Canadian molecular biologist holds art exhibition in Shanghai

As seen on the Wacky World of YouTube!

April 17, 2014 at 4:46 pm Leave a comment

Making the Invisible, Visible

The wonders of nature, visualized.

April 15, 2014 at 4:03 pm Leave a comment

Can blueberry extract prevent Parkinson’s?

Can blueberry extract prevent or reduce the effects of Parkinson’s? That’s what researchers at Memorial University are trying to figure out.

A new paper by David Lipsett and Dr. Brian Staveley of the Department of Biology suggests that a diet supplemented with blueberry extract may indeed have a positive impact on a fruit fly model of Parkinson Disease.

“Parkinson disease is the second most common progressive neurodegenerative disorder and is only surpassed in frequency by Alzheimer disease,” he said. “Initially believed to be an entirely random disease, studies have identified alpha-synuclein as the first gene related to Parkinson’s.”

Alpha-synuclein is a protein abundant in the human brain, found mainly at the tips of nerve cells, or neurons, in specialized structures called presynaptic terminals. These terminals release chemical messengers called neurotransmitters, which relay signals between neurons and is critical for normal brain function.

Although the function of this gene is not well understood, studies suggest that it plays an important role in regulating the release of dopamine, a type of neurotransmitter critical for controlling the start and stop of voluntary and involuntary movements.

“This gene is proven to be the cause of inherited Parkinson disease in human families that have more of the gene, or an unusual form of it,” said Dr. Staveley. “We’ve taken that gene and put it in fruit flies and found that causes a few defects including decreased lifespan and retinal degeneration.”

Read more…

April 14, 2014 at 6:36 am Leave a comment

2D Electrophoresis Tips & Tricks Part II

A few weeks ago we shared with you the first part in a two part series on 2D Gel Electrophoresis. In this last part of the series you will learn: IEF separation, using immobilized pH gradient (IPG) strips, running second-dimension PAGE, spot detection, gel matching, and data analysis, followed by Q&A on topics including sample preparation, storage, and running conditions.

April 10, 2014 at 4:57 pm Leave a comment

DNA and Life for Great Scientific Inspiration

Great video with some great quotes (although they may have been misattributed)

Functional genomics will be to 21st century medicine what infections disease was to the 20th century

(found quoted in the name of many people across the web)

Live as if you were to die tomorrow…and learn as if you were to live forever

(Mahatma Ghandi-misattributed to Dr. Ricciardi)

April 9, 2014 at 2:59 pm Leave a comment

Can Bacteria Cause Breast Cancer?

A unique population of microbes in the female breast may lay the groundwork for understanding how this bacterial community contributes to health and disease, according to a new study out of Western University (London, Canada). The study titled “Microbiota of human breast tissue,” is now published online, in advance of the May issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

The human body is home to a large and diverse population of bacteria with properties that are both harmful and beneficial to our health. Studies are revealing the presence of bacteria in unexpected sites.

This new research has uncovered bacteria in breast tissue associated with cancer. Forms of bacteria known as ‘Proteobacteria’ were the most abundant, potentially as they are able to metabolize the fatty tissue, said the paper’s first author, Camilla Urbaniak, a PhD student in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. Her studies, under the supervision of Lawson Health Research Institute Scientist and Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry Professor Gregor Reid, involved breast tissue from 81 women in Canada and Ireland. Ten of the women undergoing breast reduction acted as controls, with 71 having benign or cancerous tumors. Bacteria were found in and beside the tumours.

“Although we have not proven that bacteria cause cancer, or that certain types of bacteria actually may reduce the risk of cancer, the findings open a completely new avenue for this important disease,” said Reid. “Imagine if women have a microbiota in the breast that puts them at higher risk of cancer? Or, if various drugs such as antibiotics or birth control pills alter the types of bacteria and their risk of cancer?”

Thanks to the University of Western Ontario for contributing this story.

April 8, 2014 at 2:45 pm Leave a comment

Celebrating Women in Science

Lab Manager Magazine is running a video series on Women in Science. The first video stars award-winning, Canadian-born Elodie Ghendin, who talks about her early inspiration and support network that pushed her to excel in her scientific career.

Interview with Dr. Elodie Ghedin from Lab Manager Magazine on Vimeo.

April 7, 2014 at 1:21 pm Leave a comment

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