.......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........The image on the screen looks like a bumpy soccer ball, studded with red, green and blue patches (and some random yellow points). Bryce Chackerian, a UNM professor and vice chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics Microbiology, faced a question: How do you beat a virus that has already outmaneuvered your immune system? The answer: Mimic it. (SOURCE: UNM Health Sciences)But this odd ball has nothing to do with sports. Rather, it represents a bold new way to build something you probably received from your doctor years ago: a vaccine.Under a microscope, this bumpy sphere multiplies into many identical ones in a grayscale image. “It’s just the shell of the virus,” explains Bryce Chackerian, Ph.D.For decades, these shells – known as virus-like particles or VLPs – … [Read more...] about UNM professor builds vaccines, one particle at a time
Discussion microscope lab report
I've frequently written about the "arrogance of ignorance," a phenomenon that anyone who's paid attention to what quacks, cranks, or antivaccine activists (but I repeat myself) write and say beyond a certain period of time will have encountered. Basically, it's the belief found in such people—and amplified in groups—that somehow they can master a subject as well or better than experts who have spent their entire professional lives studying the subject on their own, often just through the use of Google University and the echo chamber discussion forums that they frequent with their fellow cranks. Thus we have, for example, the rambling clown car of antivaccine bloggers over at the crank blog Age of Autism declaring that, contrary to the mountains of evidence otherwise, vaccines cause autism, "brain damage," autoimmune diseases and all sorts of mean and nasty other conditions. Skeptics quite properly point out that (1) there is no convincing evidence from well-designed and … [Read more...] about A Dunning-Kruger manifesto about vaccines and autism
Most scientists I know get a chuckle out of the Journal of Irreproducible Results (JIR), a humor journal that often parodies scientific papers. Back in the day, we used to chuckle at articles like "Any Eye for an Eye for an Arm and a Leg: Applied Dysfunctional Measurement" and "A Double Blind Efficacy Trial of Placebos, Extra Strength Placebos and Generic Placebos." (What saddens me is that this is basically what research into so-called “complementary and alternative medicine,” now more frequently referred to as “integrative medicine” boils down to.) Unfortunately, these days, reporting on science is giving the impression that the JIR is a little too close to the truth, at least when it comes to reproduciblity, so much so that the issue even has its own name and Wikipedia entry: Replication (or reproducibility) crisis. It's a topic I had been meaning to write about again for a while. Fortunately, A recent survey published in Nature under the clickbait title … [Read more...] about Is there a reproducibility “crisis” in biomedical research?
About Jeff Porter Jeff Porter is the director of education for AHCJ and plays a lead role in planning conferences, workshops and other training events. He also leads the organization's data collection and data instruction efforts. View all posts by Jeff Porter → Bus rides in Baltimore for Health Journalism 2019 attendees are offering visits to a clinic focusing on serving sex workers, a design studio bringing biomedical engineering ideas to life and a regenerative medicine lab. They’ll have the chance to practice hands-on administration of Narcan and see firsthand innovative ways to provide health care to the homeless. Those are just some of the offerings of two optional daylong field trips to Johns Hopkins University sites – Bloomberg School of Public Health, School of Nursing, School of Medicine and university labs – plus Baltimore’s Health Care for the Homeless site. Photo: Health Care for the Homeless One field trip will stop at the Health … [Read more...] about Health Journalism 2019 field trips offer high-tech research, real-life health care
first post details how I came about to ask this question when launching my independent research laboratory. The second post details the life and careers of the legendary physician-scientist pioneer, Dr. Florence Rena Sabin. Today, we take up a discussion where we will finally learn the origin of HeLa S3 cells, complete with original literature citations. A recapprevious discussion with the final and still-productive years of Dr. Florence Rena Sabin. After graduating from Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1900, Dr. Sabin embarked on a nearly 40-year career at Hopkins and now-Rockefeller University, elucidating the developmental origin of the lymphatics and antibody responses to tuberculosis and training a generation of physician-scientists. She was truly a pioneer, becoming the first woman to be appointed to faculty at Johns Hopkins, their first female full professor, the first female full member (full prof-equivalent) at Rockefeller, and the first woman invited to join the National … [Read more...] about What’s the difference between HeLa and HeLa S3 cells? Part III: Theodore “Ted” Puck, PhD, and the first clonal isolation of human tumor cells