Blue Energy Research Underway in North Carolina

Posted: 10 14, 2015

Written by Margaret Jones Masters student in Geological Sciences A new project kicked off this July as researchers across four institutions joined forces with local start-up companies, consultants, and coastal utilities to explore how a process that occurs naturally every minute along North Carolina’s coast may be harnessed for sustainable energy. The process in question …read more

ROI Series: The Future of Therapeutics

Posted: 09 15, 2015

Written by Deirdre Sackett Doctoral Candidate in Behavioral Neuroscience It sounds like medicine from a futuristic, sci-fi hospital: nanoparticles that deliver drug therapies and cells that can fight cancer or promote organ regeneration. However, by combining engineering and pharmaceutical research, UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University are helping to bring the future of therapeutics …read more

Is it destiny or can science treat disease by changing cell fate?

Posted: 09 02, 2015

Written by Christina Marvin Illustration by Christina Marvin Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are extraordinary in that they have the potential to differentiate into any somatic cell type and thus are used as effective tools in a wide range of studies, from understanding basic scientific processes to discovering treatment for disease. Yet, there is a …read more

ToxCast and ToxPI: Emerging Tools for Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century

Posted: 08 28, 2015

By Mimi Huang Hindsight is always 20/20, especially in the field of science. Given what we know now, it seems crazy that people used to think the world was flat. The realm of toxicology is filled with similar stories (see “pregnancy-boosting” DES and super-insecticide DDT). In the mid-twentieth century America, realization of the harmful effects …read more

A Whole New Meaning to ‘Thinking Yourself Well’: the new brain immunity discovery

Posted: 08 18, 2015

By Kristin Sellers Comprised of the brain and spinal cord, the central nervous system (CNS) stands apart from other organ systems. While all other organs share a common, loosely filtered blood supply, the brain is highly selective in what it allows to cross the blood-brain barrier and enter into this space. Furthermore, cells in many …read more

Creativity – It’s In Your Genes

Posted: 08 03, 2015

By Adele Musicant Illustrated by Allie Mills Most of us have heard the story of Van Gogh and his ear:  he reportedly sliced it off after a quarrel with an artist friend who was thinking of severing (no pun intended!) the partnership. However, there is a plethora of similar stories: Virginia Woolf (a British novelist), the …read more

Warm as a fish in the sea

Posted: 05 21, 2015

No one can accuse the opah, Lampris guttatus, of being a cold fish. Nor could one call it a cold-hearted fish. Even if it were the most emotionally distant and bitter of all fish, the opah is in fact a warm fish. That is to say, the opah is a warm-blooded fish. Warm-bloodedness, or endothermy, …read more

NCI Ras Initiative: Let’s get together and drug RAS!

Posted: 05 15, 2015

Non-scientist friends and relatives often ask me whether I am “curing” cancer, and question why the cure for cancer doesn’t already exist following decades of funding for research. Worse, some social media conspiracy theorists are irrevocably convinced that the cure for cancer already exists, but, for monetary gain, the government only allows companies to treat …read more

Move over, Mendel

Posted: 05 02, 2015

Recently featured in Science, Valentino Gantz and Ethan Bier have developed a novel genome editing method that subverts traditional heritability. Termed the mutagenic chain reaction, this process  can insert new mutations in the genome that automatically spread themselves to neighboring chromosomes. Thus, homozygous mutants are generated after just one generation, instead of the two generations …read more

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