By Brad Stubenhaus
Mark Howarth, a molecular biologist at Oxford University, has curated a collection of beautiful protein structures, each corresponding to a letter in the Roman alphabet. Though it may be a while before this organic font reaches Microsoft Word, it should become a mainstay of introductory slides on PowerPoint presentations at molecular biology conferences, eliciting nerdy delight from all. The Scrooges of the protein structure world may attempt to suppress their smiles, but even the most caffeinated among them will not be able to remain purely focused on the topics being introduced. This is fun stuff.
By Alison Gillespie, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Researchers who work with stem cells have ambitious goals. Some want to cure cancer or treat heart disease. Others want to grow the tissues and organs that patients need for transplants. Some groups are even working to develop highly personalized medicines, tailored to an individual’s genetics. All of these ideas face a similar hurdle, however: The development of measurement tools for stem cell production is challenging, making it hard to determine what makes various new stem cell-related products safe, effective or high-quality.
Científico Latino is a growing platform created by STEM graduate students aiming to improve diversity in STEM and to encourage minority students to pursue higher education by providing resources to all undergraduates and graduate students in STEM. Their vision is to expand awareness of its platform across high schools, community colleges, underrepresented-serving institutions, colleges and universities, and professional societies in STEM in order for everyone, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, or immigration status to have equal access to STEM opportunities and know they belong in STEM.
The Union of Concerned Scientists is running a campaign to communicate the value of science and contributions of scientists.
As genome sequencing has become routine, the rate of increase in the number of uncharacterized/unknown or hypothetical proteins in the sequence databases has exceeded the ability to assign their biological functions. Addressing this challenge requires tools to focus experimental efforts. A sequence similarity network (SSN) is an example of such a tool—it enables facile visualization