Navigating the epigenetic landscape is no easy feat. Clear markings and smooth rides through its canals can quickly give way to a hectic hodgepodge of mixed signals and uncertain routes. A great example is bivalent chromatin, which contains marks of both activation and repression. Characterized by Bernstein et al. in 2006, the most studied bivalent […]
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Humanity’s ongoing quest for knowledge has revealed unseen realms and unimaginable places, but there are still a few things that we know little about – the inner workings of a black hole, the composition of McDonald’s special sauce, and what goes on in the early post-implantation human embryo. There are good reasons for that latter […]
At first glance the naked mole rat (NMR), or Heterocephalus glaber to his Latin speaking friends, might not win you over with its looks, but it truly is an amazing animal. It’s obviously comfortable in its own skin, but it also thrives in harsh environments, lacks pain sensitivity in its skin, has low metabolic and […]
Cellular reprogramming represents the biological equivalent of spinning gold from straw: the generation of one therapeutically-desired cell type from another more abundant, and less useful, starting cell type. Following reprogramming, we can incorporate the resultant cells into new and effective patient-specific regenerative strategies. Reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generates a […]
Long complex steps, poor efficiency, expensive reagents, and scant results…don’t you wish that your cell-based experiments were a “little” bit easier and a “little” more efficient? These desires are commonplace for researchers generating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in the hope of constructing patient-specific therapies. So what can we do to improve this important process? […]