Science and the Media

Something a little different this week: today I want to share a video from one of my favorite comedians- the great John Oliver- which gives great insight into the murky gray area where science, politics, and the media often overlap. It examines topics like ethical science, sensationalism, and the dangers of using cherrypicked “science” to justify opinions. Get ready for 20 minutes of informative entertainment! (Yes, it’s an old video, but quite frankly the problems detailed in this segment haven’t improved- so it’s still extremely relevant today.)


GE Healthcare And Roche Team Up To Build Data-Pooling Service For Hospitals

GE Healthcare and Roche recently announced a long-term partnership that is aimed at developing and marketing a useful database tool for doctors making important clinical decisions.

“Effectively what we’re doing is combining those two data sets. It’s the integration of that data that gives physicians or clinicians at that point much greater insight into the status of patients,” says Kieran Murphy, President & CEO of GE Healthcare. Adds Roland Diggelmann, CEO Roche Diagnostics: “We know how these hospitals operate, we know what they need. Everybody tells us this is what we need.”

This system will combine and synthesize many different patient data sets, including blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood-based in vitro testing results. This, Murphy says, could help hospital staff intervene quicker with more information.


Johnson & Johnson Pens Alzheimer’s Gene Therapy Pact With the University of Pennsylvania

The pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has formed an Alzheimer’s gene therapy research pact with the University of Pennsylvania. The partnership brings together J&J’s anti-Alzheimer’s antibodies and the university’s adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) in a bid to open up a new frontier in the fight against the disease.

The collaboration aims to use AAV viral delivery to express therapeutic antibodies that target the main pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. The use of AAV as a gene delivery method has the potential to transform the way biologic therapies are administered for Alzheimer’s and other brain conditions, opening up novel approaches to treating many devastating neurological diseases. JPI will have exclusive global rights to commercialize products developed under this agreement.

J&J is also working with Dermala, a resident of the San Diego JLABS site, on microbiome-derived treatments for skin conditions and is collaborating with a GPCR expert to discover drugs against obesity and other metabolic diseases. The collaborations are part of a big network of alliances J&J has built up in recent years as it has tried to hit upon a more effective way of accessing innovation.


Cool Tool for Cell Culture


While I was looking at some articles for this week’s post I stumbled upon this website:

This online tool is designed to help beginning cell culture scientists who are looking for a way to experiment with different aspects of cell culture virtually. The lab is part of  Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Gibco™ Education series.

Here’s a blurb from their website- if you’re even remotely interested in this stuff, I highly recommend checking it out! I spent nearly 2 hours playing with the online lab.

Cell culture is critical to your success; many experiments rely on you having consistently healthy cells. Make sure that you use the best procedures and products to consistently get the outcomes you expect.  The Cell Culture Basics virtual training lab is an introduction to cell culture, covering many topics including:

  • Basic principles of cell culture
  • Preparing a new cell culture
  • Performing a cell passage
  • Cryopreservation