Dec 13, 2023 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

The Intersection of Art and the Natural World

My wife put her studies on hold while I completed my PhD in cancer biology to take care of our son, but is now on the verge of getting her art history degree! One of her current classes is discussing the role of technology in art, and she stumbled across this older article that addresses the field of "bio-art," or art that represents a crossover between art and the biological sciences. I never really considered this as a contemporary art form, but I guess, separate from the illustrators or photographers who produce content for textbooks and science magazines, as well as the graphic designers who make the signal transduction diagrams and informational graphics for our references, bioscience has advanced to a point where we can manipulate cells in culture and living organisms to produce works of art that could be easily recognizable or more abstract. Since we are talking about living tissues being employed in the display of art, there are ethical considerations in play that we will explore in this article.

Dec 6, 2023 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Is There Life On Mars (Or Anywhere Else)?

In 2022, Science Magazine awarded their Science Breakthrough of the Year to the NASA JW Space Telescope. In the time since, we have been mesmerized by the many new picture of our vast cosmos. Since ancient humans gazed up into the stars, we have always wondered what was out there in the universe, and we can find our fascination with the final frontier in our mythology, both from ages past and in contemporary science fiction. As humanity looks to return to the moon and establish further presence on Mars and beyond, let's take a look at our search for extraterrestrial life, if it is out there...or should I say, it's most likely out there!

Nov 15, 2023 11:54:38 AM       by Kin Leung

The Magic Bullet: Current State of the Antibody-Drug Conjugate Market

The dream of biomedical researchers is to fine-tune their therapeutics to precisely target the specific illness or pathogen affecting their patient. Ever since Nobel laureate and oft-quoted father of immunology, Paul Ehrlich, coined the term “magic bullet,” medical science has marched towards more personalized drugs that target key molecules that cause diseases including cancer. 1 We find ourselves now, over a century later, in an exciting era of discovery that has produced many antibody drug conjugates (ADC) designed to precisely target the diseased cells and not healthy cells. ADC uses this strategy to take advantage of the specificity of antibodies while delivering a covalently linked cytotoxic payload directly to diseased tissues to reduce the multitudes of side effects and toxicity. 2, 3 As basic research identifies more targets and antibody engineering procedures improve, the range of antitumor and anti-disease weapons may seem limitless. 

Oct 25, 2023 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

A Family Legacy: The Koshlands

I am immensely proud of being an alumnus of the University of California at Berkeley, where I was able to get a world class education and have opportunities to meet with and learn from superb professors, some of whom have since earned Nobel Prizes. Those were some of the most fun years of my life and I also appreciated the beautiful, sprawling campus with lots of fantastic architecture and wide-open green spaces to lounge around on and play catch with my friend every now and then. It is mere coincidence that the day this article published is also Marian Koshland's birthday, and it got me thinking about Koshland Hall, one of the newer (now old, because so am I) buildings when I started college, and which Koshland it was actually named after.

Oct 18, 2023 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Spatial Proteomics and the Future of Cell Biology

Having worked in a proteomics lab for my PhD dissertation, I had some familiarity with the tools and strategies used to study biology on a systems level. One of the concepts I was always interested in was the ability to just follow a protein's journey throughout the cell, from the time it is translated by the ribosome to its final destination either within an organelle or when it is secreted into the extracellular space. At the time I was finishing up, I wasn't sure that the technology was yet advanced enough to make that a reality, particularly if done within a single cell. But within the past few years, a new era of spatial proteomics has emerged to allow us to observe cell biology in a whole new light.

Oct 2, 2023 9:19:27 AM       by Kin Leung

Celebrate the Sciences With the 2023 Nobel Prizes

Just a few short weeks after the highly irreverent yet still important Ig Nobel Ceremony, the science community recognized the cream of its crop with the 2023 Nobel Prizes in the first full week of October. The dates for the official announcements are aligned with their usual order throughout the years, always announcing Physiology and Medicine first, then Physics, then Chemistry. The Nobel Committee will transition toward the Literature and Peace prizes to round out the week before Economics is announced on the following Monday. As usual, these prizes recognize a lifetime of work that has given the greatest benefit to humanity. Click the links to check out some of our picks for greatest Nobel science achievements as well a look at last year's Nobel winners, but here we go for this year's running tally of scientific legend.