Thursday, March 14, 2013

Presentation Day for the Entrepreneurship for Science, Medicine, and Technology class

The Entrepreneurship for Science, Medicine, and Technology class comes to an end today with five student groups presenting their business ideas to colleagues and some distinguished guests.

The new class was offered with support from the Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in the UCLA Anderson School of Management and CNSI. For the last eight weeks, enthusiastic participants have learned about what it means to be an entrepreneur, including such topics as opportunity recognition, incorporation, calculating the total available market, risk, legal considerations, fundraising, and other topics. Almost all of the classes lasted longer than expected as questions about different scenarios were thrown to Professor George Abe, who has been doing a remarkable job of introducing a new world to our clinicians, scientists, and engineers. The students' hard work culminates with group presentations describing business plans based on their own technology.

We're expecting a good show!

Also, today in history, the Higgs boson shares the stage with Pope Francis on the front page of CNN:

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ome Sweet Ome

In 1990, the Human Genome Project was launched, seeking to identifying the more than 20,000 genes in human DNA. But that was just the beginning of the new era of the "omes" in science.

Modern mass spectrometers are able to identify all of the proteins in a given sample of cells. This approach has been termed the "proteome."

And the analysis of all of a cell's metabolites has been fittingly termed the "metabolome."

The "-ome" suffix in modern molecular biology science means "all constituents considered collectively," and it has become more and more popular as new technology has enabled the pursuit of BIG science.

Whereas molecular biological thesis projects used to be completed after the identification of a single gene, now the identification of tens of thousands of genes may only make up a single thesis chapter. Genomic studies can lead to transcriptomic studies (the identification of all transcribed genes) to proteomic studies, and so on. Researchers have moved beyond technical proficiency at the bench to also be able to understand the basics of computational biology and the field of bioinformatics.

In some recent published articles proposing the creation of brain activity maps as part of an initiative supported by the White House Office of Science and Technology, researchers focused on the brain will attempt to create "connectomes" the identification of all the neural connections in a given brain circuit.

Other "omes" are likely being collected in laboratories all around the world.