STAP the madness: Japanese stem cell researchers call for retraction of acid bath-based technique

Former and current researchers out of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan call for the retraction of a pair of Nature papers by  (here and here; full citations below) published earlier this year out of the same institute describing a simple and potentially powerful new method for producing stem cells. The original papers … [Read more…]

New tool in the cellular repair kit: ESCRT machinery described as critical component of plasma membrane repair

Researchers from Institut Curie and Le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France describe in a new paper in Science magazine this week the role of endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) in the rapid repair of plasma membrane damage, which is commonly caused by things such as pore-forming toxins or mechanical stress. ESCRT is most … [Read more…]

Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life. – Charles Darwin Without fail, there is not a single biologist alive today who is not in some way affected by or influenced by the work of Charles Darwin. His insights into the possibility of adaptation by reproductive … [Read more…]


We all have pet-peeves; those little things in life that get under your skin. They don’t ruin your day, but they are conspicuous enough that you always notice them… and maybe you cringe a little. Those who know me personally know that the quickest way to make me cringe is to mispronounce the word “apoptosis.” … [Read more…]

Paper vs PDF: How do you read your scientific literature?

This particular question pops up very frequently on graduate school/research online communities where people want to be convinced that they are doing their research wrong and want a new, maybe “more exciting” or organized way to explore the literature and fast-track their research. It’s not hard to understand they pouring through stacks of paper might … [Read more…]