Editorial Article: 10 Best Life Sciences Interviews of 2017

From cancer cells to ocean microbes to Zika virus: Read the interviews that made the most impact in 2017

03 Jan 2018

While one scientist packed his lab into a suitcase, another discovers the world of automatic live cell imaging. Meanwhile, the director of NIH's National Cancer Institute reminisces on decades of experiments, while an analytical chemist shares her dream of a 'Google Earth' style map for a tumor. These are just a few of the fascinating SelectScience interviews of 2017.


1. Researchers Deplete Cancer Stem Cells to Fight Recurring Brain Tumors

H&E staining of a brain section showing invasive and proliferative tumors. Image courtesy of Dr. R Spina

Brain cancer researcher, Dr. Raffaella Spina, explains cancer recurrence in glioblastomas and her approaches to fighting it in the laboratory. Read article >>


2. New Optical Method “Cuts” and Examines Cancer Biopsies During Surgery

Prostate tissue stained with eosin and DRAQ5TM recolored to simulate the traditional H&E staining. Image courtesy of the Brown lab, Tulane University

Dr. J. Quincy Brown explains how optical methods examine fresh tumor biopsies to determine the tumor margins during organ removal surgery. Read article >>


3. The Mobile Laboratory: How a Scientist Tests for Infectious Diseases out of a Suitcase

Dr. Ahmed Abd El Wahed’s mobile laboratory at work during the Ebola training course at the Institute Pasteur de Dakar, Senegal.

Read how Dr. Ahmed Abd El Wahed created a mobile laboratory to keep his research going even in corners of the world with poor infrastructure. Read article >>


4. iPSCs Help Decipher the Debilitating Side-Effects of Chemotherapy

iPSC-derived neurons serve as a model for neuropathy in Dr. Eileen Dolan’s lab. Image courtesy of the Dolan lab

Dr. Eileen Dolan explains how she studies genetic variants that can predispose a patient to experience neuropathy after chemotherapy treatment. Read article >>


5. Science on a Ship: Diverse Microbes of the Deep, Dark Oceans

Dr. Jason Sylvan, Assistant Professor, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, carries out his research aboard the JOIDES Resolution   

Read how Dr. Jason Sylvan samples microbes from the depths of the ocean and performs experiments on a ship. Read article >>


6. Understanding Zika Virus Infection: The Development of an Animal Model


A critical step to understanding Zika virus pathogenesis is the development of an animal model. In this video, discover how Dr. Mukesh Kumar, of the University of Hawaii, developed a guinea pig model for Zika virus infection, and the role this model may play in future research. Watch video >>


7. Fluorescent Biosensors Reveal the Inner Workings of Living Cells

HEK293T cells carrying a green cell stress sensor and a constitutively expressed nuclear red fluorescent protein. Image courtesy of Montana Molecular

Anne Marie Quinn, founder of Montana Molecular, shares how it’s possible to measure, in real time, multiple signaling pathways inside a living cell. Read article >>


8. How Retrospective Genetic Studies at NIH Are Providing Answers for the Future of Cancer

Preserved samples from different international cohorts aid retrospective genome-wide studies in identifying cancer risks. Image courtesy of Ed Uthman under the Creative Commons License

Dr. Stephen Chanock, National Cancer Institute, shares the latest cancer epidemiology studies at the NIH and the team’s hopes of being able to predict and prevent disease. Read article >>


9. A 3-Dimensional ‘Google Earth’ Style Map for Tumors

A picture of a bowel cancer sample made using mass spectrometry imaging. Red is tissue that lines the bowel, green is the tumor and blue is muscle. Credit: Zoltan Takats, Renata Filipe-Soares (Imperial College London); Nicole Strittmatter, Gregory Hamm, Richard Goodwin (Astra Zeneca); Rory Steven, Adam Taylor, Alan Race, Spencer Thomas, Rasmus Havelund, Josephine Bunch (NPL).

Dr. Josephine Bunch, UK Grand Challenge awardee, describes her unprecedented research into a tumor’s intricate architecture and shares her ultimate goal of mapping what’s inside a tumor. Read article >>


10. Ultra-Sensitive Digital Method Detects Rarest of Genome Mutations

Human iPSCs were differentiated into cardiomyocytes. Image taken by Dr. Luke Judge, M.D. Ph.D. of the Conklin Lab

Dr. Bruce Conklin, UCSF, discusses the potential of genome engineering as a therapy for genetic diseases. Read article >>


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