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Showing blog posts tagged with "SciCafe"

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Using Snake Venom Protein to Fight Cancer

Q&As

While “snake oil” is shorthand for false cure, snake venom may have real healing power. At March 7’s SciCafe, From Poison to Panacea: Using Snake Venom to Combat Cancer, University of Southern California biochemistry professor Frank Markland will share his research on a protein found in snake venom and how it’s being used to combat cancer in the lab. Below, Markland answers a few questions about his research.

How are you using snake venom in cancer research?

Frank Markland: We injected contortrostatin, a protein found in southern copperhead snake venom, directly into the mammary glands of mice where human breast cancer cells had been injected two weeks earlier. Not only did the injection of this protein inhibit the growth of the tumor—it also slowed angiogenesis, the growth of blood vessels into the tumor that supply it with nutrients and allow the tumor to grow and spread. The protein also impaired the spread of the tumor to the lungs, one site where breast cancer spreads effectively.

Tags: Q&A, SciCafe

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Feb. SciCafe: Mapping Global Pathogens

Q&As

Highly publicized outbreaks of diseases such as Ebola and swine flu raise the specter of pandemic, but these are just the most famous examples of viruses that spread from animals to humans. At February’s SciCafe on Wednesday, February 1, computational biologist Dan Janies and virologist Nathan Wolfe will discuss their efforts to track infectious agents in animals before they reach people. Janies, who helped develop a technology called Supramap, recently answered a few questions about how supercomputers could stop the next global pandemic.

Tags: Q&A, SciCafe

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December 7 SciCafe: Q and A with Angela Belcher

News posts

What if materials in nature could be harnessed to design smarter technologies? Join MIT Professor Angela Belcher at the December 7 SciCafe, Material World: How Bioengineering and Nanotechnology Could Save the Planet, to learn how she creates more efficient technologies in clean energy, electronics, and medical research using materials from nature. Applying biology, engineering, nanotechnology, and materials science to her work, Dr. Belcher has created virus-enabled batteries and more efficient solar cells. Belcher will bring examples of her research to Wednesday’s event, including the first biological battery her team produced as well as a shell of an abalone, a relative of the oyster and the inspiration for many of her projects.

Tags: SciCafe

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November 2 SciCafe: Q&A with Bioluminescence and Biofluorescence Experts

News posts

Museum scientists John Sparks and David Gruber have traveled the world in search of bioluminescent and biofluorescent organisms. On Wednesday, November 2, at 7 pm, the pair will host November’s SciCafe, Alive and Glowing: Adventures in Bioluminescence and Biofluorescence, and shed light on the way these phenomena have appeared throughout the tree of life. Dr. Sparks will also curate the Museum’s upcoming special exhibition Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence, which opens March 31. Below, Sparks and Gruber answer a few questions about their enlightening research.

Tags: Bioluminescence, SciCafe

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Stay Up Late at SciCafe, Global Kitchens, and One Step Beyond

News posts

A number of the Museum’s after-hours series were recently featured in The New York Times article “Staying Up Late in Museums.”

Reporter James Barron noted the Museum’s history of offering stellar programs “since long before [the movie] ‘Night at the Museum,’” highlighting past SciCafes, including last summer’s Hunting the Hidden Reptiles of Madagascar. Check out the next SciCafe, which will feature bioluminescence experts John Sparks and David Gruber, on Wednesday, November 2. 

Tags: SciCafe

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