Science Talk

What is the difference between in vitro and in vivo experiments?

February 12, 2018
Scientists use different methods of performing experiments in cell cultures, tissue, and animals in order to find treatments for human diseases and disorders. In vitro and in vivo are terms that describe the two most commonly experimental approaches used in science. In vitro is Latin for “within the glass.” In an in vitro experiment, scientists take parts of a living organism (cells or tissue, for example) and study them using Petri dishes, test tubes, or other glassware and lab equipment. In vivo is Latin for “within the living.” In an in vivo experiment, scientists are conducting their studies in whole… continue reading »

What does it mean when something is overexpressed in cancer research?

February 6, 2018
Our genes are responsible for making proteins that control just about every function in our body, and they are usually very well regulated. There are times, however, when something causes our genes to function abnormally and make too many copies of a protein. This is known in biology as “overexpression,” and it can play a role in cancer development. When investigators observe that certain proteins are overexpressed in cancer research, meaning highly active, they know they will need to look more closely at the gene responsible and potentially pinpoint the problem. For example, researchers have learned that the overexpression or… continue reading »

Science Talk


The Most Famous Genes in Cancer Research

January 18, 2018
Genetic research has played an increasingly large role in the development of new cancer treatments. As scientists increase their ability to identify the genetic origins of cancer, their understanding of cancer treatment and prevention also improves. Recent developments in cancer treatment are often possible because of new knowledge in the genetics of cancer. Understanding how individual genes prevent or contribute to cancer enables researchers to devise methods that increase or decrease the activity of those genes. For the non-scientist, however, genes can get confusing quickly. Researchers refer to genes using complicated initialisms that only sometimes have obvious origin. What are… continue reading »

How are senescent cells linked to aging?

January 15, 2018
Senescence is a term that is often used in biology to describe the condition or process of deterioration with age, as in senescent or aging cells. Senescence is the process by which cells irreversibly stop dividing and enter a state where they no longer grow yet are still alive and do not undergo cell death. Senescence can be caused by unrepaired DNA damage or other cellular stresses. The study of aging cells, or senescence, is important to understand not only why we age, but to understand the role that aging cells, and the substances they secrete, have on human health… continue reading »

Three of the top most misunderstood science terms

January 11, 2018
Science is filled with a lot of terms that may not mean what most people think they mean. Here are a few commonly misinterpreted terms that come up quite often and how scientists use them. Proof People like to think that science has the definitive answer on matters, and that if a scientist is uncertain, their research is lacking. But actually, nothing in science is absolutely certain. Instead, science creates a deeper understanding of the complex world we live in, and our understanding is constantly being updated and improved upon. As an example, scientists cannot say they’ve “proven” that climate… continue reading »