Unusual Antibodies in Cows Suggest New Ways to Make Therapies for People
Humans have been raising cows for their meat, hides and milk for millennia. Now it appears that the cow immune system also has something to offer. A new study led by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) focusing on an extraordinary family of cow antibodies points to new ways to make human medicines.
“These antibodies’ structure and their mechanism for creating diversity haven’t been seen before in other animals’ antibodies,” said Vaughn V. Smider, assistant professor of cell and molecular biology at TSRI and principal investigator for the study, which appears as the cover story in the June 6, 2013 issue of the journal Cell.
The audacious plan to end hunger with 3-D printed food
Anjan Contractor’s 3D food printer might evoke visions of the “replicator” popularized in Star Trek, from which Captain Picard was constantly interrupting himself to order tea. And indeed Contractor’s company, Systems & Materials Research Corporation, just got a six month, $125,000 grant from NASA to create a prototype of his universal food synthesizer.
But Contractor, a mechanical engineer with a background in 3D printing, envisions a much more mundane—and ultimately more important—use for the technology. He sees a day when every kitchen has a 3D printer, and the earth’s 12 billion people feed themselves customized, nutritionally-appropriate meals synthesized one layer at a time, from cartridges of powder and oils they buy at the corner grocery store. Contractor’s vision would mean the end of food waste, because the powder his system will use is shelf-stable for up to 30 years, so that each cartridge, whether it contains sugars, complex carbohydrates, protein or some other basic building block, would be fully exhausted before being returned to the store.
Highly recommended read
Art Competition Shows Off the Unexpected Beauty of Science
Science isn’t just about collecting data and making charts and graphs. Experiments often produce moments of inspiring beauty: A dye dropped into water gives the impression of a green flame erupting from a murky black sea. Boring black cobalt oxide becomes brilliant blue when heated to 800 degrees Celsius. And an image of coral takes on a different character when two eyes suddenly peer out from its center.
The Art of Science competition at Princeton University challenges scientists to record the sometimes fleeting moments when science becomes art. This year’s competition drew 170 entries from 24 departments throughout the university; a jury selected three winners, and three additional entries were chosen by viewers.
Here are a few of our favorites from among the entries, with captions written by the artists … er, scientists. (via Art Competition Shows Off the Unexpected Beauty of Science | Wired Science | Wired.com)
Growing Left, Growing Right
One day in 1788, students at the Hunterian School of Medicine in London were opening a cadaver when they discovered something startling. The dead man’s anatomy was a mirror image of normal. His liver was on his left side instead of the right. His heart had beaten on his right side, not his left.
The students had never seen anything like it, and they rushed to find their teacher, the Scottish physician Matthew Baillie, who was just as stunned as they were. “It is so extraordinary as scarcely to have been seen by any of the most celebrated anatomists,” he later wrote.
His report was the first detailed description of the condition, which came to be known as situs inversus and is thought to occur in about 1 in 20,000 people. Baillie argued that if doctors could figure out how this strange condition came to be, they might come to understand how our bodies normally tell the right side from the left.
Over two centuries later, the mystery of left and right still captivates scientists. (via Growing Left, Growing Right – How a Body Breaks Symmetry - NYTimes.com)
Apparently this is a thing…
Mr. T - Survivor of T-cell Cancer!
See the cancer I have is called cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma CD3. You know – I mean one thing you have the T-Cell Lymphoma, then you got the CD3 part like some secret agent scientific stuff you know.
Mr. T (TV interview)
Mycosis fungoides is the most common type of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (44%), which has led some people to use the name synonymously with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
The name is very misleading as it implies that the disease is a mushroom/fungal disease. It isn’t. It is in fact a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that is caused by the clonal expansion of T-helper cells. In most cases, this is a chronic, slowly progressive disease that usually begins as erythematous (red) scaly patches that over time evolve into a skin tumor that has the external appearance of a mushroom (hence the name).
The image shows the histology of a biopsy taken from an area of skin with one of these mushroom like lesions. You can see that the keratinocytes of the epidermis have minimal spongiosis (swelling) but, there is something weird happening at the dermo-epidermal junction! I see a linearly arranged band of infiltrating lymphocytes that extend into the epidermis and I don’t see any nice dermal papillae projecting into the the epidermis - instead there is evidence of fibroplasia (formation of fibrous material).
Can you also make out some macrophages containing melanin mixed in with the lymphocyte infiltrate in the dermis?
For more info on mycosis fungoides visit Dermatology Online
This is literally the most hilarious thing….