The Road Goes Ever On and On

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Experimental therapies in the West African Ebola epidemic

I’ve seen some misinformation lately about the Ebola epidemic and the US government response, particularly involving experimental therapies (like ZMapp). I just want to clarify a few points from a biomedical research perspective.

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Filed under science ebola west africa epidemic zmapp disclosure: I don't claim to be an expert in virology or epidemiology I am a grad students with experience in mab therapies and I'm familiar with the process of drug discovery and FDA approval this is just my perspective from the research that I've done on this epidemic if there are questions I'd be glad to discuss what I know about the subject

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So this is what the keepers do for fun at my zoo.  They create mini saloons for prairie dogs.

Can this be my new career? I just want to build fake cardboard cities for animals and then watch them play in them. There has to be a market for that. Like, imagine this with puppies or kittens or bunnies! Not that prairie dogs aren’t adorable, but I’m thinking big.

Filed under fuck grad school I want to play with animals I watched a documentary last night on rescuing shelter dogs and allowing female inmates to train them to be guide dogs and I've decided that once I make a ton of money by selling my soul to consulting or pharma I'm gonna adopt/foster dogs particularly pitbulls because they're so adorable these tags have gone off the rails a bit If anyone is still reading you're the best and we should be friends if we're not already

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The gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment may be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.

Homer, The Iliad (via irilium)

No no no no no no no! I’m incapable of letting this post go by uncorrected. This is one of Brad Pitt’s lines in the movie Troy. THIS IS NOT FROM THE ILIAD.

(Source: petrichour, via romanugh)

Filed under If you look up quotes from the Iliad or read it you can clearly see that this quote sounds nothing like Homer and it actually opposes the Greeks' general view of their gods the gods didn't envy mortals they were having tons of sex with mortals and getting into shenanigans or fucking with mortals for fun plus it's a line Brad Pitt says in a MOVIE whatever your thoughts about the movie Troy I think we can all agree that it wasn't a dramatic reading of the Iliad archaeologist liz out!

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We are The Muses. Goddesses of the Arts and proclaimers of heroes.

Calliope, Clio, Terpsichore, Melpomene, Thalia 

(via andersonsfirstname)

Filed under with all the Greek art history classes I took in college I have to say that I'm impressed with some of the details Hercules gets right the 5 muses they show (out of 9 total) are the relevant ones for the story and the chorus providing commentary for the audience totally accurate for Greek theater the only thing I can think of to be more accurate is that the women should be played by men with masks but I'm glad they didn't actually do that hercules disney

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—-Warning: awesome science content—-

For those who don’t obsessively follow biotech news, the FDA just approved a new cancer drug called Keytruda (pembrolizumab). 

It’s an antibody-based immunotherapy that prevents the tumor cells from being able to inactivate immune cells. Usually, our immune cells are capable of recognizing and killing cancer cells pretty well. However, tumors are tricky bitches that devise ways of inactivating the immune cells that manage to get to the tumor. Keytruda prevents the immune cells from being inactivated by the tumor cells, so the still-activated immune cells can destroy the tumor. The therapy itself doesn’t actually do anything to the tumor, but it lets the patients’ cells “off the leash,” so to speak.*

So for those people who wonder where all the money for cancer research is going, this is an example. For the people asking why they never hear an update on whatever crazy new therapy the View or Dr. Oz talked about last year, here’s both an update and a validation. For the people who say “there seems to be a new cure for cancer every week and none of them pan out”, this therapy (while not a cure) has substantially increased survival in many diseases where patients have little time and no options.

It takes a long time to get to the FDA approval stage. But Keytruda has now been approved for metastatic melanoma and has shown a lot of promise in other cancer types. The FDA fast-tracked the approval process because the drug is so promising.

*If anyone is interested in hearing more about the drug’s mechanism, I would be glad to explain/provide resources. This shit is my jam.

Filed under science cancer immunotherapies cancer research grad school awwww yeah science I called it 2 years ago on this specific therapy and I called immunotherapies as the next wave of cancer drugs all the way back in undergrad I feel so validated

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So, I was at lunch with a friend and his sister after seeing ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, catching up on stuff and talk turned to the new series of Doctor Who - our expectations, Peter Capaldi, Jenna possibly leaving, the Matt Smith era - and his sister suddenly raises an interesting point.

"Isn’t the Matt Smith era kind of similar to Twilight?"

This caused both my friend and I to pause, and look at each other with a similar expression of puzzlement.

"Yeah - I mean the storyline is very similar," she continued "The main female character has to choose between two men from different races, makes her choice and has baby. Baby grows up abnormally fast, and ends up marrying the other man."

Despite how this theory glosses over some of the plot, it still kind of stunned me as I realisation slowly dawned on me.

I had watched a sci-fi variant of Twilight.

(via the1001cranes)

Filed under whooooaaa doctor who twilight