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Category Archives: Biology

Stanford Medicine magazine reports on the future of vision – Stanford Medical Center Report

Posted: August 25, 2017 at 7:42 am

Many of the strategies being explored at the Stanford University School of Medicine to protect, improve and restore vision sound seriously sci-fi. Among them: cornea transplants conducted with magnetic fields instead of scalpels, virtual reality workouts to repair damaged retinas, and bionic vision. The new issue of Stanford Medicine magazine, a theme issue on eyes and vision, includes details about these projects and others pushing the boundaries of biology and technology to help people see. Studies show that when it comes to their health, the thing people most worry about, after death, is losing their vision, said Jeffrey Goldberg, MD, professor and chair of ophthalmology, in the reports lead article. Peoples productivity and their activities of daily life hinge critically on vision, more than on any other sense. The lead article explains the basic workings of the eye and describes an array of ophthalmological research, including Goldbergs work to repair damaged corneas by injecting healthy cells into the eye and using magnets to pull the cells into position. A patient in a small early study entered the trial legally blind, with 20/200 vision, and left it with 20/40 vision close to normal. A larger study is planned to begin soon. … Continue reading

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OU Biology professor awarded grant for corneal research – News at OU

Posted: August 15, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Sheldon R. Gordon, Ph.D., a professor in the department of Biological Sciences, has been awarded a $15,000 Eye and Vision Research grant by Eversight, a global nonprofit network of eye banks. The grant was awarded in support of his work in the area of corneal research. Dr. Gordon is among nine recipients who received grants from Eversight for research projects that align with the organizations mission to restore sight and prevent blindness. The awards are determined by an independent review panel composed of distinguished scientists, ophthalmologists and health services researchers. This grant provides us with funding to continue our studies and to explore a protein that seems to play a critical role in endothelial physiology and in wound repair, said Dr. Gordon. With the resources we have now, well be able to delve deeper into our studies and determine its exact nature. If these studies turn out the way I hope they will, then we will have positioned ourselves to really be the first to identify this protein and to show what it does specifically. His lab is currently investigating a protein his team discovered on the surface of corneal endothelial cells that appears under stress-like conditions. Previous studies by … Continue reading

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Geoengineering and Synthetic Biology – PLoS Blogs (blog)

Posted: at 6:43 pm

Guest post byDevang Mehta This September, as part of their annual symposium, EUSynBioSwill hold an Open Discussion on the topic, Synthetic Biology and Environmental Engineering,at the National Center for Biotechnology, Madrid, Spain. They will host experts in the field to talk about the science and the more difficult aspects of public acceptance and bioethics surrounding geoengineering and synthetic biology. Geoengineering is a word that means many things to many people. Formally defined as the deliberate intervention in the climate system to counteract man-made global warming, for some scientists it represents a cheap and effective way to protect our planet from the ravages of climate change. To others, it is symptomatic of technological hubris: a grand, doomed plan to control every aspect of our ecosystem. Dig past the rhetoric though and you find a science thats still in its infancy, being developed by scientists around the globe, almost as a last resort in the (now very possible) event that on-going efforts to avert climate catastrophe by reducing global emissions fail. Current research on geoengineering is focused on either removing carbon dioxide from the Earths atmosphere or reducing global warming by reflecting more solar radiation away from the planet. Most proposals to … Continue reading

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The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) Appoints SPARGO, Inc. as Official Exposition and Advertising Sales and … – Newswise (press release)

Posted: at 6:43 pm

Newswise In August of 2017, SPARGO, Inc. will assume responsibility for the management of exhibit and sponsorship sales for the American Society for Cell Biologys 2017 and 2018 ASCB|EMBO Meetings and 2019 and 2020 ASCB Annual Meetings. Additionally, SPARGO will sell advertising in ASCBs three publications and other digital communications. The Annual Meeting, which has seen steady attendance growth over the past four years, brings together scientists from all over the world to discuss new experimental results and techniques in various domains of basic science and creates the environment for broader discussions on topics ranging from what is cell biology to the future of biomedical research, funding, training, and publishing. The Learning Center at the Annual Meeting will continue to feature technical and scientific exhibits, integrate the poster sessions, and host the popular Tech Talks and microsymposia presentation theaters in which cutting edge content is delivered by the exhibiting companies. The 2017 ASCB|EMBO meeting will be held December 2-6 in Philadelphia, PA. The Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region boasts a large concentration of medical and academic institutions. Holding the conference in this region makes it affordable and convenient for both domestic and international scientists to attend. We are proud to partner with SPARGO, … Continue reading

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Alexion, Sema4 Partner on Rare Disease Diagnostics and Systems Biology – Drug Discovery & Development

Posted: at 6:43 pm

Alexion Pharmaceuticalsand Sema4 announced a strategic partnership to leverage their shared experience in data science and systems biology to accelerate rare disease diagnosis and therapeutic discovery. This new partnership will combine Alexions rare disease SmartPanel analytics with Sema4s proven success in next-generation sequencing and genomic interpretation to further enable novel diagnostic and therapeutic insights into rare diseases. The world-class sequencing capabilities at Sema4 coupled with Alexions SmartPanel analytics will enable a comprehensive evaluation of a patients genome to uncover pathogenic mutations linked to rare diseases, said John Reynders, PhD, Vice President of Data Sciences, Genomics, and Bioinformatics at Alexion. This collaboration will help accelerate an accurate diagnosis for patients with rare genetic diseases and reduce the multi-year process that many families face before receiving a diagnosis. Alexion and Sema4 will also collaborate in searching for and decoding rare disease genomic shields a buffering mechanism that enables patients with a known disease-causing mutation in their genome to resist the manifestation of the disease. The advanced data science and bioinformatics capabilities that Alexion and Sema4 both bring to the table will enable us to decode these unique patients who are resistant to their genetic propensity for disease, said Sema4 CEO, Eric Schadt, … Continue reading

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Student-friendly, research-savvy new Biology Building opens its doors – Source

Posted: at 6:43 pm

Student-funded The 155,000 square-foot, $70 million building was funded in large part by the University Facility Fee Advisory Board, a group of students who determine the allocation of the student facility fee. Inspired by this funding, the department wanted to make the building people-friendly and individual-friendly, said biology Associate Professor Joe von Fischer. Theres light, theres comfortable seating. Its user-friendly. The biology department is the largest in the College of Natural Sciences, with more than 1,400 undergraduates studying in the biological science or zoology majors More than 60 percent of all CSU undergraduates take a class in the department. No matter what a student is studying, said Associate Professor Rachel Mueller, We made the space of the building to feel creative, to allow students to ask their own questions and foster a sense of wonder. The new building will open up more opportunities for hands-on laboratory work for undergraduate students, both in class and in working with faculty members on their research. Even for those who are not working in a lab, they will be able to see research happening firsthand. The science on display design of the building allows a view into the labs from the hallways through glass … Continue reading

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Nominations open for the PLOS Computational Biology Research Prize! – PLoS Blogs (blog)

Posted: at 6:43 pm

Have you read a 2016PLOS Computational BiologyResearch Article that stood out for you in terms scientific excellence or impact on your field? Maybe you edited or reviewed a manuscript that caught your attention? If so, were delighted to announce that were launching the PLOS Computational Biology Research Prize program, and would like to invite you with the opportunity to become involved! The program celebrates PLOS Computational Biologys best Research Articles published last year (2016), in the following three prize categories: Breakthrough Advance/Innovation Exemplary Methods/Software Public Impact A $2000 prize will be awarded to the authors of the winning Research Article in each category from a pool of public nominations, selected by thePLOS Computational BiologyResearch Prize Committee. Also, to show our appreciation for nominating, each complete nomination of an eligible Research Article published in 2016 will be entered into a random prize drawing to receive a PLOS T-shirt! To tell us which 2016 Research Articles you think are worthy of these awards, please complete ournomination form.Nominations are open to the public untilSeptember 14, 2017 at 11:59 PM ET. If you wish to nominate more than one article, you may submit this form multiple times. For more information on the program, take … Continue reading

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How to Leverage the Biology of Healthy Leadership (And Why Leaders Have a Duty to Take Care of Themselves) – HuffPost

Posted: August 14, 2017 at 3:48 am

Being part of a healthy organization contributes to the well-being, engagement, and productivity of the people in them. This may sound transparently obvious, but it is a fact that is routinely overlooked or ignored. Leaders who are patient, understanding, compassionate, and clear communicators contribute directly to the health of the people on their team. Conversely, leaders who rule by rigidity, intimidation, and manipulation may get short-term results, but they will ultimately diminish the well-being, engagement, and productivity of individuals as well as the organization. This is not touchy-feely, new age, management jargon. This is basic human biology. In the short term, the chemicals of stress motivate us. A deadline, a target, a goal, competition these can lead us to marshal useful internal resources. Over time, however, a constant drip of stress hormones will take a significant toll on our individual health, our performance, and on our relationship to others. This is why it is vital that people in an organization feel that they matter and that their well-being matters. This is the role of the leader. Maintaining the bandwidth to do this is why leaders have a duty to work on their own well-being. There are some obvious ways to … Continue reading

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We’ve studied gender and STEM for 25 years. The science doesn’t support the Google memo. – Recode

Posted: at 3:48 am

A Google engineer who was fired for posting an online claim that womens biology makes them less able than men to work in technology jobs has charged that he is being smeared and is a victim of political correctness. James Damore, 28, questioned the companys diversity policies and claimed that scientific data backed up his assertions. Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote that Damores 3,300-word manifesto crossed the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in the workplace. Pichai noted that To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK. Damore argued that many men in the company agreed with his sentiments. Thats not surprising, since the idea that women just cant hack it in math and science has been around for a very long time. It has been argued that womens lack of a math gene, their brain structures and their inherent psychological traits put most of them out of the game. Some critics sided with Damore. For example, columnist Ross Douthat of the New York Times found his scientific arguments intriguing. But are they? What are the real facts? We have been researching issues of gender … Continue reading

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Google Manifesto: Does Biology Explain Gender Disparities in Tech? – Live Science

Posted: August 13, 2017 at 11:43 am

A Google employee recently published an anti-diversity manifesto on an internal discussion board that has gone viral and stirred furious debate both inside and outside the company. In the essay, James Damore claimed that differences in the number of women and men in tech companies such as Google can be largely explained by biological differences, rather than sexism. As a result, some diversity efforts aimed at increasing the representation of women and other minorities are discriminatory against men, he argued. (After the memo went public, Google fired Damore for perpetuating gender stereotypes, Reuters reported.) But what does science have to say about the biological differences between men and women, and how do they affect the gender gap in tech? "It would be foolish to say there are no biological differences between men and women," said Margaret McCarthy, a neuroscientist at the University of Maryland who studies gender differences in the brain. "Sex is the most potent of all biological variables." [Men vs. Women: Our Key Physical Differences Explained] However, pinning the lack of women in tech to biological differences is on much shakier ground, when socialization or sexism are much likelier explanations, several experts told Live Science. In Damore's manifesto, … Continue reading

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