This category contains 8 posts

Citizen Biology

Are you not a scientist by training but you’d like to help scientists do real research? Or maybe you are a scientist and would like to aid others in doing more investigations in your spare time. Whatever your background, there are actually many ways that you can now do real scientific research in your spare … Continue reading »

Aging and the Gut Microbiome

The more we learn about them, the clearer it’s becoming that the microbiomes that surround us – and live inside of us – serve vital functions for us. (Microbiomes are collections of microbes, such as bacteria and yeast, which live together in a certain area.) Just last week, we looked at the microbes living in … Continue reading »

Contagious Dog Cancer is 11,000 Years Old

We know of few cancers that are contagious. The ones we’re most familiar with are caused by viruses, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer, and hepatitis B, which can cause liver (hepatic) cancer. (To read more about these virus-caused cancers and their vaccines, check out my book Biology Bytes: Digestible … Continue reading »

Using the Immune System to Fight Cancer

Recently, the prestigious magazine Science published its list of Breakthroughs of the Year 2013. At the very top of this list was cancer immunotherapy. A scanning electron microscope image of a healthy human T cell. (Image credit: NIAID/NIH) Cancer immunotherapy is a promising field of research that focuses on using a person’s immune system to … Continue reading »

A Chemical Way to Reverse Aging?

Is there a way to reverse aging? It’s the stuff that legends and myths are made of – the ever-elusive Fountain of Youth. But a paper published a few days ago in the prestigious journal Cell might make reversible aging closer to a reality (but it is still probably a long ways off). Specifically, by … Continue reading »

Biology Bytes: The Books

The Biology Bytes blog was inspired by the publication of two separate books by the same author. If you enjoy reading about the fascinating critters and plants that are all around us, or the latest developments in stem cell research or modern medicine in general, or have simply been enjoying reading the wide variety of … Continue reading »

Recent Breakthroughs with Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

It’s exciting times if you’re an induced pluripotent stem cell (also called an iPSC). OK, so maybe these stem cells don’t actually feel excitement, but there’s still some amazing progress being made with iPSCs. This includes making functional livers out of them, modifying them to attack cancerous tumors, and using them in their first clinical … Continue reading »

Fish Found with Skin Cancer

While we’ve made a lot of progress in better understanding cancer, a lot of it is still a bit of a mystery. For example, other animals don’t get the same types of cancer that humans get. We don’t really understand why this is. More specifically, fish have never been found to have skin cancer in … Continue reading »