Promoting Climate Change Awareness with Labels

Mar 21, 2019 10:00:00 AM / by Alex A. Goldberg, Ph.D. posted in Technology, Science

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Climate change is a global phenomenon with wide-ranging and potentially disastrous effects for the entire human population.  The consumption of fossil fuels (e.g. coal, oil, and gas) combined with mass deforestation has led to exorbitantly high atmospheric CO2 levels that were only last recorded 800,000 years ago. These high CO2 levels have resulted in a significant increase in the average global temperature, a key factor that has led to the polar ice caps melting at an accelerated pace, making the seas warmer and sea levels higher.1 Heat waves are much stronger than they used to be, record-breaking hurricanes occur much more frequently than before, and we’ve lost nearly 60% of the world’s wildlife.2 It’s been well-documented that these changes are a result of human activities, as worldwide economic and technological progress has led to a consistent increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Altogether, this has led to a rise in the average global temperature of nearly one degree Celsius since 1901, with the rate of global warming having doubled since 1975.3

 

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Tracking Cells With Barcodes: Beyond the Label

Feb 21, 2019 10:00:00 AM / by Alex A. Goldberg, Ph.D. posted in Barcodes, Science, Healthcare

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Barcodes are used worldwide as one of the most efficient means of tracking packages and containers. However, the use of barcodes is not solely limited to labels. Living organisms can also be barcoded genetically, allowing individual cells to be monitored and tracked.


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The Neurobiology of Love & Relationships

Feb 14, 2019 10:00:00 AM / by Alex A. Goldberg, Ph.D. posted in Science

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Valentine’s day is a special day for couples around the world. For those who believe that love is blind, it doesn’t really matter how or why they love their significant other; they simply love them because of who they are, no matter what (unless they leave the toilet seat up, then things get a little hairy). For scientists, though, studying love represents an intriguing challenge, from both evolutionary and biochemical perspectives. By studying humans and other monogamous animals—the prairie vole, in particular—researchers have devised biological theories that explain the reasons behind why we love and how our bodies react to affection and desire.


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Keys to Managing your Lab’s Inventory of Samples and Reagents

Jan 31, 2019 10:00:00 AM / by Alex A. Goldberg, Ph.D. posted in Labels, Technology, Science, Laboratory

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Whether you have banks of cell lines stored in liquid nitrogen or assay reagents constantly consumed, managing your inventory is necessary to keep your lab running smoothly. That means having processes and workflows in place to guarantee the lab is working at peak efficiency, as well as having the proper material and infrastructure to track and manage your assets. Below, we’ll discuss some of the ways you can efficiently manage your inventory and keep track of everything in your lab.


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Using Sex to Identify Mislabeled Samples

Jan 10, 2019 11:00:00 AM / by Alex Goldberg, Ph.D posted in Science, Healthcare

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Gene expression microarrays generate extremely high amounts of transcriptomic data. These datasets may account for thousands of genes from hundreds of different individuals and can be used to identify genes associated with a particular disease or to assess gene expression profiles in response to a given therapy. Transcriptomic datasets are usually uploaded to a larger database, such as Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), where others can review the data and draw their own conclusions. In effect, these datasets don’t just shape the hypothesis of the paper from which it was published; they influence all other scientists using those datasets to guide their own research.  


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Labeling in Histology

Jan 3, 2019 10:00:00 AM / by George Vaniotis, Ph.D posted in Labels, Science, Histology

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Histology, the study of the anatomy of cells and tissues, is an important field of research used by researchers and physicians. While researchers seek to understand how each individual cell affects the function of tissues and organs, physicians study the histopathology of tissues, to see how they change in those affected by disease. Proper labeling of tissue samples at each step of the tissue preparation process is critical to the interpretation of histopathologic results, which are relied upon to correctly diagnose patients. However, histological techniques present unique obstacles for proper labeling that will often require innovative identification solutions to overcome.

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A Brief History of Histology

Dec 18, 2018 10:00:00 AM / by Alex A. Goldberg, Ph.D. posted in Science, History, Histology

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Histology is one of the most varied fields of research, with a host of practical applications. Scientists have used the histological staining of tissues to understand how our bodies work, to discover novel therapeutic targets for disease, and to help diagnose patients suffering from illness. The term histology was coined in 1819 by Karl Mayer, who combined the two Greek words histos (tissues) and logos (study).1 However, the origins of histology date back even further with the advent of microscopy and the initial investigations into how tissues and organs work inside the body.


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Artificial Intelligence in the Clinic: Separating Fact from Fiction

Dec 13, 2018 10:00:00 AM / by Alex Goldberg, Ph.D posted in Technology, Science, Healthcare

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Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a popular topic ever since it was introduced in 1956 by John McCarthy. It quickly captured the imagination of Hollywood, leading to many blockbuster movies being made using AI as a plot device, including the Terminator franchise. However, until now AI has remained as only science fiction, as it’s only recently that computers have become powerful enough to integrate AI into something appreciably functional, allowing some of the top companies in the world, such as Google, IBM, and Apple, to design systems that learn on their own. Gartner, a research and advisory company who publishes a yearly list of the most hyped technologies (termed the Gartner Hype Cycle), has placed AI-associated technologies at the top of their list.1 With companies like PathAI, Freenome, and Benevolent AI all entering the market, it hasn’t taken long for scientists to adapt AI to solving complex biological and medical problems as well.    

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The Multi-omics Mislabeling Challenge, Sponsored by the FDA and NCI-CPTAC

Nov 29, 2018 10:00:00 AM / by Alex Goldberg, Ph.D posted in Labels, Science

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A crowd-sourced, entirely cloud-based challenge, with the aim of developing and assessing new algorithms capable of identifying and correcting mislabeled samples using multi-omics data.

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The Psychology Behind Black Friday Shopping

Nov 21, 2018 10:00:00 AM / by Alex Goldberg, Ph.D posted in Science

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The week of Black Friday is one of the few days of the year when you'll see people standing in lines that wrap-around the block just to buy a toaster. For those in the United States, just preparing and hosting Thanksgiving dinner can often be overwhelming. Many also venture out to shop the next day, Black Friday, and throughout the week as companies ratchet up their sales and aim to boost their profits. The name originated from the fact that the Friday after thanksgiving was the day retailer's accounts went from "in the red" (loss), to "in the black" (profit). The modern concept of Black Friday began in the 1950s to signal the start of holiday shopping season. It’s become a national phenomenon, with people crowding stores and consumers behaving in extreme ways. You would think people would prefer to shop with a bit more room to maneuver, but there’s some strong psychological factors at play, all working to drive consumers to buy more and more. Let's dive into the top 6 reasons.


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