Hello again to all my friends, I’m glad you came to play. Our fun and learning never ends, here’s what we’re doing today. Who else loved Barney? 😅 (If you don’t get it, you’re too old. Keep reading anyway.)
If you followed me on Twitter, you’d see that I share links leading to news on some interesting biotechnology innovations.
Thousands of articles are published everyday and thousands of researchers work daily to create solutions to world problems. I honestly cannot keep up with them all, but I try my best to read at least one article a day.
I have decided to share some of the intriguing ones I find. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did, and most importantly learn something 😉.
1. E. coli engineered to eat CO2
Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a type of bacteria found in the human gut and intestines. They are typically not harmful, but there are some deadly strains of the organism. Scientists have engineered this organism more than any other one, and know a lot about it. E. coli cells grow fast, and it can take one cell about 20 minutes to double; meaning that a million E. coli cells can be produced within 7 hours.
Escherichia coli is widely cloned and genetically engineered in the biotechnology industry because this organism is easy to grow, it’s genome is easy to understand, it is well studied and it is safe to use.
So Prof. Milo and his team spent almost a decade on this project; engineering E. coli to feed on Carbon (IV) oxide. In order to produce bacteria that can save the planet (reduce air pollution, produce alternate food and overcome climate change).
2. The Scientist Who First Showed Us The Double Helix: A Personal Look At Rosalind Franklin
Rosalind Elsie Franklin was an English chemist and X-ray crystallographer. Her work was pivotal to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA (ribonucleic acid), viruses, coal, and graphite. Rosalind developed the methods that led to the capture of the x-ray crystallography photo that led Watson and Crick to the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA.
Although, Rosalind Franklin’s work was essential to their discovery, her contributions were not credited initially (BECAUSE SHE WAS A WOMAN?) but were largely recognised after her death.
3. The importance of stupidity in scientific research
A lot of young scientists like myself sometimes feel stupid while working in the lab. Especially when our experiments keep failing. It’s interesting and comforting to realize that senior researchers feel the same way too.
we don’t do a good enough job of teaching our students how to be productively stupid – that is, if we don’t feel stupid it means we’re not really tryingMartin A. Schwartz
Schwartz talks about his PhD experience and his liberating realization that his work was a research problem, and nobody had the answers he wanted. He had to find them. I really enjoyed this essay and you should read this one.
4. WHO prequalifies Ebola vaccine for the first time.
The World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification of vaccines is a science-based, transparent assessment which ensures that vaccines for high burden diseases meet global standards of quality, efficacy and safety, to optimize health resources and improve health outcomes. This program evolved over a 25 year-period and 127 vaccines are prequalified.
The process involves manufacturing site visits by international experts, and ends in independent testing of final vaccine lots by WHO contracted labs in order to confirm consistency and characteristics of the product.
The prequalification “seal of approval” is a powerful driver of public health and to see that WHO prequalifies the EBOLA vaccine, paving the way for its use in high risk countries is good news. This is the fastest vaccine approval process ever to have been conducted by the WHO.
The development, study, and rapid prequalification of this Ebola vaccine show what the global community can do when we prioritize the health needs of vulnerable peopleTedros Ghebreyesus
5. Five Levels of CRISPR
Ever heard about CRISPR? No? Okay have you heard of Gene Editing? What do you know about it? The video description explains the content best. “CRISPR is a new area of biomedical science that enables gene editing and could be the key to eventually curing diseases like autism or cancer. WIRED challenged biologist Neville Sanjana to explain this concept to 5 different people; a 7 year-old, a 14 year-old, a college student, a grad student and a CRISPR expert.”
This video was the most fun to learn from. I hope you enjoy it too.
That’s it! What articles would you be reading? Also, don’t forget to follow the girl on Twitter 😉