My name is Min Ya, or Ya Min, but I go by Minya. I was born and raised in China. Heavily influenced by my botany-enthusiast father, I have been a plant lover since I was very little. Before grad school, I finished my undergrad in China and Japan, and obtained dual Master’s Degree in Sweden and France. Although the subfields of biology varied between my … Continue reading Min Ya
The inability to produce health sperms and eggs has hindered many people’s dream of having children. Though many other alternatives such as adoption can get around this problem, infertility is still a serious medical issue. A recently published research from a group in Japan indicated possibility of producing healthy mouse sex cells (sperm and egg) from normal mouse body cells in a dish. Sex cells were not derived … Continue reading Bypassing infertility: directed sex cell development in a dish
by Caitlin Nichols cover image by Rebecca Clements Modern advances in stem cell technology and genetic engineering are bringing the stuff of science fiction into reality, presenting remarkable promise for expanding knowledge and treating disease. However, these developments also arouse ethical concerns that must be considered when deciding if and how to implement them. One striking example of this relationship between biological advancement and bioethics … Continue reading How we talk about science matters: A bioethicist’s view on controversial research and science policy
The National Institutes of Health recently announced that it expects to lift a ban on research involving animal embryos that have been injected with human stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are already lightning rods for controversy, but part-human “chimeras” are saddled with their own set of ethical dilemmas. Some worry, for example, that chimeras could develop human-like brains that might afford the animal a rudimentary … Continue reading Beyond mythology: NIH plans to lift ban on chimera research
A common treatment for blood cancers, such as leukemia, is to replace damaged, cancerous bone marrow with donated healthy marrow. Marrow is the flexible tissue in your bones that contains stem cells that give rise to all the blood and immune cells in the body. When marrow comes from a donor, the donor’s and the recipient’s blood and tissue types must directly match. If not, … Continue reading Rabbit virus sinks teeth into cancer, aids bone marrow transplants
A study shows that when a certain protein called Timp is lacking, there is an increase in the number of stem cells of the mammary gland (an organ in the breast), which prevents it from aging, thus reducing one of the risk factors of breast cancer. The study shows great insights into stem cell regulation. However, it has lead to overblown ‘fountain of youth’ claims. … Continue reading Discovery of Anti-aging in Mammary Gland
Treating glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer – is notoriously difficult. In the early 2000s, researchers began investigating a new form of therapy to attack GBM tumors: implanting stem cells engineered to express toxins that specifically kill tumor cells. The toxin – a protein called TRAIL – kills tumor cells (but not normal cells!) by signaling through a … Continue reading Can stem cells be engineered to battle brain cancer?