Rather than setting intimidating goals like publishing some number of papers within a year or publishing in a high impact journal, it is more feasible and beneficial to first develop good writing habits, which will in the long run increase productivity.

Top Life Science Discoveries of 2018

Posted by Michele Mei on Dec 26, 2018 10:25:00 AM

Every year, scientists make fascinating breakthroughs which broaden, yet challenge, our understanding of life and the world around us. Just as we start to understand a biological process, like how heredity or aging works, a new discovery can flip it on its head or open a whole new avenue for research. As 2018 comes to an end, it’s the time for roundups of top products, gifts, movies, tech, etc. We decided to put our own spin on it with the top life science discoveries of the year.

Seasons Greetings from ABclonal

Posted by Michele Mei on Dec 25, 2018 6:22:22 PM

Communicating Science to Non-Scientists

Posted by Michele Mei on Dec 8, 2018 6:48:52 PM

These days major debates center around scientific information – from climate change, gene-editing to vaccinations – yet, despite the data-driven nature of science, there are deeply divided opinions regarding these hot topics. For researchers, it might be frustrating to witness scientific findings being misinterpreted or exaggerated. But it’s not surprising that so much science is misunderstood. Too many scientists still reside within their own research bubbles, which is counterproductive.