Research Spotlight

The immune system surveys the body by sampling proteins, called antigens, from both the human host and any invaders. So how does the immune system keep from attacking the host?

Your fat is alive. Your fat is alive and it is talking. It is listening. It is reading its DNA and deciding what to make. It is coordinating more complex processes than an air traffic controller. It is smarter than Matt Damon in The Martian.

While our immune system functions to protect us from such things as invading microbes, these same defenses can also erroneously turn against the body.

This past weekend I sliced my finger while attempting to slice a carrot. The Wusthof cut through the nail on my left pinkie, aggravating a piece of flesh that, until that point, had successfully avoided combat.

Reproducibility in biological research — or more specifically the lack of it — is an ongoing issue.

As you read these words, hold out your hand. Notice the space between your fingers, the fragments of MacBook you can see through these windows. Think about how these digits formed, precisely arrayed and extended.

Today, HIV infection is no longer a death sentence for those with access to anti-retrovirals. These drugs suppress replication of the virus and keep viral levels low in patients. However, as HIV patients on anti-retrovirals age, they show higher rates of age-related diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Understanding HIV pathogenesis is the focus of the laboratory of Warner C. Greene MD PhD, HIV expert and Director of the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology.

So much of science and medicine comes down to taking pictures. Biology, especially, has long been considered an observational enterprise.

The most lethal part of cancer is that it spreads.

Stopping the spread of cancer, known as metastasis, would be a leap forward in treatment. However, first, we must better understand why and how metastasis happens.

Cancer is not just one disease. Were it, we could imagine a single cure. Instead, we find that cancer is a mix of clinically separable diseases.