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.
Friday, February 13, 2015
“And he said, ‘I can assure you that if you go through and become a good dentist, people will travel all over the world to find you. Chemists travel all over the world to find a job.”
That was the advice for Dr. Francis Arnold, who did become a dentist and helped establish the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, from his mentor, Dr. Thomas Hill, Professor of Clinical Oral Pathology and Therapeutics at Western Reserve University. The excerpt, and those that follow, come from Dr. Arnold's 1964 NIH oral history series. During the interviews, he discusses how his experiments and interests led him to become one of the four Public Health Service scientists who pioneered the study of fluorides and their effect on teeth.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Sharing resources and expertise ranks as a top priority for biomedical researchers around the world. And the reason is pretty straightforward: scientific research is expensive. Really expensive.
Monday, February 9, 2015
Negative data piling up on your desk likely hides a good amount of useful information. Why waste all the hard work by forgetting about it?
Friday, February 6, 2015
"The point is this. When we go before the appropriations committees of Congress, we must describe achievements of the previous year. ... But there were many problems, many demands from 1975 to 1985, and the NIAID was stretched very, very thin. ... Too many scientists thought infections were no longer important and that view was translated into a decision in NIAID's budget."
– Excerpt from a 1988 NIH Oral History discussion with Dr. Richard Krause, former NIAID Director, on why getting funding for infectious disease research in the 1970-80s was difficult.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
On Monday, January 26, about 150 people tackled the Arrowhead 135 ultramarathon, a race through 135 miles of frigid landscape near International Falls, Minnesota. They biked, ran, and skied for almost 70 hours in -30°F air to reach their goal.
Monday, February 2, 2015
When we think of research that makes a difference, we often picture individuals whose particular discoveries marked watershed moments in scientific history. One such person who made a substantial impact on biomedical science and human health was biologist Wilhelm “Willy” Burgdorfer, Ph.D., who passed away on November 17, 2014, after 89 years of life.
Friday, January 30, 2015
In June 1981, the NIH Clinical Center saw its first patient with AIDS. The story of how AIDS went from an unknown disease to one with a treatment is one of our most visited web sites, In Their Own Words.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Diverse teams of researchers have a huge advantage: their varied backgrounds provide more perspectives in problem-solving and, when working together in the lab, that often enhances the chances of finding insights and solutions to complex problems. For Cheryl Cropp, Ph.D., (NHGRI), a history of prostate cancer in her own family provides her with a unique, personal perspective on the importance of her research.
Monday, January 26, 2015
Mitochondria are dynamic cellular organelles involved in ATP synthesis and in apoptotic mechanisms (programmed cell death). However, in addition to these classically known functions, recent studies at the NIH have deciphered another intriguing role for mitochondria in the development and plasticity of neurons.