genetics-are-so-cool

sciencealert.com
Scientists use protein-blocker to stop the spread of leukaemia
This is awesome.
By David Nield

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is one of the most aggressive and damaging types of cancer there is: it appears without much warning and the five-year survival rate for sufferers is just 24 percent. However, improved treatments could soon be on the way, as researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia have identified a protein that’s crucial to the spread of the blood cancer.

The protein in question is called the Hhex protein, and by cutting off its production, the team has shown the cancer can be stopped in its tracks - in laboratory conditions, at least. The next step is to see whether the same ‘handbrake’ mechanism would work in humans, but the initial signs are promising.

The researchers found that when the Hhex supply was cut off, the leukaemia stopped spreading uncontrollably. What’s more, the protein isn’t required in healthy blood cells, which opens the door for treatments that target Hhex specifically without the unwanted and typically very damaging side-effects that come with existing AML treatments.

So this is a genetically modified albino corn plant. We had to grow them in my Pop Gen lab, to test phenotypic frequencies and all that jazz. The thing that’s really sad about albino corn is that it’s unable to survive once it germinates because it contains no chlorophyll (the compound that allows plants to make their own food).
For some reason, it’s beautiful to me– maybe in its fragility, maybe in its mortality, or maybe just because it looks like a delicate flower (when in reality it’s a friggin corn sproutling… One of the least delicate plants out there). Our lab coordinator was going to have us just throw away our planters after we recorded our data today, but it truly seemed a shame to throw away such new life. So I miiiight have asked if I could take my group’s planter home. And I miiiight have like 8 corn plants chilling in my windowsill right now.
I have this weird affinity for alive things, and it’s going to be hard watching the albino seedling die and knowing that there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. It was, in fact, made solely for the purpose of dying. Almost seems a little cruel, if you ask me. I figure that I can at least give it a nice death, with plenty of water, in a nice warm room.
But yeah. Bet you’ve never seen an albino corn plant! The nerdy geneticist in me thinks it’s the coolest thing ever.

WHAT LOVE LOOKS LIKE

[So I stumbled upon two stories that I needed to save somewhere. This is the first one.

In 2015, a Reddit user described his relationship with his best friend in an attempt to understand it.]

This is kind of a weird one.

Ian and I were in the same English class in high school. I assumed he was out of my friend league because he was really handsome-not ripped, just genetically blessed in the facial department-and seemed really smart and cool, so nerdy me assumed that he was super popular.

Ian and I ended up seeing each other a lot. Eventually I decided that it was time to stop being afraid of Ian and try to be friends with him.

About a year after I really started hanging out with Ian, there was a revelatory moment where I realized that I was Ian’s best friend. The whole time I’d known him I’d just assumed that he had a ton of great friends that he didn’t talk about.

I had been so wrong about Ian. Yeah he was quiet, but that was only because he was kind of introverted, and he doesn’t like talking about himself. Also, “too cool” my ass-Ian’s a fucking nerd, just like me. He seen every episode of Pokemon and Digimon AND Yu-Gi-Oh. We would hang out at each other’s houses doing homework and watching cartoons after school a lot.

Flash forward to today. Ian and I attend different colleges, but we talk everyday. Puberty has been kind to me. I’m not on Ian’s level of attractiveness, but I’m pretty confident these days. Lately I’ve been wondering if Ian and I are more than just good friends at this point. Some reasons;

  • Ian HATES being touched. At first I noticed that he was uncomfortable when I’d touch him so I didn’t. After a while, HE started doing it. When we’re alone, he’ll move next to me and put his head on my shoulder. It’s kind of adorable. Now we’re physical all the time-not sexually, but he’ll lean against me if we’re standing together, or put his arm around my shoulder.
  • At first when we slept over one of us would sleep on the floor or couch or something. Now we just share beds. I’ve woken up with his arm around me before. Not gonna lie; my heart did embarrassing things the first time that happened. I woke up before him and just thought about how nice this was, and how lucky I was. He woke up a few minutes later and we looked at each other smiling, and then I said, “Gay.” And we both burst out laughing.
  • We go on each other’s family vacations.
  • Once he went on a research trip for college. When he came back he told me he identified a new type of thing (I’m being vague, his major is weirdly specific). He said he named it after me. I was kind of floored, and asked him why. He said, “Who else would I name it after?”
  • Neither of us have dated anyone recently. Personally, I just haven’t felt inclined. I think maybe it’s because I already feel like I have Ian. I don’t have a gender preference and my friends know this. Ian has always been vague about his orientation.
  • We go places alone a lot, like the beach. Once I was having a bad day and he surprised me by showing up my house and knocking on my window. He drove us to the top of a mountain, and we climbed into the back seat and just laid there together for hours.
  • While we’re in college, he sends me cute messages. Like “I miss you,” “Something reminded me of you,” etc. I found out from his friends that he talks about me a lot, which is a relief because I talk about him to my friends all the time. We mail each other gifts sometimes. He sends me samples of specimens from his research, like cool rocks or leaves. It sounds dumb, literally receiving rocks and leaves in the mail, but you bet your ass I have a whole shelf devoted to that shit. Honestly, Ian could probably send me a turd that he found scientifically significant and I’d treasure it.

I think about Ian a lot. He’s attractive and smart and funny and overall, probably my favorite person ever. It’s embarrassing how much I like Ian. He can make my whole day by texting me.

As you can see, there are a lot of things that can be explained as things that regular straight best friends do, and other things that . . . can’t. (What, straight bros don’t snuggle?)

I’m graduating college this year (he’s staying to get a higher degree) and I realized it’s the first time I can decide where to live, and I also realized that where I want to live is with him. But I feel like if we’re going to live together, I should finally figure out whether we’re boyfriends. Ian’s pretty reserved, so it looks like I’m going to have to be the brave one here.

tl;dr: My best friend and I have some not-so-platonic behavior. How do I ask him whether we’re boyfriends, or if he wants to be?

anonymous asked:

If you're taking ship requests rn can I have a marvel ship? If not no worries!! I'm 5'6" and chubby, pretty much as non-athletic as it gets, but I do horseback riding. I have long brown hair and really dark brown eyes. I have anxiety & am a major perfectionist & academic. I'm quiet around people I don't know well and loud around my friends. I'm really into politics, love science and animals, and especially into bio and genetics. I'm also pan, so guys and girls are both cool for a ship. c: thx <3

I ship you with Jemma Simmons!

Originally posted by reypoefinns

You first bond over biology, but after that things seem to just fall perfectly into place between you two. Jemma is easy to get along with, and more flexible with most things to allow for your perfectionist tendencies. When she can get away from work and the weather is nice, Jemma goes on trail rides with you. You encourage each other in academics, able to assist where it’s needed.