15 years old boy develops a new, rapid, and inexpensive method to detect an increase of a protein for pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer early diagnosis.

Jack Thomas Andraka (born in 1997) is an inventorscientist and cancer researcher. He is the 2012 Intel Science Fair grand prize winner. Andraka was awarded the Gordon E. Moore Award for his work in developing a new, rapid, and inexpensive method to detect an increase of a protein that indicates the presence of pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer during early stages when there is a higher likelihood of a cure. [1] The Gordon E. Moore Award, named in honor of the co-founder of Intel, is for $75,000. He also won other prizes in smaller individual categories for a total award of $100,500.[2]


Spanish link

Gurdon Institute, Cambridge, 3 months Project.

The project I’m gonna be involved is about vinculin, a “protein that’s emerging as a crucial component of mechanotransduction: the cell’s mechanism of converting physical stimuli (e.g. forces) into biochemical signals.

Background information (a Nature paper):

Dynamic molecular processes mediate cellular mechanotransduction


Cellular responses to mechanical forces are crucial in embryonic development and adult physiology, and are involved in numerous diseases, including atherosclerosis, hypertension, osteoporosis, muscular dystrophy, myopathies and cancer. These responses are mediated by load-bearing subcellular structures, such as the plasma membrane, cell-adhesion complexes and the cytoskeleton. Recent work has demonstrated that these structures are dynamic, undergoing assembly, disassembly and movement, even when ostensibly stable. An emerging insight is that transduction of forces into biochemical signals occurs within the context of these processes. This framework helps to explain how forces of varying strengths or dynamic characteristics regulate distinct signalling pathways.


“The vinculin protein is emerging as a crucial component of mechanotransduction: the cell’s mechanism of converting physical stimuli (e.g. forces) into biochemical signals. In the proposed project, the student will aim to characterise the phenotypic consequences of loss of vinculin in flies. This work will involve genetics, a substantial amount of tissue preparation and immunohistochemistry, high resolution confocal microscopy, image analysis and some behavioural assays. The student will be introduced to working with a model organism in a vibrant research institute, take part in lab meetings and institute talks, and be encouraged to take control of his own work and manage his own data.”

Molecular neurobiology research ERA has finally come.


This discovery is to molecular neurobiology what PCR and sequencing was for molecular biology, a simple, but smart and huge step that brings the opportunity to the research community to finally undergo real good quality research on brain’s function on animal models.

In vivo functional imaging is still needed, as this images are on postmortem brains, but anyway, this technique is going to lead to a huge amount of knowledge discovery and thousands of publications in the following years.

Moreover, potentially, this technique can be applied to any kind of tissue, thus, allowing the allocation of different receptors or molecules not in single cell or in tissue slide, but in a full interconnected an complex organ.


YouTube VIDEO :D  …Amazing…

Controversy: Aberrant animal business supported by the most loable profession in the world: Veterinary Medicine.

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Deaf albino cat and 2 years old Bernese Mountain dog with a polyneuropathie that is struggling his back legs walking.

…………………………………More hereditary problems………………….……….

Is a shame how many diseases in dogs we are producing and mantaining because our aberrant selection based only in morphology and because we avoid a natural selection process,

………………………..IS A SHAME, A SHAME……………………...

I do NOT want to support this bussines as a Vet, this is not the reason why I’ve spent my life & broken my brain over the years to put in the remaining neurons all the knowledge I learned over the time.


I really think I’m going to copy Dr Diane Addie, which for me, means developing research (which is always a loable profession) and trying to cure one of the most devastating infectious diseases in cats: FIP, which is not our fault, like is the case of the majority of hereditary or breed related (well, at least is the fault of the circle of people that makes the bussines around the pedigree and the breeds) diseases we see in Veterinary Medicine. Dr Diane Addie makes research with animals that are already ill, never induces an experimental disease in cats.

And like always, when the truth goes against the interests of the majority of the people, people will make like they’ve not seen neither herd anything to make their life easy, I state.

A friend of mine says: “si no trabajáramos una entidad privada (lo que implica un objetivo económico) y muchos (Veterinarios) no se lucraran haciendo burradas para robar a la gente que daría lo que fuera por sus animales…. seriamos la profesión más bonita y respetada del mundo; incluso los propios médicos nos respetarían.”

My African tortoise: Geochelone sulcata. 2nd biggest terrestrial tortoise species in the world :)


I’ve got a G. sulcata since I was 18 years old. He’s on my hometown in Valencia. Now he’s 6 years old and weights more than 20kg. Lives outside, eating grass and taking sun, like terrestrial tortoises must be taken care. In Winter he is used to use a dog wooden house which has an infrared spot on lamp to be able to heat himself properly, as they are not warm blood animals and being from Africa they are not used to make hibernation.

The African spurred tortoise (Geochelone sulcata), also called the African spur thigh tortoise or the sulcata tortoise, is a species of tortoise which inhabits the southern edge of the Sahara desert, in northern Africa. It is the third largest species of tortoise in the world and the largest species of mainland tortoise (not found on an island).

G. sulcata in Wikipedia
IMG-20130328-WA0001 (1)

CNS MRI shows as DD: cyst / neoplasia / granuloma.

A dog came with rotated head and pain in the neck during the physical exam.

NMR under general anaesthesia was performed and the following image was seen:

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2013-03-26 13.25.222013-03-26 13.25.57

There’s a fluid like round mass localised in one of the brain hemispheres.

Possible conclusion:

The mass (cyst, neoplasia or inflammation) is causing a compression of the central spinal channel, which is supposed to be obstructing the cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) flow causing a third ventricle enlargement in the brain.

Symptomatic therapy:

Omeprazole to decrease the CSF production and release the increased pressure and pain. For those who are thinking WTF has Omeprazole to do with CSF (although the action mechanism is still unknown!): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=reduction+CSF+production+omeprazole

- Pain medication.

Possible further analysis: biopsy of the brain mass.

P.D. My understanding of Dutch is horrible, so there might be several mistakes in this informal short-mini case report.