The push to replicate research findings could shelve promising lines of inquiry and unfairly damage the reputations of careful, meticulous scientists, says Mina Bissell, Distinguished Scientist in the Life Sciences Division. Writing a commentary in the journal Nature, Bissell a renowned breast cancer researcher, expressed concern about a drive underway by NIH and others in the biological fields to have results replicated by an independent, self-appointed entity that will charge for the service. Although reproducibility is the bedrock of the scientific process, Bissell notes that those who try to repeat research often lack the time, funding, resources and expertise to do so. “It is sometimes much easier not to replicate than to replicate studies, because the techniques and reagents are sophisticated, time-consuming and difficult to master,” she says.
Posts Tagged ‘Life Sciences Division’
A recent study shines a new light on molecular tools our cells use to govern regulated gene expression. Researchers uncovered a novel mechanism that allows proteins that direct pre-mRNA splicing – RNA-binding proteins – to induce a regulatory effect from greater distances than was thought possible. The discovery expands potential targets of rationally designed therapies which could correct molecular defects through antisense RNA oligonucleotides – small pieces of DNA or RNA that can bind to specific RNA targets to either block interactions with RNA-binding proteins and/or initiate degradation of the target RNA. Study co-authors include Sherry Gee, Marilyn Parra, Dana Ghanem, and Henry Marr of the Life Sciences Division. More>
The next LBNL Integrated Bioimaging Seminar will be held Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 4 p.m. in Building 15-253. The talk will feature Dan Fletcher of the Physical Biosciences Division, who will speak on “”The Rise of Mobile Phone Microscopes” and Paul Adams, also with PBD, speaking on “New Algorithms for Obtaining High Quality Atomic Structures from Crystallographic and Cryo-EM Data.” Seminars are held the first Wednesday of the month and cover diverse topics in the area of bioimaging. More>
Berkeley Lab Distinguished Scientist Mina Bissell is among those featured in famed documentarian Frederick Wiseman’s new film entitled “At Berkeley.” She is featured at 5:18 in the trailer above, which was filmed during her talk at the Lab’s 2010 Open House. The film will be shown locally at the Roxie Theater in San Francsico and the Elmwood Theater in Berkeley for one-week run starting Dec. 6. Check with the theaters for specific screening times. More>
John Tainer, Life Sciences Division, and Greg Hura, Physical Biosciences Division, led the invention of a new technique for studying the process by which certain errors in the genetic code are detected and repaired. The technique is based on a combination of hybrid nanomaterials and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), which was performed at the SIBYLS beamline of the Advanced Light Source. It holds important implications for synthetic biology, microbial adaption and pathogenesis. Also contributing to this work were Chi-Lin Tsai, Shelley Claridge, Marc Mendilloc, Jessica Smith, Gareth Williams, Alexander Mastroianni, Paul Alivisatos, Christopher Putnam and Richard Kolodner. More>
The Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) announced that four research grants have been awarded to launch the group’s new research initiative, the HDSA Huntington’s Disease Human Biology Project. Life Sciences Division’s Helen Budworth was selected to receive one of these first-ever fellowship awards for her project “Metabolomic and Gene Expression Analysis of Fatty Acid Metabolism Biomarkers of Huntington’s Disease.” More information about the awards and a complete summary of the research projects, including Budworth’s, can be found here.
The next LBNL Integrated Bioimaging Seminar will be held October 2 at 4 p.m. at 717 Potter Street, Room 141. The talk will feature Luis Comolli, Life Sciences Division, who will speak on “Correlating Genomics and Function Through 3-D Cryo-TEM of Intact Environmental Microbial Cells,” and David Knowles, Ph.D., also of the Life Sciences Division, speaking on “Creating Digital Atlases of Embryogenesis.” Seminars are held the first Wednesday of the month and cover diverse topics in the area of bioimaging. More>
Sylvain Costes and Jonathan Tang of the Life Sciences Division (LSD), working with Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff, formerly of LSD and now with the York University School of Medicine, believe they have found out why exposing young women and girls under the age of 20 to ionizing radiation substantially raises the risk of their developing breast cancer later in life. Their study points to increased stem cell self-renewal and subsequent mammary stem cell enrichment as the culprits. Breasts enriched with mammary stem cells as a result of ionizing irradiation during puberty show a later-in-life propensity for developing ER negative tumors – cells that do not have the estrogen receptor, which plays a critical role in the normal development of the female breast. More>
Berkeley Lab scientists have helped to develop a tiny chip that has big potential for quickly determining whether someone has been exposed to dangerous levels of ionizing radiation. The chip has an array of nanosensors that measure the concentrations of proteins that change after radiation exposure. The technology could lead to a hand-held device that “lights up” if a person needs medical attention in the aftermath of an incident involving radiation. The technology was co-developed by scientists from Berkeley Lab, led by Andy Wyrobek of the Life Sciences Division, and Stanford University. The scientists report their research in the journal Scientific Reports. More>
About 50 students from the East Bay Consortium of Educational Institutions visited Berkeley Lab on last week to learn about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Deb Agarwal of the Computational Research Division welcomed the group and gave a brief overview of the Lab. Andy Nonaka (CRD) talked about his research in computational cosmology; Ben Bowen (Life Sciences Division) discussed mass spectrometry and Susan Amrose (EETD) explained engineering for economic and social development. The visit culminated with a tour of the Advanced Light Source led by Christine Beavers, Bruce Rude, Thomas Scarvie and Doug Taube. CRD’s Sarah Poon (pictured) organized the visit.