Category Archives: Science 101

Me vs. “MuTEs”: Enhancing Cancer’s Hallmarks via Mutation

A small insertion mutation creates a landing site for transcription factor proteins, which drives overproduction of TAL1 protein and leukemia cell traits. Cancer scientists say all the time that “cancer is a disease of the genome,” but I still have … Continue reading

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How We Drugged a Leukemia’s Favorite Transcription Network

If we “cure cancer” in the woods and no one is there to read about it, will patients reap the rewards? I did computational analyses for a recent paper in Nature that describes a new chemical that kills leukemia cells … Continue reading

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What is a stem cell?

You started out as one cell– wicked, right? Now look at you! Brain, skin, blood, all of these can be traced back to that first cell that was you. Since you’re bigger that one cell, this cell had to make … Continue reading

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Enhancers Are Not Switches – Why We Should Kill a Bad Metaphor

“All models are wrong, but some models are useful.” So said George E.P. Box. Models are mental shortcuts that simplify complex thoughts/events/etc. There’s nothing really wrong with explaining a complex idea using a model– in fact the quality of your … Continue reading

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Asari Sex & Genes 101: How We Do It Like Liara

The Asari are near the top of list of uber-powerful galactic babes, alongside Leia and Twi’leks. Yet, if you’ve played Mass Effect, you know that they’ve got a peculiar way of ensuring the stable beauty of their species. Asari can … Continue reading

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