There was a fun seminar with a guest speaker once upon a time when I was in graduate school where he put the physiological effects of stress into perspective. I can't remember his name now, but the gist was that if you imagine yourself as an animal fighting for survival, you are very likely to want to keep the body ramped up to run or fight rather than to fight infection, digest, or reproduce. In a human context, when the person is under pressure due to a huge work project or some other external force derived from a crushing mountain of responsibility, they are thrust into a situation where the body and mind think that they are in a "fight or flight" mode and that can lead to many physical and psychological detriments. Although what we do in science is important and requires lots of work, it is important to realize that good science is harder to do if we are overcome with stress, so let's find some ways to manage stress so we can be more productive and healthy.
ABclonal in Action: Diabetes, Insulin, and Resisting Graft Rejection
As a scientist (or at least, a guy who likes science and works for a bioscience-oriented company), I am invested in the power of scientific research in improving the quality of human life across all arenas. It is particularly gratifying when our customers, who are all primarily research scientists, derive direct benefit from ABclonal's products in their published research. In this case, our business development director had a customer recently defend her thesis based on a publication that used several ABclonal catalog antibodies. I enjoyed reading her group's article that may lead to more effective treatment strategies for diabetes patients going forward, so let's get to it.
Advances In Parkinson's Research
At the turn of the millenium, actor Michael J. Fox, whom you might remember from the Back to the Future films and Family Ties if you're a certain age, had to depart the cast of the popular sitcom Spin City because he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. I was a frequent viewer of the show (and of course I watched Back to the Future, and so should you) so it was a shock to the system to see a man who was still so vibrant and young have to take a step back from his profession because of that diagnosis. April is Parkinson's Awareness Month, which you can read more about from Fox's foundation and others, and in this post I thought we could learn more about this disorder together as humanity works towards an eventual cure.
Healthy Eating as a Way of Life
It has gotten harder as I've gotten older to keep the weight off, and I miss the days when I could eat all I could eat at buffets and not gain a single pound. I'm still not that big, but definitely have a bit of the #DadBod and my HbA1C count suggests that I'm bordering on prediabetic even as my cholesterol levels stay within established norms. It's a sobering reminder that as we age, the body simply can't be as efficient as it used to be, and even for those folks still far from "middle age," it makes sense to set up good healthy habits that will persist throughout however much time we have left on this blue marble flying through space. Being National Nutrition Month at the time of this writing, now is as good a time as any to reset reasonable dietary goals without having to go full cold turkey.
Maintaining Integrity in Scientific Research
Everywhere I've been in school or at work, there has been at least one session about ethics, whether it was a semester long course, a small retreat, or just a statement in passing for the company to cover their legal obligations. I'd like to think of myself as someone who wants the best for everyone he encounters, and try to live my life based on acceptance and collaboration so we can achieve common goals for the greater good. Because people come from diverse backgrounds with different upbringings, it is hard to distill ethics and values into a simple set of parameters, but I also think that in general, most people know what is right and what is wrong.
Multiple Sclerosis: A Mysterious Menace
Remember once upon a time when I said my first actual laboratory research project involved myelin basic protein? Other than knowing that the mother of one of my high school friends had been diagnosed with it, this was the first real exposure I had with multiple sclerosis. I eventually learned more about the immune system and autoimmunity, and the thought of your own body attacking your literal nerve cells was scary and made me feel for the people who have to live with and manage this disease every day. March happens to be Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, which as the name suggests works to make sure the public knows about multiple sclerosis, develops empathy and understanding for afflicted individuals, and encourages participation in events and activities to spread awareness. In this blog, let's explore the disease, current treatment strategies and ongoing research, and ways that you can help both in and out of the lab.