• A real skinny pill emerges

    A real skinny pill emerges

    In an ironic twist of science and history, people once had access to the most coveted of all medicines – the ultimate skinny pill. This chemical could shed pounds without so much as lifting a finger. It was so effective that it was eventually banned by the FDA. Now researchers are on the brink of introducing a new “skinny pill” […]

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  • How do we make a stand against Zika virus?

    How do we make a stand against Zika virus?

    Yesterday, Julie Gerberding M.D. MPH and former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, addressed Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School about the current state vector-borne disease control (e.g. Zika virus) and the likelihood of an outbreak. Her overarching message? “It is not if… it’s when.”  This statement was not a scare tactic, but rather a realistic summation of the […]

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  • Biotech Beat: Celldex Therapeutics (CLDX)

    Biotech Beat: Celldex Therapeutics (CLDX)

    Biotech stocks have had a rough break since the Turing fiasco in late 2015. While this negative publicity reflects a moderate amount of risk to large pharmaceutical companies with broad drug portfolios, it has created myriad investment opportunities in early stage companies. Here we discuss Celldex Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CLDX), a stock whose current drug pipeline shows tremendous and imminent […]

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  • Home-brewed Heroin? Q and A with a synthetic biologist.

    Home-brewed Heroin? Q and A with a synthetic biologist.

    Researchers are reporting that they have made significant strides in engineering yeast to efficiently produce Opioids (a drug class that includes morphine and heroin). Interestingly, these yeast strains are quite similar to those frequently used by individuals to brew beer or make pizza dough –raising concerns as to whether or not this biotechnology can one day be misused to […]

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  • The best way to restore youth? Virgin blood.

    The best way to restore youth? Virgin blood.

    We’ve all smirked at the childhood fairy tales of Countess Bathory, a Hungarian Noble who sought to restore youth by bathing in the blood of virgin girls. While she was resigned to history as a perverse serial murderer, new research suggests that she may have been incredibly close to discovering the fountain of youth. In fact, had she […]

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  • Who’s afraid of stem cells?

    Who’s afraid of stem cells?

    The battle over stem cell research has a rich political history – one that revolves around ideals and morals rather than science. Among those most vehemently opposed to embryonic stem cell research are scientific illiterates  such as George W. Bush and conservative religious groups; individuals lacking the knowledge to make an objective decision. But beyond these misguided arguments […]

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  • Human cell in stag’s clothing – How a simple molecular ruse can train our immune system to fight cancer.

    Human cell in stag’s clothing – How a simple molecular ruse can train our immune system to fight cancer.

    One of the most tragic of the Greek myths is that which recounts the death of Actaeon –the hunter who was transformed into the hunted. This tale works as a strong metaphor to explain the mechanism behind a powerful new cancer-fighting therapy. While out on a hunt, Actaeon made the fatal mistake of stumbling upon the […]

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  • When citric acid causes cancer: Agios Pharmaceuticals and IDH inhibitors

    When citric acid causes cancer: Agios Pharmaceuticals and IDH inhibitors

    Agios Pharmaceuticals (AGIO) is at the forefront of drug development against a central path of cancer’s evolution – its metabolism. With two drugs in Phase I testing, Agios is poised to enter an uncharted field of cancer treatment. This audacious attempt at cancer treatment comes with substantial risks, but may end up up paying off. Up to this point, all […]

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  • Only one neuron is king – why autism and sociability can’t cooperate

    Only one neuron is king – why autism and sociability can’t cooperate

    Using laser-guided brain-genetics, scientists from Caltech have discovered a fundamental difference between social and introverted behavior. By altering neurons of the medial amygdala, these experiments show that people with autism or similar disorders may never be able to overcome their neurological block to sociability. As we evolved from lower organisms, our brains grew more and more complex. […]

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  • Junk DNA builds a new LiNC to cancer

    Junk DNA builds a new LiNC to cancer

    The human genome project has led to quite a few surprises. One of the most astonishing discoveries is that only 2% of our DNA behaves in the way that scientists expect – by coding for proteins. The remainder of the genome was given the moniker “junk DNA” by Susumu Ohno. Unfortunately for Susumu’s reputation, scientists are […]

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