A montage of fluorescent microscopy images depicts pluripotent mouse stem cells that have been encouraged to develop into various kinds of specialized tissues by a mix of chemical signals. Researchers in the Biomedical Engineering lab of Charles Gersbach are developing new methods for controlling cell behavior so that stem cells might be used to repair damaged tissues or treat genetic diseases.
(A longer version of this story originally appeared in DukeMedicine Magazine )
Nico Katsanis, PhD, says the new model of doing science should be to abandon the model.
“A lot of the problems we are now facing are experimentally intractable through a single approach,” he says. At the same time, research is becoming so specialized that the journals of one researcher’s discipline read almost like gibberish to a researcher in another field.
Post-doctoral fellow Anna Loksztejn of the Center for Biologically Inspired Materials created this image of aggregated insulin proteins using atomic force microscopy. Colors are used to show details of structure, giving crucial information on how misfolded proteins can be stacked into fiber-like structures called amyloids.
Human memory – taking in information, storing it and retrieving it accurately – is key to a variety of crucial decisions made in medicine or law and physical movements like dance.
Cognitive scientist Ruth Day wants to understand it better.
"I see people who are doing well but not well enough," she says. "Maybe they prescribe or dispense the wrong drug. Maybe they can't remember what they've just seen."
Or maybe a dancer twirls to the left when all the other dancers are going right.
Each pixel of this image from a DNA microarray analysis chip represents the activity of a gene found in human tumor samples. Individual patients are represented in columns, and genes are in rows. The color of each pixel shows how active a particular gene is within the tumor, and analyzing a genome this way can help physicians determine which chemotherapy treatment will work best for a given patient.
Geneticist and bioethicist Charmaine Royal PhD is an associate research professor in the Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy and the Department of African and African American Studies. She studies the interaction of genomic science and racial identity, particularly as it relates to research, healthcare, and the broader society.
<p>Using a fleet of iron-transport proteins, modeled here as little Pac-Man shapes, the pathogenic bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae steals iron from its human host and transports the pilfered metal (orange balls) across the space between its outer and inner membranes. Understanding how the bacterium that causes the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea obtains this essential nutrient could be key to fighting the disease.
Hearing about the toxic mix of viruses, bacteria and air pollutants we breathe every day would make anyone want to hold their breath.
But the lungs harbor a secret weapon against those warriors of disease.