Interview with a Bioinformatician: Dr. Ryan Mills, Ph.D.

Author:  Aiman Faruqi

Dr. Ryan Mills, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics, and the Department of Human Genetics, at the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Mills earned his Bachelor’s degree in biology at Wabash College, his Ph.D. in bioinformatics at Georgia Tech, and was a postdoctoral fellow at both Emory University and Harvard Medical School. His research is focused on developing algorithms for identifying structural variation in human genomes and assessing their role in various disease phenotypes

Pedagogy: A Science of its Own

Author:  Kaitlyn Ramsay

It was 1988 when Leslie Mackenzie, then a graduate student at Queens University, was told by his supervisor that he would be giving an anatomy lecture the next day to a group of student nurses. “To prepare for that I did what anyone would have done - I read the textbook,” recalls Mackenzie of his first teaching experience. After the lecture Mackenzie stuck around to speak with the students. The feedback was unanimous. “They said I sounded just like a textbook which I could only assume was negative,” Mackenzie laughed as he recalled the students’ comments.

Interview with Bonnie Kuehl of Scientific Insights Consulting Group Inc.

Author:  Anastasiya Maryukova

My career started with doing an honors undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph, double majoring in biochemistry and biomedical sciences. During my third and fourth year summers I worked as a high school biology tutor/teacher at Atomic Energy Chalk River Laboratories (AECL). It was an enjoyable experience and it gave me work experience during my undergraduate years, which was important for making future connections. After completing my B.Sc., I proceeded to a combined MSc/Ph.D degree at University of Toronto, specializing in medical bio physics.

How far have we gotten in the battle against HIV?

Author: Maria Zagorulya

For nearly four decades HIV has been a major public health threat and cause of public anxiety. It is contracted by 35 million people each year, says the World Health Organization, and is the world’s sixth leading cause of death. Despite years of effort and funding, researchers have yet to find a permanent cure for AIDS. What approaches are scientists taking, and what are the obstacles in their way? Are we closer to eradicating the disease?

Researchers Identify Epigenetic Roots of Insulin Resistance

Author:  Aiman Faruqi

Researchers at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Broad Institute at Harvard have identified previously unknown epigenetic pathways that may contribute to the development of insulin resistance. The team, whose paper was published in Nature Cell Biology in January, hopes its discovery may reveal the root causes of type-2 diabetes, a disease that afflicts nearly 30 million Americans.

Vif and APOBEC3: The Battle of Defense Proteins in HIV-1 Replication

Author:  Ria Foye-Edwards

There are many diseases characterized by a high level of communicability and a diverse array of symptoms. One such disease, HIV-1, can sicken some infected individuals rather quickly, but in other infected individuals, the symptoms can occur much later. Of  the two types of HIV, HIV-1 and HIV-2, HIV-1 is the  most common strain and, like HIV-2, is easily transmitted through blood, sexual contact and from mother to child during childbirth. The varying onset of HIV-1 symptoms in patients has puzzled doctors for decades. Researchers at the University of Minnesota might have an explanation for the genetic variation responsible for differences in the onset of HIV-1 symptoms.

Ditching the Indeterminate Cat: Griffith Scientists Suggest Testability of their Many Interacting Worlds Theory

Author: Belinda Ongaro

It may be a bit mind-bending to consider the possibility of parallel worlds interacting, let alone existing, but a recent theory proposed by Griffith University researchers suggests that there may be more to their model than science fiction. Professor Howard Wiseman and researcher Michael Hall, PhD, from Griffith University, along with Dirk-Andre Deckert, PhD, of the University of California, recently reported that their radical “Many Interacting-Worlds”(MIW) theory is not only plausible, but also potentially testable.