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Life sciences

Climate change explained through Tetris

“There’s a game of Tetris happening on a global scale: The playing space is planet Earth, and all those pesky, stacking blocks represent carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas that is piling up ever more rapidly as we burn the fossil fuels that run our cars, factories and power plants. Joss Fong outlines how this overload of CO2 leads to climate change and reminds us that, unlike Tetris, we won’t get an opportunity to start over and try again.”

By Joss Fong

#TakeitScience

 

 

 

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Does making money change our behaviour?

Think of becoming rich (if you’re not rich already..). Do you see yourself better, meaner or just the same? Continue reading “Does making money change our behaviour?”

Cancer risk: Chance or Choice?

CHANCE OR CHOICE
Does cancer play dice with us?

In 2015, Tomasetti and Vogelstein published in Science a famous and controversial paper on cancer etiology1. They showed that lifetime risk of many different cancers highly correlates with the total number of stem cell divisions of the tissue from where the cancer arises. The correlation between these two parameters was R=0.81.To understand how strong this correlation is, one can imagine that R of value 1 would mean a perfect correlation: one could exactly calculate the value of one parameter just knowing the value of the other. Tomasetti and Vogelstein interpreted these data as a proof of the existence of another player in cancer etiology, along with hereditary and environmental components: intrinsic replication errors. Continue reading “Cancer risk: Chance or Choice?”

Lab-grown meat: the future

In this video from the series “Future first” of Popular Science and XPRIZE, we can have a glimpse into the future. Continue reading “Lab-grown meat: the future”

The impostor syndrome

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Source: images.com/corbis

To better tell you about this incredible story, I shall first give you a brief smattering on how what we see through our eyes is then processed inside of our brain. When an image (rays of light) hits our retina, a visual signal is converted into an electrical signal and sent inside of our brain. The mental elaboration of an image is an extremely complex mechanism, and it is just crazy to think how fast and efficient this process is and how we do not consciously realize what happened in between the visual signal and its final output. In very simple words: visual data are sent to a cerebral structure, the fusiform gyrus in which objects, faces and places are subject to a primary evaluation. At this hub, the acquired visual data are subdivided through 4 main paths: the one which interests us most is the way number 3 that gets to the Amygdala. Continue reading “The impostor syndrome”

The Genome-War: are we ready to manipulate human’s DNA?

 

genome-editing

In recent years, a real revolution is ongoing in the molecular biology field. This revolution roots back to the 60’ and 70’ years of last century, when all the scientists around the world began to daydream about the possibility of curing diseases by manipulating the human genome taking advantage of the rising methodologies of recombinant DNA. Sometimes dreams come true and, nowadays, genomic manipulation is reality thanks to a newly discovered technique that allows us to specifically and accurately modify our DNA. Continue reading “The Genome-War: are we ready to manipulate human’s DNA?”

Cancer Series: Sustaining Proliferative Signalling

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A tumor cells ceaselessly proliferate giving rise to countless clones

In the second chapter of the “Hallmarks of cancer” series we talk about the cancer cell capability to continuously sustain proliferative signalling.

As discussed in the first chapter (see here), Continue reading “Cancer Series: Sustaining Proliferative Signalling”

Cancer Series: Chapter 1

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The emperor of all maladies – Siddhartha Mukherjee

Human body operates as a society or an ecosystem. The single members are represented by the cells, which can replicates through cellular division and organize themselves into collaborative complexes called tissues. This society is really special: the main rule is the self-sacrifice and not the survival of the stronger one. Continue reading “Cancer Series: Chapter 1”

The future of drug testing is today!

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Nowadays, poor ability of the animal models to resemble human biology represents one of the major medical research drawbacks. According to a Tufts University study, the overall cost to develop a new pharmaceutical drug exceeds 2.5 billion dollars1. Continue reading “The future of drug testing is today!”

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