Juno’s Earth Protrait
NASA’s Juno probe captured this stunning composite portrait of Earth (false-colored here) during its Oct. 9 fly-by, slingshotting past its home planet to gain speed for its journey to Jupiter.
We’re seeing part of South America and a thick blanket of clouds over the south Atlantic. As it passed, NASA made a final check of crucial instruments before watching Juno leave the nest for good. Amateur radio operators even sent Morse code messages to the probe saying “Hi Juno”, and NASA hopes to share that with us soon.
For more on Juno’s mission, check out NASA’s mission page, and this fine graphic from Chris Inton:
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a way to effectively deliver staurosporine (STS), a powerful anti-cancer compound that has vexed researchers for more than 30 years due to its instability in the blood and toxic nature in both healthy and cancerous cells. For the first time, the new method safely delivered STS to mouse tumors, suppressing them with no apparent side effects. The results were published online, October 20, in the International Journal of Nanomedicine.
“By itself, staurosporine shows potent activity against a number of cancer cell lines, including chemotherapy-resistant tumors. However, it also harms normal tissue,” said senior author Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD, director of neuro-oncology at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. “With this study, we have been able to overcome the pharmacokinetic barriers to delivering staurosporine to tumors with the use of liposomes.”
STS was originally isolated from the bacterium Streptomyces staurosporeus in 1977. The compound prompts a wide variety of cancer cell types to self-destruct, a process called apoptosis or programmed cell death. In its free form, STS is quickly metabolized and harmful to healthy cells. By trapping STS in tiny spheres called liposomes, Moores Cancer Center researchers have been able to effectively deliver the compound, past healthy tissue, to the tumor, with potent results.
Liposomes are microscopic bubbles made from the same molecules as cell membranes. Researchers use these hollow spheres to deliver therapeutic agents. Anti-cancer drugs can be loaded inside, while disguising agents coat the external membrane surface to hide the cancer-killer from the immune system.
“Staurosporine is able to drive virtually any mammal cell into apoptosis. It is able to uniquely interfere with several cell signaling pathways, even in cancer cell lines that defy frontline chemotherapy agents,” said Milan Makale, PhD, a project scientist at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. “In the case of treatment-resistant brain, colon or pancreatic cancers, the potency of staurosporine stacks the odds in our favor of improving current treatments and outcomes. With an appropriately engineered liposomal delivery system, we can finally keep the drug in the blood longer, get it into the tumor better, and to a significant degree, spare healthy tissue.”
Award-winning images of life science specimens captured through microscopes.
Click images to see captions & authors.
The Micrarium - A collection of the tiny.
I recently visited the the Grant Museum of Zoology within UCL and came across the micrarium, essentially a collage of the tiny life forms of our planet. Each one is a microscope slide carefully preserved and presented within this awesome display.
It’s often very easy to forget that these smaller creatures from plankton to fungi have a huge effect in the world around us. For example a short post on how bacteria are superheroes. Also more about zoology here are some animals you may not have heard of.
10 Escaped Lab Animal Populations (And What They’re Probably Doing Now)
Why must we constantly fear the supernatural when there’s so much real stuff to fear? Take, for example, the many smart, dangerous groups of animals who escaped from their laboratory environments and now roam free. Perhaps they’re just enjoying their liberty — or perhaps they’re seeking revenge on those who caged them.
Real Monsters by Toby Allen.
Illustrator Toby Allen has created a set of artwork that is intended to give intangible mental illnesses faces and make them appear more manageable as physical entities.
The artwork can also be purchased here.
Antibodies swim around & bind to antigens. This prevents antigens from binding & damaging other cells.
Antibodies coat the antigen (opsonization) & alert the phagocytes to destroy (eat) the antigen.
Antibodies activate the complement pathway to remove or destroy the pathogen.
Mediate ADCC (Antibody-Dependent Cell-Mediated Cytotoxicity)
Hey! Why did the antibody come dressed up as a skeleton for the halloween party?
Because it’s an antibody! Get it? Anti-BODY?! HAHAHA!