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Jennifer WongRSS Feed of this column.

My column covers the latest primary research discoveries in the life-science discipline. Much of what is reported here are considered discoveries that I think are the most significant and far-reaching... Read More »

If you ever looked at the inside of a computer, you would find intricate wirings and connections. But the computer is essentially useless until you’ve downloaded all the necessary software and applications. In a way, this analogy could be applied to the workings of the brain. The brain is essentially a circuitry consisting of billions of neuronal connections (or synapses) that is infinitely more complex than the typical computer hardware.
In the field of regenerative medicine, embryonic stem cells are considered the “mother cells” that can replace virtually any type of tissue that are damaged or lost as a result of injury of degenerative diseases[1, 2]. This could be attributed to the ability of ES cells to differentiate into a wide range of cellular lineages that make up organs and tissues of the entire body.

Although this has caused much excitement in the field of regenerative medicine, a sobering fact is that ES cells are very scarce as they can only be obtained in the inner cell mass of an early stage embryo[1]. Moreover, the quest for ES cells in humans also raise ethical concerns that have driven ES cell research to a standstill.
So much for my commitment to write.... Just as I have started my blog account, my supervisor asked me to write a 10-page review article on his research -due in two weeks?!! Well, after 2 weeks of craziness, I thought that perhaps I should share a bit about what I have been writing.

Just to start- my supervisor works on engineering viruses to be used as therapeutic agents to destroy brain tumors.