Bob Edwards wins 2010 Nobel Prize for developing IVF: Thank the mice, rabbits, hamsters…

Professor Robert G. Edwards of the University of Cambridge has long been recognized as one of the pioneers of reproductive medicine. His most famous accomplishment, along with surgeon Patrick Steptoe*, came in 1978 with the birth of Louise Joy Brown, the first baby born through in-vitro fertilization.  This achievement has now been recognized by the … Continue reading Bob Edwards wins 2010 Nobel Prize for developing IVF: Thank the mice, rabbits, hamsters…

Herceptin: When personalized medicine and animal research meet.

Personalized medicine is very popular among medical researchers these days, and it’s not hard to see why. By tailoring treatment to fit an individual patient, for example by using information about their genetic makeup, scientists hope to make treatments more effective while at the same time avoiding or minimizing adverse effects. Anti-vivisectionist Dr. Greek writes … Continue reading Herceptin: When personalized medicine and animal research meet.

Laying the foundations of medical research

For the past couple of weeks a debate has been raging on the Opposing Views website between Speaking of Research’s Dario Ringach and the anti-vivisectionist Ray Greek. It has been a debate shaped by Dr. Greek's attempts to persuade readers to agree with his very narrow concept of what prediction means in biology and his … Continue reading Laying the foundations of medical research

RNAi: Send in the Nanobots!

The publication of the preliminary results of a small clinical trial of a new therapy called RNA interference (RNAi) online in the scientific journal Nature is causing quite a stir in the scientific community this week.  A team led by Professor Mark E. Davis at Caltech targeted the delivery of a nanoparticle only 70 nanometers … Continue reading RNAi: Send in the Nanobots!

Pompe disease – a starring role for animal research

The new Harrison Ford film, Extraordinary Measures, hitting US cinemas from 22 January, is a fictionalised account of the development of a treatment for Pompe disease, a rare genetic disorder. Pompe disease (glycogen storage disease type 2, acid maltase deficiency) is an enzyme deficiency with devastating effects – progressive muscle weakness and, in the severe … Continue reading Pompe disease – a starring role for animal research

Nobel Prize time again (and the Laskers too)

Back in August, Dario wrote about how basic science contributes to medical advances and today the Nobel Assembly chose to recognize the importance of such work by awarding the The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2009 to Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Professor Carol W. Greider and Professor Jack W. Szostak for their discovery of … Continue reading Nobel Prize time again (and the Laskers too)

Basic science is fundamental science

I continue my series on some of the misconceptions of biomedical science (previously looking at the limits of fMRI and computer simulations) with a look at what basic science is. Some scientists devote their entire lives to understanding and describing key experimental phenomena in their fields of study: that is, they engage in “basic science”.  … Continue reading Basic science is fundamental science