Friday, March 21, 2008

Annual Marshmallow Peeps Post

I discovered this silly website a couple of years ago. It's still hysterical and especially appropriate for Easter week-end. It seems that some scientists (apparently with some time to kill in the lab) are conducting laboratory experiments on marshmallow peeps. They have an entire website devoted to their studies.

One particularly cute experiment was "the effect of alcohol and smoking on marshmallow peeps."

First, the peep was exposed to alcohol and did exhibit s
ome signs of inebriation, such as bumping into the walls of the swimming vessel:

Then, the peep was permitted to select a brand of cigarette and smoked without apparent ill effects:

However, when smoking and alcohol were combined, the effects were catastrophic:

Their conclusions: "The synergistic effect of smoking and alcohol in Peeps produces a rapidly exothermic oxidation reaction, leading to a chemical and morphological divergence from the wild-type Peep phenotypes."

The marshmallow peep appears to be an excellent experimental model for the synergistic effects of smoking and alcohol!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Great News!!

Hey, guess what? I just found out that my research grant is going to be funded!! Yay! This is good news because I can finally hire some technical help for the stem cell lab and not be a volunteer anymore. It's time to celebrate!

The research project involves targeting "cancer stem cells" that seem to be the driving force behind tumor growth and resistance to chemotherapy.