Posted on: April 16, 2020 Posted by: Spencer Comments: 0
Recombinant proteins
Publication involving the use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays or Elisa.
  • 96 Well Elisa test kits for Scientific Life Science Research
  • ImunoAssays

Research results involving EIA

  • enzyme immunoassay oe Eia

Clia or Chemiluminescent Immuno Assay

  • Maglumi Gentaur automation of light emission on serum in routine labs
  • 185 parameters available COV2 IgM/IgG
  • more parameters than Roche/Cobas, Diasorin/Liaison or Abott/Architect or Siemens/Centaur

What’s Wrong with Evolutionary Causation?

This review essay reflects on recent discussions in evolutionary biology and philosophy of science on the central causes of evolution and the structure of causal explanations in evolutionary theory. In this debate, it has been argued that our view of evolutionary causation should be rethought by including more seriously developmental causes and causes of the individual acting organism. I use Tobias Uller’s and Kevin Laland’s volume Evolutionary Causation as well as recent reviews of it as a starting point to reflect on the causal role of agency, individuality, and the environment in evolution. In addition, I critically discuss classical philosophical frameworks of theory change (i.e. Popper’s, Kuhn’s and Lakatos’) used in this debate to understand changing views of evolutionary causation.

Light-Sensitive Membrane Proteins as Tools to Generate Precision Treatments.


This issue of the Journal of Membrane Biology inaugurates Up-and-Coming Scientist, in which investigators at early career stages are invited to present recent research in the broad context of their discipline. We inaugurate Up-and-Coming Scientist with the essay by Dr. Elena Lesca of the ETH Zürich and the Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland. Dr. Lesca has completed her doctoral degree at the Technical University München, Germany, in 2014, and pursued postdoctoral research at the ETH Zürich and Paul Scherrer Institut, where she is Senior Assistant since 2019. Two recent papers by Dr. Lesca et al. (references 33 and 39) have used X-ray crystallography and experimental biophysics approaches to shed light on the mechanism of action of a membrane receptor from the G Protein-Coupled Receptor (GPCR) family, Jumping Spider Rhodopsin-1 (JSR-1). JSR-1 is a visual rhodopsin activated upon absorption of light by its covalently bound retinal chromophore. Unlike the better-understood bovine rhodopsin GPCR, which is monostable, JSR-1 is bistable (i.e., in JSR-1 the Schiff base that binds retinal to the protein stays protonated throughout the reaction cycle), and absorption of a second photon resets the retinal ligand to the resting state configuration. In her essay, Dr. Lesca discusses the implications of her work on JSR-1 and, more broadly, GPCR research, for state-of-the-art applications in optogenetics and drug design.
Essay Review: Exploring the Conceptual Foundations of Post-Hamiltonian Evolutionary Biology-Rationality and Evolution of Social Agents : Samir Okasha. Agents and Goals in Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. 254p. $40. Jonathan Birch.

The Philosophy of Social Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. 266p. $19,74.

Evolutionary theorists often talk as if natural selection were choosing the most adapted traits, or if organisms were deciding to do the most adaptive strategy. Moreover, the payoff of those decisions often depend on what others are doing, and since Hamilton (1964), biologists possess conceptual tools such as kin selection and inclusive fitness to make sense of outcomes of evolution in these contexts, even when they seem unadaptive (such as sterility). The link between selection and adaptation through which selection or organisms can be seen as agents, as well as the scope and nature of Hamiltonian conceptions of social evolution, stimulated many formal elaborations (such as, initially, Fisher’s “Fundamental theorem of natural selection”), but also raise major philosophical issues about causation and statistics, and about rationality and adaptation or selection. Two recent philosophy books, Okasha’s Agents and goals in evolution, and Birch’s Philosophy of social evolution, tackle those question. This essay reflects on them in order to think of those two issues. After having reviewed the books, I try to sketch some philosophical lessons onto which they concur.

Lysenko in Yugoslavia, 1945-1950s: How to De-Stalinize Stalinist Science.

By the summer of 1948, socialist Yugoslavia seemed determined to follow in the footsteps of its closest ally, the Soviet Union, and strike a decisive blow to “reactionary genetics.” But barely a month before the infamous VASKhNIL session, the Soviet-Yugoslav split began to unravel, influencing the reception of Lysenko’s doctrine in Yugoslavia. Instead of simply dismissing it as yet another example of Stalinist deviationism, Yugoslav mičurinci carefully weighed its political and ideological implications, trying to negotiate the Stalinist origins of Michurinist biology with political and ideological reconfigurations in post-Stalinist Yugoslavia. The essay examines the strategies employed by supporters and opponents of Lysenko’s doctrine, as well as those sympathetic to it but yet unconvinced of its scientific validity and political appropriateness. It emphasizes globally unique attempts to de-Stalinize Michurinist biology and use it in the political-ideological struggle against the Stalinist Soviet Union, pointing to local agency and the bottom-up nature of attempts both in support of and against the doctrine.

Recognizing animal personhood in compassionate conservation.

Compassionate conservation argues that actions taken to protect the Earth’s diversity of life should be guided by compassion for all sentient beings. A set of essays published in Conservation Biology call to reject compassionate conservation. Critics argue that there are situations in which harming animals in conservation programs is appropriate. Three core reasons can be summarized: (1) conservation’s raison d’être is biodiversity protection; (2) conservation is already compassionate to nonhumans; and (3) conservation should be compassionate to humans. We analysed these arguments, finding that objections to compassionate conservation are expressions of human exceptionalism, the view that humans are of categorically separate and higher moral status than all other species. In contrast, compassionate conservationists believe that conservation should expand its moral community by recognising all sentient beings as persons. Personhood, in an ethical sense, implies an entity is owed respect, and should never be treated merely as a means to other ends. On scientific and ethical grounds, there are good reasons to extend personhood to nonhuman animals, particularly in conservation. The moral exclusion or subordination of nonhuman beings has served to legitimate the ongoing manipulation and exploitation of the more-than-human world, the very reason conservation was needed in the first place. We embrace compassion for its ability to dismantle human exceptionalism, to recognise nonhuman personhood, and to navigate a more expansive moral space. Article impact statement: The debate about compassionate conservation is about whether to recognize nonhuman personhood. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Exploring modularity in biological networks.

Network theoretical approaches have shaped our understanding of many different kinds of biological modularity. This essay makes the case that to capture these contributions, it is useful to think about the role of network models in exploratory research. The overall point is that it is possible to provide a systematic analysis of the exploratory functions of network models in bioscientific research. Using two examples from molecular and developmental biology, I argue that often the same modelling approach can perform one or more exploratory functions, such as introducing new directions of research, offering a complementary set of concepts, methods and algorithms for individuating important features of natural phenomena, generating proofs of principle demonstrations and potential explanations for phenomena of interest and enlarging the scope of certain research agendas. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Unifying the essential concepts of biological networks: biological insights and philosophical foundations’.

The medicalization of cancer as socially constructed and culturally negotiated.

Sociological considerations of medicalization frequently employ a limited use of the term that focuses on the transformation of social phenomena into issues subject to medical control. Informed by a salutogenic perspective, this essay argues that it is possible to understand cancer as having been medicalized. I show that far from exclusively a biophysical issue, the medicalization of cancer is a socially constructed and culturally negotiated process, with a fairly recent historical origin. While changing social relations of healing have led our medico-centric culture to a near single-minded understanding of cancer as a cellular pathology rooted in biology, Antonovsky’s salutogenic perspective instructs that it is possible to understand and control cancer in non-medicalized ways. Indoor radon gas remediation is presented as an illustration of what form salutary cancer control and disease prevention may take.

Melanoma – time to fast or time to feast? An interplay between PPARs, metabolism and immunity.

Development and progression of melanoma can be accelerated by intensification of particular metabolic pathways, such as aerobic glycolysis and avid amino acid catabolism, and is accompanied by aberrant immune responses within the tumor microenvironment. Contrary to other cancer types, melanoma reveals some unique tissue-specific features, such as melanogenesis, which is intertwined with metabolism. Nuclear peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) take part in regulation of systemic and cellular metabolism, inflammation and melanogenesis. They appear as a focal regulatory point for these three distinct processes by occupying the intersection among AMP-dependent protein kinase (AMPK), mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and PPAR gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1α) signaling pathways. When deregulated, they may accelerate melanoma malignant growth. Presenting the contribution of PPARα and PPARγ in melanoma biology, we attempt to ask how two contrasting metabolic states: obesity and fasting can change progression of the disease and possible outcome of the treatment. This short essay is aimed to provoke a discussion about some practical implications for melanoma prevention and treatment, especially: how metabolic manipulation may be exploited to overcome immunosuppression and support immune checkpoint blockade efficacy.

(Auto)Biographical reflections on the contributions of William F. Loomis (1940-2016) to Dictyostelium biology.

William Farnsworth Loomis studied the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum for more than fifty years as a professor of biology at the University of California, San Diego, USA. This biographical reflection describes Dr. Loomis’ major scientific contributions to the field within a career arc that spanned the early days of molecular biology up to the present day where the acquisition of high-dimensional datasets drive research. Dr. Loomis explored the genetic control of social amoeba development, delineated mechanisms of cell differentiation, and significantly advanced genetic and genomic technology for the field. The details of Dr. Loomis’ multifaceted career are drawn from his published work, from an autobiographical essay that he wrote near the end of his career and from extensive conversations between him and the two authors, many of which took place on the deck of his beachfront home in Del Mar, California.

Promoting Persistence in the Biological and Medical Sciences: An Expectancy-Value Approach to Intervention.

A wide range of occupations require science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills, yet almost half of students who intend to pursue a post-secondary STEM education abandon these plans before graduating from college. This attrition is especially pronounced among underrepresented groups (i.e., racial/ethnic minorities and first-generation college students). We conducted a two-year follow-up of a utility-value intervention that had been implemented in an introductory biology course. This intervention was previously shown to improve performance in the course, on average and especially among underrepresented students, reducing the achievement gap. The goal of the present study was to examine whether the intervention also impacted persistence in the biomedical track throughout college. The intervention had a more positive impact on long-term persistence for students who were more confident that they could succeed at the beginning of the course, and this effect was partially driven by the extent to which students reflected on the personal relevance of biological topics in their essays. This mechanism was distinct from the process that had been found to underlie intervention effects on performance – engagement with course material – suggesting that utility-value interventions may affect different academic outcomes by initiating distinct psychological processes. Although we did not find that the intervention was differentially effective for underrepresented students in terms of persistence, we found that positive effects on performance were associated with increased persistence for these students. Results suggest that utility-value interventions in an introductory course can be an effective strategy to promote persistence in the biomedical sciences throughout college.

The Benefits of Combining Value for the Self and Others in Utility-Value Interventions.

Utility-value interventions, in which students complete writing assignments about the personal usefulness of course material, show great promise for promoting interest and performance in introductory college science courses, as well as persistence in STEM fields. As researchers move toward scaling up this intervention, it’s important to understand which features are key to its effectiveness. For example, prior studies have used different types of utility-value assignments (i.e., self-focused essays and other-focused letters) and different assignment structures (i.e., over time, researchers provided a variety of tasks or choices between tasks), without comparing them. It is not known whether these assignment features are incidental details or key aspects of the intervention that impact its effectiveness. In the current study, we systematically compared different utility-value assignments, as well as ways of combining them, in a randomized controlled trial in an introductory college biology course (N = 590). Specifically, we compared different versions of the intervention in terms of their relative effectiveness for promoting course performance and the motivational mechanisms through which they operated. The intervention was most effective when students had opportunities to write about utility for both the self and others. Grades were higher in conditions in which students were either assigned a variety of self-focused and other-focused assignments or given the choice between the two. Among students with low performance expectations, grades were higher when students were assigned a specific combination: a self-focused assignment followed by other-focused assignments. Results suggest that different versions of the intervention may work through different mechanisms.

Addressing priority questions of conservation science with palaeontological data.

Palaeontologists often ask identical questions to those asked by ecologists. Despite this, ecology is considered a core discipline of conservation biology, while palaeontologists are rarely consulted in the protection of species, habitats and ecosystems. The recent emergence of conservation palaeobiology presents a big step towards better integration of palaeontology in conservation science, although its focus on historical baselines may not fully capture the potential contributions of geohistorical data to conservation science. In this essay we address previously defined priority questions in conservation and consider which of these questions may be answerable using palaeontological data. Using a statistical assessment of surveys, we find that conservation biologists and younger scientists have a more optimistic view of potential palaeontological contributions to the field compared to experienced palaeontologists. Participants considered questions related to climate change and marine ecosystems to be the best addressable with palaeontological data. As these categories are also deemed most relevant by ecologists and receive the greatest research effort in conservation, they are the natural choice for future academic collaboration. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue ‘The past is a foreign country: how much can the fossil record actually inform conservation?’

Fostering inclusion and diversity through research, teaching, mentoring, and outreach.

I am deeply humbled and honored to receive the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) Prize for Excellence in Inclusivity. Thank you to the ASCB for recognizing the contributions of faculty to inclusion and diversity in STEM and the importance of this for the advancement of science. Thank you to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) for your generous support of inclusivity. The prize money will be used to fund outreach activities aimed at increasing inclusion in science and to create research opportunities for students from underrepresented groups in the sciences. In this essay, I share bits of my life’s story that I hope will resonate with a broad audience, especially students from underrepresented groups in STEM, and that drive my passion for inclusion and diversity. I provide points of consideration for students to enhance their preparation for science careers and for faculty to improve the current landscape of inclusion and diversity in STEM.

Strategic planning for research grant applications.

I am honored to receive the 2019 ASCB Public Service Award. It has been a true privilege to work with the cell biology community; I thank them for their collegiality in their interactions with me over the years. In this essay I offer some perspectives on constructing goals and strategy for research grant and fellowship applications in basic cell biology. They are based on my observations as a program officer for grants and applications in cell biology in the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) from 1991 to 2019.

Moving forward with the primate microbiome: Introduction to a special issue of the American Journal of Primatology.

Primate microbiome research is a quickly growing field with exciting potential for informing our understanding of primate biology, ecology, and evolution as well as host-microbe interactions more broadly. This introductory essay to a special section of the American Journal of Primatology provides a cross-sectional snapshot of current activity in these areas by briefly summarizing the diversity of contributed papers and their relationships to key themes in host-associated microbiome research. It then uses this survey as a foundation for consolidating a set of key research questions to broadly guide future research. It also argues for the importance of methods standardization to facilitate comparative analyses and the identification of generalizable patterns and relationships. While primatology will benefit greatly from the integration of microbial datasets, it is uniquely positioned to address important questions regarding microbiology and macro-ecology and evolution more generally. We are eager to see where the primate microbiome leads us.

Learning Progressions: An Empirically Grounded, Learner-Centered Framework to Guide Biology Instruction.

Vision and Change challenged biology instructors to develop evidence-based instructional approaches that were grounded in the core concepts and competencies of biology. This call for reform provides an opportunity for new educational tools to be incorporated into biology education. In this essay, we advocate for learning progressions as one such educational tool. First, we address what learning progressions are and how they leverage research from the cognitive and learning sciences to inform instructional practices. Next, we use a published learning progression about carbon cycling to illustrate how learning progressions describe the maturation of student thinking about a key topic. Then, we discuss how learning progressions can inform undergraduate biology instruction, citing three particular learning progressions that could guide instruction about a number of key topics taught in introductory biology courses. Finally, we describe some challenges associated with learning progressions in undergraduate biology and some recommendations for how to address these challenges.

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