Jun 7, 2023 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Melding Neuroscience with Computer Technology

As a lifelong Star Trek fan, it has been exciting to see a lot of the science fiction gradually become science fact, even from the classic episodes with Captain Kirk and Mister Spock. From automatic doors to cellular phones, and even the computing innovations we take for granted such as the Google search engine, touch screen iPads, and the Alexa voice-activated assistant, science fiction like Star Trek has fed our imaginations to turn concepts into reality, such as this happy goofball (albeit a very resourceful goofball) making Doctor Octopus tentacles. I will continue sprinkling in Star Trek references because many of the neuroscience-based innovations in this post seem inspired by mere words on a script page that turned into an "aha" moment on screen, but as paraphrased from Arthur C. Clarke's laws, nothing is truly impossible with the right kind of science.


May 31, 2023 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Exploring Antibody Production Strategies

I recall having to make hundreds of custom peptides, and even though we used an automated peptide synthesizer rather than doing it by hand like another lab in the building, making a dozen peptides at a time still took hours on the machine and then another couple days for the purification and lyophilization processes. My mentor and I briefly joked about using bacteria and a polycistronic construct to just have the little guys use their ribosomes to do it for us, but the purification process probably would have been impractical. This does make me appreciate the wonders of natural biosynthetic machinery, and I promise there is a point here because we still use animal hosts to initially produce antibodies. Today, let's explore the process by which most commercial and custom antibodies are still produced, including here at ABclonal!

May 17, 2023 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Science and the Law

We live now in a polarizing environment where many people can't agree on issues that may seem obvious for the greater good, and part of that is likely due to a mistrust of scientists depending on one's education level and political leanings (probably the most diplomatic way I can phrase this). Science has brought us many wonders, from faster transportation, to lifesaving medicines, to the devices you are using to read this right now. Science also works to continue building our knowledge base, and perhaps one of the greatest examples of this is the banning of leaded gasoline, highlighted in an amazing episode of Cosmos hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Because proper regulation is needed to keep both society and science in check, I thought today we would explore how science works with the law to ensure a brighter future for humanity.

May 10, 2023 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Using Plant Biology to Address Global Human Issues

May 22 is the annual International Day for Biological Diversity, which seeks to maintain and improve the diversity of plant, animal, and microorganism species across our planet through the protection and maintenance of their native ecosystems. Given the human dependence on biodiversity to sustain us, particularly in our food supply, this is an important issue to raise awareness for and to enact policies and mechanisms to provide food security and prevent famine and disease. With plants being the backbone of nearly every ecosystem and food chain on Earth, many scientists are considering plant biology to address these major global issues, especially as biodiversity continues to be threatened by global climate change and other human interventions.

May 2, 2023 12:00:00 AM       by Kin Leung

The Crossroads of Experimental and Computational Biology

Computers are ubiquitous in our lives now, particularly the majority of us who have a miniature supercomputer in the palm of our hands. With more efficient and powerful computer technology coupled with the understanding that biology is much more complex than dissecting out the role of a single protein in a signaling pathway, the relatively new field of computational biology and bioinformatics has exploded over the past few decades as researchers needed new tools and strategies to understand biology on a systems level. This has allowed non-traditional professionals to enter bioscience research, from primarily computer scientists to bench scientists who have taught themselves coding and statistics. As the computational component has permeated through nearly all of modern biology, we realize that there is a beneficial coexistence between the experimentalists and the keyboard warriors who make sense of growing datasets.


Apr 21, 2023 10:22:46 AM       by Kin Leung

Introducing BioChat, an ABclonal Podcast!

I'm a big proponent of telling fun stories, particularly about science (and sometimes baseball), and in just plain having fun, which I think is a good way to go through a life that is all too short on the geological scale. I also like staying in touch with my friends and making new friends, because a life well lived includes all the fine folks we've met along the way. As you may have seen in our other communications, we are getting set to launch a new podcast series we have named "BioChat," because we are going to be talking with a lot of folks who are associated with bioscience research and work in service of promoting better health, stronger research and clinical outcomes, and ensuring improved quality of life.