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What price antiviral drugs?

What price antiviral drugs? | IB Biology | Scoop.it

Solvaldi is a member of a class of antiviral drugs called nucleoside analogs. They act as chain terminators and inhibit viral RNA synthesis. When the viral RNA polymerase is copying the viral RNA, to enable the production of more virus particles, it normally uses the pool of ATP, UTP, GTP, and CTP to produce more RNA. When Solvaldi is incorporated into the growing RNA chain by the viral enzyme, no additional triphosphates can be added, because the drug contains a fluorine molecule in place of the hydroxyl that is normally used to add the next nucleoside.

jlinzel's insight:

Directly connects to knowledge of enzymatics. RNA synthesis and medicine. Great stuff. You could also say the ethics of drug development and economics of medical research.

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IB Biology
Concepts, terminology, and other stuff for IB biology classes.
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The Cambrian Explosion’s Strange-Looking Poster Child

The Cambrian Explosion’s Strange-Looking Poster Child | IB Biology | Scoop.it
For years, scientists struggled to explain the mysteries of a worm named Hallucigenia, but two new studies explain some of its quirks, and found it some cousins.
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Some gene conceptions and misconceptions

Some gene conceptions and misconceptions | IB Biology | Scoop.it
Any geneticist who has discussed genes with friends and family knows that there are a lot of misconceptions floating around out there. This is understandable - genetics involves some tricky concept...
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Circling the drain, the New York Times labels the Texas cartoon exhibit "hate speech"

Circling the drain, the New York Times labels the Texas cartoon exhibit "hate speech" | IB Biology | Scoop.it
It's a sad day when the New York Times, a bastion of free speech during Watergate and the publication of the Pentagon Papers , tarnishes its image by sort-of-excusing the Muslim attack on Pamela Ge...
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The Difference Between Bigotry and Blasphemy

The Difference Between Bigotry and Blasphemy | IB Biology | Scoop.it
Telling provocateurs that they cannot attack the religious beliefs of others simply serves to validate their darkest predictions.
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Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over its coverage of Gaza conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over its coverage of Gaza conflict | IB Biology | Scoop.it
One of the world’s oldest and most venerable medical journals is under attack from an international group of more than 500 doctors over its coverage of the humanitarian disaster caused by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
jlinzel's insight:

I don't want to take sides in an issue I know very little about. I will offer up an opinion that if the journal is getting heat from BOTH sides at different times, then its probably straddling the fence well. However, I'm not sure it should always straddle the fence. Maybe thats a new logical fallacy. 

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Never Settling Down: Frequent Changes in Sex Chromosomes

Never Settling Down: Frequent Changes in Sex Chromosomes | IB Biology | Scoop.it
Sex Determination Is Labile

Most animals come in male and female forms with many obvious visible and physiological differences. Cytologists long ago noticed that male and female karyotypes also often differ, with one sex having two distinct or heteromorphic sex chromosomes and the other having two copies of a single monomorphic sex chromosome. In many organisms including mammals and Drosophila, males are heterogametic with the X and Y chromosomes, while females are homogametic with two X chromosomes. In birds, butterflies, and other species, the opposite pattern is found where females are heterogametic (ZW chromosomes) and males are homogametic (ZZ chromosomes). It was also appreciated long ago that the genetic basis of sex determination is remarkably variable. For example, although mammals and Drosophila have the same sex chromosome karyotypes, sex determination depends on a dominant Y-linked male determiner in the former and a system of dosage-dependent, X-linked female determiners in the latter [1,2]. Then there are curious cases like houseflies, where different populations have been found having male determiners on different chromosomes [3]. Beyond even this variation are some amphibians and reptiles that determine sex based on environmental signals [4]
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45 years after Apollo 13: Ars looks at what went wrong and why

45 years after Apollo 13: Ars looks at what went wrong and why | IB Biology | Scoop.it
You’ve probably seen the film—but the reality is a lot more complicated.
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Modern genetics confirm ancient relationship between fins and hands

Modern genetics confirm ancient relationship between fins and hands | IB Biology | Scoop.it
UChicago's Neil Shubin and team have documented the evolutionary adaptations necessary for ancient lobe-finned fish to transform pectoral fins used underwater into strong, bony structures, such as ...
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How human land use is changing the number of species in ecosystems

How human land use is changing the number of species in ecosystems | IB Biology | Scoop.it
A new study quantifies change around the globe.
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New Research Shows Exceptional Slowdown In Major Atlantic Ocean Currents

New Research Shows Exceptional Slowdown In Major Atlantic Ocean Currents | IB Biology | Scoop.it
Climate scientists have noticed a disturbing pattern in the North Atlantic. This is the relative cooling of surface waters in the area fed by the Gulf Stream. This pattern has emerged over recent decades, and may portend very rapid and potentially disruptive climate change in the upcoming decades. The cooling is not subtle at all,…
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Sandwalk: Mary Lyon (1925 - 2014)

Sandwalk: Mary Lyon (1925 - 2014) | IB Biology | Scoop.it
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Mary Lyon is famous for discovering the phenomenon of X chromosome inactivation. This is when one the the X chromosomes of female mammals is selectively inactivated so that the products of the X chromosome genes are quantitatively similar to the dosage in males where there's only one X chromosome. The phenomenon used to be referred to as Lyonization.

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Flu genomes trace H7N9's evolution and spread in China

Flu genomes trace H7N9's evolution and spread in China | IB Biology | Scoop.it

No one knows whether the H7N9 avian influenza that has infected more than 560 people in China and killed 204 might yet evolve to spread easily among people. But the largest-ever genomic survey of the virus in poultry now provides a more detailed picture of its evolution and and spread.

 
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The 'living concrete' that can heal itself - CNN.com

The 'living concrete' that can heal itself - CNN.com | IB Biology | Scoop.it
We have invented bioconcrete -- that's concrete that heals itself using bacteria," he says.
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P-Value Interpretation

P-Value Interpretation | IB Biology | Scoop.it
If all else fails, use "significant at p>0.05 level" and hope no one notices. -xkcd by Randall Munroe I can't say that I ever thought about doing this, but I can admit feeling enormous stress pr...
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Free Speech vs. Hate Speech

Free Speech vs. Hate Speech | IB Biology | Scoop.it
A Texas art exhibit was meant to express hatred, not to strike a blow for freedom, and can only worsen religious tensions.
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Sandwalk: Molecular Evolution Exam - April 2015

Sandwalk: Molecular Evolution Exam - April 2015 | IB Biology | Scoop.it
Molecular Evolution Exam - April 2015 Here's the final exam in my course. Students have to answer the first two questions and three of the next five questions. How would you do?
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Beyond Bar and Line Graphs: Time for a New Data Presentation Paradigm

Beyond Bar and Line Graphs: Time for a New Data Presentation Paradigm | IB Biology | Scoop.it
A systematic review of research articles reveals widespread poor practice in the presentation of continuous data. The authors recommend training for investigators and supply templates for easy use.
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Editing Human Embryos: So This Happened – Phenomena: The Loom

Editing Human Embryos: So This Happened – Phenomena: The Loom | IB Biology | Scoop.it
Earlier this week, Chinese researchers reported that they edited the genes of human embryos using a new technique called CRISPR. While these embryos will not being growing up into genetically modif...
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Sheep as models for diabetes

Sheep as models for diabetes | IB Biology | Scoop.it
Insulin is a major hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar. Its main function is to lower sugar by increasing glucose uptake into muscle and fat cells. Insulin resistance is the hallmark of type 2 diabetes and occurs when tissues in the body are not able to respond to insulin resulting in sustained elevations in blood sugar,…
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Mary's Monday Metazoan: Shhhh. I'm in disguise.

Mary's Monday Metazoan: Shhhh. I'm in disguise. | IB Biology | Scoop.it
This leafhopper is a myrmecomorph – it has sprouted lumpy dark extensions of its carapace that resemble an ant. It spends its whole life living in a costume!
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Why is the scientific world abuzz about an unpublished paper? Because it could permanently change human DNA

Why is the scientific world abuzz about an unpublished paper? Because it could permanently change human DNA | IB Biology | Scoop.it
A Chinese study could mark the first time a human embryo's genetic line is so altered the changes would carry through to future generations
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MH's curator insight, April 7, 3:55 AM

Un article scientifique chinois est en préparation sur la modification de l'ADN d'un embryon, transmissible aux descendants. Cela reviendrait à  modifier le patrimoine génétique de toute la descendance de l'embryon : il deviendrait possible de modifier le code-source de l'humain. Les enjeux éthiques sont majeurs.

 

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Course Report: Brief History of Timekeeping

Course Report: Brief History of Timekeeping | IB Biology | Scoop.it
A few years ago, I taught one of our “SRS” classes, which are supposed to introduce students to research at the college level– I blogged about it while the course was in progress. I taught it again in the recently-concluded Winter term, but didn’t blog much about it because I was mostly doing the same…
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I had my grade 9 design and test windmills. Most liked it but they struggle with its applicability. 

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Sandwalk: Calico Cats

Sandwalk: Calico Cats | IB Biology | Scoop.it

Condensation of chromatin is an effective mechanism of repressing eukaryotic gene expression and is best exemplified by the process of X-chromosome inactivation in mammalian females. The sex of a mammal is determined by the presence or absence of the male-specific Y chromosome. In humans, males normally have one X and one Y chromosome per somatic cell, whereas females normally have two X chromosomes per somatic cell. The X chromosome is quite large and contains a number of genes, most of which play no role in sex differences. Proper human development requires that only one X chromosome be fully active in each somatic cell of an adult. Thus, one of the X chromosomes in females is inactivated by condensation into heterochromatin (Figure 27.53). Such condensed chromosomes are knwon as sex-chromosome bodies or Barr bodies. X-chromosome inactivation is one example of the genetic phenomenon known as dosage compensation because it involves regulating the dosage of genes.

jlinzel's insight:

This concept[epistasis/inactivation] also explains the phenotypic differences between some diseases - ie Angelman and Prader-Willi. If the paternal mutant gene is inactivated PWS results. If the maternally is then AS results. 

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How Scientists Will Find Your Next Antibiotic in this Pile of Dirt

How Scientists Will Find Your Next Antibiotic in this Pile of Dirt | IB Biology | Scoop.it
Nearly a century after scientists dug up penicillin, researchers are turning once more to the soil for new pharmaceuticals. But this time, they have tiny, powerful technologies on their side. Here's how scientists are unlocking the secrets of soil microbes and discovering the next generation of medicine.
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