October 7, 2019

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: how our cells adapt to oxygen or lack thereof.

Announcement of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2019

How our cells sense and respond to oxygen levels. Hypoxia Inducible Factor. Hypoxia is when there is too little oxygen. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2019 was awarded jointly to William G. Kaelin Jr, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza "for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability." This fundamental system regulates how our bodies respond to the level of oxygen available. It is also important in cancer tumor tissue because the system is used by tumor cells to help provide the blood supply the tumor needs to grow. Also, genes like EPO, Erythropoetin. EPO, is that the factor that Tour de France bikers were using to increase their levels of red blood cells for more oxygen? Yes. Same one. How does HIF work?

August 26, 2019

Send YOUR NAME to MARS on the next NASA Mission: Seriously.

In July 2020 an Atlas-V rocket will be launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station with the next Mars rover from NASA. ANYONE, even you, even me, can have their names entered into a list of Humans that will be sent on the rover to land on Mars. I have my boarding pass. You can have yours too.

 Here is how you can get your name's very own boarding pass too.

July 19, 2019

State AGs Taking Generic Drug Manufacturers to Court for Collusion to Raise the Costs Prescription Drugs.

A few weeks ago, over 40 State Attorney Generals launched a class-action lawsuit against most of the generic-drug manufacturers who have been colluding to increase the costs of otherwise old drugs. Over 9-thousand percent in some cases! Do you take Doxycycline for your skin? Insulin for your diabetes? You are a victim of this greed. Why are American Moms joining Insulin Caravans to London, Ontario, Canada to get Insulin for their children? 

May 14, 2019

Evidence Based Medicine is Less than 50 years old: born in Hamilton Ontario from an American doctor who made Canada home.

If you should poll students and scholars of medical history about the most important developments of modern health care, you would find something called Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) will be very high up on the list. That is the delivery and choices of medical treatments based on sound evidence. Based on scientific evaluation. Based on firm unbiased evaluation such as in double-blind clinical trials and ones that include placebo groups. Now, this seems logical to any of the medical students, ophthalmology residents and retinal fellows I teach about genetics, molecular biology and research in 2019.  Yet physicians born in the early 1990s were often under the care of medical doctors whose choices of treatments were not necessarily sound options based on unbiased evaluation of the evidence. Yes, over 20 years after humans first walked on the Moon, medical schools and the bodies that license physicians were promoting practices that had often evolved on their own over decades with some backed up by scientific examination but many that were not. Fortunately for us now, an American doctor moved to Canada in the 1960s just as universal healthcare was started nationwide and he realized that was the climate to established principals now considered essential to the teaching and practice of medicine. Evidence-Based Medicine. Who was this American who made Canada his home?

April 18, 2019

Muller Report - Get your own PDF version here.

The Muller report. 

This is the redacted report, but if you want your own PDF file copy to read. Here it is. There are many other places to get it too but not all have a download. 

So click here to get a download from our share folder, click on this link:

Muller Report PDF file for downloading.

Or paste this address into your web browser.


Dr Mitton

April 4, 2019

Data Analysis Technical Special: Fixing Package Installation Problems for R and R-studio in OS-X.

What does this mean when I am trying to update R packages in R-Studio?

"xcrun: error: invalid active developer path (/Library/Developer/CommandLineTools), missing xcrun?
R-Studio is a popular workspace tool for getting started with R. I have been using R for some years to use the dose-response-curve (drc) package to fit our dose-response data. We study cells from human donor retinas, called endothelial cells. They form the inside of retinal blood vessels. Most new blindness in the United States each year is caused by diabetic retinopathy, which damages blood vessels. 

Wanting to update my own R-programming abilities and finding better ways to teach my own students and staff how to use R, I have been working through "Getting Started with R: An Introduction for Biologists" (2nd Edition, Beckerman, Childs, Petchey). The book makes the excellent point that the first problem in learning R for most students is getting stuck at how to get their data into R. It's not hard, but often the processes are explained poorly in many R-reference books. Unfortunately, while the authors have a good chapter on getting data into R, there is the reality that some of the functions and libraries needed to read in data from .cvs formatted files are in the R-package called readr. R-studio will ask you to let it install readr if it is missing in your library of packages and you can select YES, and Install, but sometimes the process fails. So as a new student of R, you get stuck at .... trying to get your data into R!! How do you fix this problem? Read on...