Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Most workplaces would never think of having hawks, turtles, beetles and stick bugs at an event for kids—but most workplaces are not the National Institutes of Health. Each year, the NIH Bethesda campus holds its Earth Day celebration in conjunction with Take Your Child to Work Day. Employees share their love of science with their kids while also learning about how to protect the environment.
Monday, April 20, 2015
Ever since the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA, scientists have sought ways to edit the genome. Altering gene expression partially and transiently via small interfering RNA has come a long way, and the progress has been spectacular. However, achieving complete and sustained modification of gene expression in a cell remains a tedious procedure that is often costly and time-consuming. For molecular biologists working with cell lines, quick and efficient knock out of one or more genes would provide a powerful tool for their studies. The CRISPR technology arrived two years ago to potentially fulfill that need.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
You mix everything together that’s necessary for the reaction, and half the time it works, half the time it doesn’t. One day you get great PCR results, you’re on cloud nine, everything worked, and then you go repeat it to verify the result (because n never equals 1 in science), and it doesn’t work. You begin to feel like maybe you just got lucky with the first experiment.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
In Charles Dickens’ 1843 classic, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who help him to see the error of his ways and embrace a life of service. Scrooge is then able to correct the actions that could have led to his demise. Researchers studying epigenetics take on a similar task.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I have been thinking a lot recently about how the tools we use in our work have improved so dramatically in the last few decades and how this is mostly down to the frequently disparaged study of microbes. While everyone can get behind studying bacteria that cause life-threatening diseases like typhoid fever and cholera, I think that it is often harder to convince people of the value of studying ordinary and sometimes obscure bacteria that do not directly affect human health. However, over the years, such studies have revolutionized many aspects of our lives.
Monday, December 1, 2014
Ever since studying transposons (mobile genetic elements) in graduate school, I’ve been fascinated by DNA and the many natural ways DNA moves and recombines within genomes. Transposons are responsible for multidrug resistance in bacteria, and the major players in V(D)J recombination in humans were derived from transposons. Now, as a postdoctoral fellow in the National Cancer Institute of the NIH, I conduct research focused on gene therapy strategies for hematologic malignancies and immunodeficiencies, because I am interested in the clinical application of basic biology.