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what specific mutations are you looking for? how do you look for the damage (id be interested to find this out... how specific can you get this sort of detection. im assuming individual instances of oxidation or cross linking would be pretty hard. how does it work)?

i'm pretty well versed in DNA structure so feel free to be specific as you can.
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Batyah
we are all human, so what is one thing you find interesting that people not in your field would not think to ask?


I've been sitting on this question for a few days now and... honestly, I can't think of a question for myself to answer. sweatdrop

If it's something you all wouldn't ask, then it tends to be super technical and not at all interesting or would take far too long to explain. That, and I'm always surprised by the calibre of questioned posed to me by people outside the ivory tower I inhabit, so I never rule out someone asking a super complicated question anyways. XD
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StellaTheLabMouse
Batyah
we are all human, so what is one thing you find interesting that people not in your field would not think to ask?


I've been sitting on this question for a few days now and... honestly, I can't think of a question for myself to answer. sweatdrop

If it's something you all wouldn't ask, then it tends to be super technical and not at all interesting or would take far too long to explain. That, and I'm always surprised by the calibre of questioned posed to me by people outside the ivory tower I inhabit, so I never rule out someone asking a super complicated question anyways. XD
XD fair enough, well i am a massage therapist so it there any way im my work i can help prevent such problems? well aside from working in the sacrum area releasing acupuncture points and the like?
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WUTANGKILLABEEZ
what specific mutations are you looking for? how do you look for the damage (id be interested to find this out... how specific can you get this sort of detection. im assuming individual instances of oxidation or cross linking would be pretty hard. how does it work)?

i'm pretty well versed in DNA structure so feel free to be specific as you can.


Unfortunately, I can't say the name of the exact gene I'm working on (confidentiality issues), but what I can say is that my work deals less with damage to the gene itself and more to changes in expression.

Specifically, I'm introducing a foreign gene (via viral infection) which knocks down the mRNA produced by my gene. (producing a knockout proved fatal so this is the next best thing). So, I'm messing with the protein levels in my gene without messing with the sequence. If my viral infection works, I should eliminate (or at the very least drastically decrease) the protein product and then I just run a battery of tests on my cells to see if/how their behaviour has changed.

As for damage, I would assume they would either just do directional mutagenesis in order to effect the change they want or just introduce random changes and sequencing the ones that act like they're cancerous.

Or... something along those lines anyways. Let me know if something needs explaining. I went a bit techobabble this time. sweatdrop
StellaTheLabMouse
WUTANGKILLABEEZ
what specific mutations are you looking for? how do you look for the damage (id be interested to find this out... how specific can you get this sort of detection. im assuming individual instances of oxidation or cross linking would be pretty hard. how does it work)?

i'm pretty well versed in DNA structure so feel free to be specific as you can.


Unfortunately, I can't say the name of the exact gene I'm working on (confidentiality issues), but what I can say is that my work deals less with damage to the gene itself and more to changes in expression.

Specifically, I'm introducing a foreign gene (via viral infection) which knocks down the mRNA produced by my gene. (producing a knockout proved fatal so this is the next best thing). So, I'm messing with the protein levels in my gene without messing with the sequence. If my viral infection works, I should eliminate (or at the very least drastically decrease) the protein product and then I just run a battery of tests on my cells to see if/how their behaviour has changed.

As for damage, I would assume they would either just do directional mutagenesis in order to effect the change they want or just introduce random changes and sequencing the ones that act like they're cancerous.

Or... something along those lines anyways. Let me know if something needs explaining. I went a bit techobabble this time. sweatdrop


you have a damn cool job

how exactly do you reduce the expression of mRNA?
Would it be possible for you to inject me with cancer?
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Batyah
XD fair enough, well i am a massage therapist so it there any way im my work i can help prevent such problems? well aside from working in the sacrum area releasing acupuncture points and the like?


Unfortunately, as far as I'm aware anyways, there's no real way to prevent the onset of ovarian cancer (or any other cancer fort hat matter) through massage therapy. That said, many patients find pain relief by visiting acupuncturists and massage therapists so it certainly can't hurt.

The best thing you can do it to provide support as best you can. Be it through your hands or your words, just allow them the time to relax when in your care without making them feel like you pity them. After all, an hour or two under the care of a therapist can work wonders for the spirits of anyone, especially those who may be in need of a boost. 3nodding
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WUTANGKILLABEEZ
you have a damn cool job

how exactly do you reduce the expression of mRNA?


Thanks, but the coolness of one's job is in the eye of the beholder I find. I think being a chef or a software programmer are cool jobs, whereas what I do is just pour one clear liquid into another clear liquid all day. xd

What my inserted genes does is it produces another RNA strand that prevents the mRNA from my gene of interest from beign translated. This phenomenon is called RNA interference (RNAi) and was discovered barely over 20 years ago, so many of the techniques we use as still pretty bleeding edge (that is, they still need a bit of tweaking before they work).

The foreign gene I'm inserting produces what's known as an shRNA (a short hairpin RNA) which basically means that the RNA produced by my gene of interest is literally shredded before it can be translated into protein. I'd explain exactly how it works, but it would take ages and way more than this text box could ever hold. But, if you're interested, feel free to go check it out RNAi or shRNA on wikipedia or something and pop back here if you have any questions. I'll do my best to answer them! 3nodding
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Sharkonian
Would it be possible for you to inject me with cancer?


In theory, yes. In practice, never.

I have access to human ovarian cancer cells from the ovaries of women who have given us their consent to use their tumour cells for research purposes. And, I have the equipment which could eb used to inject these cells (among others) into you.

In practice, the laws which govern research ethics, especially those which govern human testing would NEVER allow me to do such a thing. It takes weeks of paperwork to get permission to use a mouse for testing, and years if not decades to get clearance to test on a human. We have to show that doing so would be to your benefit (or at least cause you no harm), that there are no long-term effects, that it only does what it was designed to do etc.

So, (un)fortunately I can't just waltz over an give you a shot of cancer. Not that I'd want to anyways, but still. sweatdrop
Disconsented
Why isn't mental health more important?


StellaTheLabMouse


It's not really. They're equally as important for the health of the patient.

If you're asking why cancer research tends to get more funding, it's simply because cancer research needs more complicated equipment than that of mental health researchers. While they can make leaps and bounds using an MRI machine, a few volunteers and some genius experimental designs, discovering a gene that triggers cancer growth takes months and hundreds of thousands of dollars (think lab animals, microscopes, all the chemicals etc) .


More people succumb to Alzheimer's than cancer every year and yet it gets significantly more funding from government and voluntary sources. Not only that, but cancer, whilst it can be a very serious disease, isn't the death sentence that Alzheimer's is. What you've said about equipment required isn't true at all... The reason why is simply because cancer can affect people of young ages and because it has attained a sort of special stigma within modern society, particularly during the '70s. People (particularly the middle aged to elderly demographic) used to call it "The Big C" and never talk about it, but that negative stigma seems to have died down now and in the process, it has developed a social interest of sorts. To the point where by Cancer Research UK was the 3rd largest charity in the UK in terms of total income in 2010. Only surpassed by the GAVI fund affiliate (which grants money to a huge spectrum of other charities and doesn't support a single cause) and the Arts Council of England. Put it this way: what aspect of health, disease and medicine are society primarily exposed to via the media? Without a doubt, it's cancer. And that's not particularly bad, even though it is quite a bit misrepresented in the grand scheme of things.

Charity donation figures sourced from: Guardian.co.uk
WUTANGKILLABEEZ
what specific mutations are you looking for? how do you look for the damage (id be interested to find this out... how specific can you get this sort of detection. im assuming individual instances of oxidation or cross linking would be pretty hard. how does it work)?

i'm pretty well versed in DNA structure so feel free to be specific as you can.


In a clinical setting, such as hospital; you take a biopsy, stain the cells and look at them under the microscope. I know a positive identification of some cancers can be as simple as seeing enlarged nuclei under the microscope, but I'm not sure if that's particularly the case in ovarian cancer. I still have to do my oncology rotation...
http://vimeo.com/24821365

This is a video describing a treatment for cancer and it has really inspired me
Well, it's the treatment in the video that really inspired me
myusername123456
Well, it's the treatment in the video that really inspired me


The only thing that video should "inspire" you to do is to go take a dump.
It's insulting to even refer to that as viable cancer treatment, let alone anything more than a really, really shitty excuse for an advert.
Why and how did you become a cancer researcher? Also, what was your job search like?

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