May 1, 2024 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

The Ongoing Battle Against ALS

Perhaps one of the best things about awareness months, even if they bring focus to maladies and situations that are not always pleasant, is to get people interested to learn about the topic, and if they're interested enough, they'll do something to help out. This is the case with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Some time back, there was the Ice Bucket Challenge which went viral, involved numerous athletes and celebrities and common people, and raised a ton of money for research and to support the afflicted people around the world. Yet, although I know it is a motor neuron disease and that it has affected famous people like the late brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking and more recently, the respected baseball media personality and fellow UChicago alum Sarah Langs (she's not even that old!), I found that I knew remarkably little about the disease itself. So this May, which is ALS Awareness Month, let's learn a little bit more together.


Apr 2, 2024 1:58:26 PM       by Kin Leung

ABclonal in Action: Tackling Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's Disease (PD) remains the second-most common neurodegenerative disorder behind Alzheimer's Disease, and the incidence of patients being diagnosed with PD will only rise as we all get older. With this in mind, much personnel and resources are dedicated to discovering more about this disease and to develop better treatments and management strategies to improve the livelihoods of those afflicted with PD. April is Parkinson's Awareness Month, and this is a perfect time for us not only to raise funds and awareness to help PD patients, but also to learn about how companies like ABclonal can help accelerate the research behind PD onset and progression. Here, we highlight studies using ABclonal products that were published within the past year that add new insights into Parkinson's research.


Apr 5, 2023 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

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.


Jul 18, 2022 11:59:58 AM       by Kin Leung

What to Think About Zinc: An Essential Element for Healthy Living

Perhaps we only think of zinc as the extra element in our coins to keep manufacturing costs down, or as that random clip from the Simpsons about a world without zinc. Aside from thinking it is a wacky sounding word (I did look up the etymology and it is rather appropriate!), we just don’t consider zinc as being all that important. Once the pandemic hit, though, I noted that Costco was marketing their zinc supplements a lot more, and after doing some extra research, I bought some to add to my diet.


Jun 17, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

A Path To Effective Precision Therapeutics For Alzheimer’s Disease

Before my grandmother passed, she had been battling severe dementia for a very long time, which made it difficult in many ways to have conversations with her. It would take several minutes for her to process who I was, and then it would seem like she would remember me and my family, but she would still have to ask for clarification several times even after we had answered her queries. I am grateful that she is in a better place now, but her challenges in the final years of her life deepened my empathy for people who suffer from dementia, and those who take care of them.

 


Jun 10, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

ABclonal in Action: Autophagy as a Therapeutic Target

 

Every now and then when I get hungry, I joke that my stomach is about to digest itself. For the longest time, human science was unaware that our cells could literally eat itself (or more precisely, parts of itself) as well! First described in the 1960s by Christian de Duve (who won the Nobel Prize for discovering the lysosome), the term autophagy derives from Greek words combined to mean “self-eating” and describes a process by which the cell degrades large components and organelles in a distinct mechanism. 1-3 The phenomenon was not studied extensively until the 1990s, when Yoshinori Ohsumi performed a series of groundbreaking experiments to determine the underlying mechanisms of autophagy, an achievement for which he was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Ohsumi’s work has led to an explosion of research that has precipitated a greater understanding of the role played by cellular digestion, degradation, and recycling pathways in human health and disease.