UMBC Biology Council of Majors

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Video: There Was No First Human

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on July 28, 2014 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Joe Hanson, the host and writer of the YouTube channel: It's Okay To Be Smart, explains why there was no first human. This video explains one of the major principles of the theory of evolution in a concise way. It's not "news" news but videos like these shouldn't be missed out on, even if only for the refresher on the topic. 

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Update on the progress of the IVF therapy

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on July 22, 2014 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Back in February, it was announced that the UK’s government was going to allow the controversial IVF (in vitro fertilization) technique of combining two different women’s egg cells in patients. Specifically, the therapy would be replacing the mitochondria of the “bad” egg cells with the “good” mitochondria of the donor’s egg cells. The technique would be used to cure mitochondrial disease that the child would otherwise develop which could lead to musc...

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Electricity-consuming bacteria

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on July 16, 2014 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Kenneth Nealson, at the University of Southern California, and his team are one of only a handful of biologists that are growing bacteria that “eat” electrons. “Electric bacteria” use electrons harvested from rocks and metals as its sole source of energy. They are turning up everywhere in the ground with some able to link their hair-like filaments that act as wires, transferring electrons between themselves and their environment. This discovery shows that very basic fo...

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Muscle-powered Bio-bots

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on July 14, 2014 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have bioengineered walking “bio-bots” which are powered with only electric impulses sent to muscle cells. They are using skeletal muscle cells because of their ability to be controlled. This customized allows different shapes to be made for a variety of tasks. These “bio-bots” are the first step in creating programmable biological machines trained to do work.

Rashid Bashir, head of bioenginee...

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Human Brain Project receives criticism

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on July 9, 2014 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

The Human Brain Project has come under fire recently by over 180 neuroscientists who signed an open letter against the current direct of the project. The fear is that Europe’s largest brain research project could be highly flawed. Those neuroscientists believe that the current model will be the reason the HBP will fail.

Last year, The Human Brain Project won €1 billion to research the intricacies of the human brain. The project will span over a 10-year effort inv...

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Bigfoot, Yeti: Meet Science

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on July 7, 2014 at 11:10 PM Comments comments (0)


This week SciShow brings us a video on the newly published research which challenges the likelihood of “anomalous primates,” such as the Yeti, Sasquatch, and Bigfoot, actually existing. What they found is what you’d expect.

Two years ago, scientists at Oxford University began asking for hair and fur samples of the Yeti, Sasquatch, and Bigfoot from museums and private collections. They received a grand total of 57 samples. What they found was th...

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Acid bath technique denounced after months of scrutiny

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on July 5, 2014 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Unfortunately, the two papers that were published in Nature that claimed that they could produce stem cells from adult cells by dipping them in a bath of acid for 30 minutes have been officially withdrawn. This technique was known as stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) and the cells produced were thus named STAP cells. It would have been a step forward for regenerative medicine since it would have avoided destroying an embryo.

After the publication in Janua...

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Breadfruit proponents hope to use it end world hunger

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on July 1, 2014 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Breadfruit hardly tastes like a tropical fruit at all, but rather...well, much like bread or some say like a baked potato. However, this not widely known “superfood” is being said to have the potential to end world hunger.

According to the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG), more than 80% of the world’s hungry live in tropical or subtropical regions. This type of environment is perfect for the tall breadfruit trees to grow in abundance with little ma...

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Why Don't We All Have Cancer?

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on June 30, 2014 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)

If the study of cancer (oncology) wasn’t already interesting enough, Michael Stevens of Vsauce makes it even more interesting. This video gives a summary of how cancers work and a couple new ways we are learning to deal with it.

What I really like about Vsauce is how Michael gets me excited about biology or really just science in general. He does a great job at conveying the “big idea” in a lot of difficult topics. This close to ten minute video will go by ...

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$16.9 million prize to those who can solve antibiotic resistance problem

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on June 25, 2014 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The Longitude Prize was awarded by the British government in 1714 to the person/s who could solve a major issue that was affecting humanity. The first prize was awarded to John Harrison for his clock that allowed sailors to pinpoint their position at sea for the first time. The prize has been brought back over all these years with a prize of 10 million pounds ($16.9 million) awarded to the person/s that can solve a problem that humanity current faces. There were six issues that made it to thi...

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