Monday, November 30, 2015

Deep Mining the Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Proteome for Therapeutic Hope

via Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

From a label-free deep dive into the triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) proteome, Lawrence et al. (2015) have uncovered some potential targets for therapeutic investigation.1 Using 24 cancer samples (cell lines and biopsy tissues), the research team combined a proteomics analysis approach with drug sensitivity testing and integration of genomics data. The methodology and resulting data allowed Read the rest of this article

The post Deep Mining the Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Proteome for Therapeutic Hope appeared first on Accelerating Science.

from Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

Saturday, November 28, 2015

i wrote this - #cdnsci #unmuzzled

Canadian politics are probably of little interest to the rest of the world, and the recent switch in ruling party most likely went unnoticed by anyone not holding a maple leaf close to their hearts. However, for Canadian science, the recent events are a big deal.
Read more ...

Friday, November 27, 2015

Proteomic Evaluation of Lenalidomide Efficacy in del(5q) Myelodysplastic Syndrome

via Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

Krönke et al. (2015) recently used quantitative proteomics and mass spectrometry analysis to examine the mode of action behind lenalidomide’s impressive efficacy in treating del(5q) myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).1 In conjunction with molecular techniques, they demonstrated that the immunomodulatory (IMiD) agent targets casein kinase 1A1 (CK1α) for proteasomal degradation via ubiquitination. The del(5q) MDS patients show deletion Read the rest of this article

The post Proteomic Evaluation of Lenalidomide Efficacy in del(5q) Myelodysplastic Syndrome appeared first on Accelerating Science.

from Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

Thursday, November 26, 2015

spt 26nov15: cautious optimism

evening snuggles on the couch are simply the best
It's three weeks and a couple of days post-amputation for Rosco. Yesterday he had his stitches removed and we met with his vet for a check up.
As some of you may know, the reason for the amputation was cancer - his radiographs showed something suspicious just below his left elbow. Osteosarcoma in dogs is not pleasant, often causing spontaneous fracture in addition to massive amounts of pain if left untreated. The prognosis with amputation isn't wonderful since metastasis occurs early, but there are things that can be done to extend quality of life and even minimise occurrence.
However, Rosco's histopath results, which eventually came back on Tuesday, show not osteosarcoma but a very odd hyperproliferative boney reaction going on. All three vets involved in his case (me included) are stumped by what was going on below his er, stump.
Since chemotherapy is proven value in minimising osteosarc mets and since Rosco has such an odd histopath result, weve asked the pathologists to look at more sections just in case the tumour is eluding detection. We may even ask for a second histopath opinion, and we're getting an second radiological consult too ... all in a hurry as we don't want to miss the window of opportunity to tackle a tumour if this is the case.
So we're cautiously optimistic that we just have a weird dog on our hands.

Rosco meanwhile is bounding (and I do mean bounding) along in rude health. He now lopes at a pretty rapid pace and needs very few stops on his daily walks. We're still not taking him the distance, staying only to local short walks but I think we'll start extending his range soon.

We should know soon if Christmas will be a cancer-free or a chemo-abundant one.
Right now we're just enjoying having a dog who is so obviously pain-free and happy, allbeit on three legs.
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

daily snapshot: November 25, 2015 at 09:55PM

wordless wednesday: fun with #oilbars #winsorandnewton #oilpainting
from instagram

I wrote this ...

Most of the conferences covered in the Around Town series are annual or occasionally biennial events, hosting professionals for continuing education to update their skills, knowledge base and networking in the subject of their passion. The Patient’s Voice conference, held November 12–14, 2015 in Vancouver, was different: this was an evaluation of progress made since the first meeting ten years ago.

Read more ... here!

Monday, November 23, 2015

daily snapshot: November 23, 2015 at 08:37PM

Obsession? Moi?
from instagram

Sunday, November 22, 2015

daily snapshot: November 22, 2015 at 09:42PM

A little more colour #wip
from instagram

Friday, November 20, 2015

All About Registered Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy
Life is full of questions – where do socks go missing in the dryer? How do I eat that last square of chocolate before the kid finds me? Is it really only four-hour parking at Rocky Point (yes, it is). And what does a registered massage therapist do? Hint – it’s not scented candles and aromatherapy.

read more : from The - Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam » Amanda Maxwell IFTTT

spt19nov15: d20

a cheat in progress?
Yesterday's post was not quite a NaBloPoMo cheat but almost. Truth is - I'm writing every day, and for blogs just not my own. So I think it only fair (and sane) to share the load.

Yesterday's post was on growing your own gut.
Now - why would you want to grow your own gut?
As it turns out, growing your own gut - or to be more correct, growing gut organoids - is a good thing for drug and disease research. The little gut-lets grown in vitro are great substitutes for real guts, letting researchers avoid the great lab rodent sacrifice and simultaneously giving them access to a patient's individual enteric peculiarities. By banking loads of individual gut explants for organoid culture, more research can be done to unravel the links between genomics and disease, which is a first step in providing individualized, tailored therapies for conditions such as cancer.

Imagine being able to grow your own test piece of gut in a dish and using it to test for drugs that will be effective just for you!
Magic, and not that far off.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Living Biobank for Personalized Cancer Medicine

via Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

A living biobank? Well, not quite a living, breathing organism, but van de Wetering et al. (2015) present the case for establishing a colorectal carcinoma (CRC) organoid biobank that could help researchers screen drugs and thereby develop personalized therapeutic regimes for patients. Using tissue explants from surgical resections, the research team developed a protocol for Read the rest of this article

The post A Living Biobank for Personalized Cancer Medicine appeared first on Accelerating Science.

from Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

daily snapshot: November 18, 2015 at 09:02PM

wordless wednesday: textless evening #winsorandnewton #watercolor #cotman #spt #wip
from instagram

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

bounce bounce

it was very windy today and blew some of this beautiful lichen down from my tree

NaBloPoMo is a good month for me - write every day about me and mine, instead of the write every day about proteins, food safety, informed consent, thalidomide ...

Life with Rosco is inspiring - he just gets on with it.
Three legs? Wtf - just do it, seems to be his motto. He's almost as fast on three as he was on four legs, though I think he'd tire faster (or maybe not).
His gait is becoming smoother as he adjusts to the different cant of his limbs. He can cock a leg to pee and has started once more to scratch backwards with his hind legs after taking a dump.
This morning, in his excitement to go for a walk, he jumped up and poked me with his front leg as if to to say "Get a move on!"
His joy is contagious.
His approach to life is inspiring.
Must take notes ...

Monday, November 16, 2015

midlife monday: due diligence

It's that time of the year again.
No, not anniversary, birthday or back to school - flu shot season.
The Wee Guy and I headed to our local friendly (and gentle) pharmacist for our shots. We're now sitting out the 15 minutes anaphylaxis watch in the comfy chairs next to the blood pressure machine.
Wee Guy is free of his back-to-school cough, and I'm over my tetanus booster from last weeekend. If we didn't move on the vaccinations today, the window of opportunity would be over - I learned this lesson the hard way one year when we all went down with flu as I waited for a time when neither was sick!
So please - go get your booster shots if you can. Herd immunity protects all of us, especially individuals who cannot take a vaccination.
And please don't mention oregano oil ... it is one steaming pile of BS, unless you plan to use it to preserve poultry.
Just say no to pseudoscience and Woo!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

daily snapshot: November 15, 2015 at 09:35PM

made stuff! these are now on sale at the @blackberryarts gift shop inside #portmoody arts centre @pomoarts
from instagram

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Continuing the anniversary togetherness this weekend - I went to my morning art class, mr ebb took the Wee Guy to the library, I scrambled to complete some inventory for the Blackberry Artist's Society Christmas Marketplace (looks bad if the president still hasn't loaded up her wars into the shop!) ... it's the being together that counts!
This evening however, we did stick it out together as a family. We had a lovely meal at local restaurant, Pasta Polo, then caught up with some culture at Evergreen.
Then took the dog for a walk in the pissing downpour (solo).
He took ages to take a pee.

I have no idea where this post is going so I shall stop #NaNoWriMoforthewin

Friday, November 13, 2015

must be that time of year again

Number 22

Thursday, November 12, 2015

spt12nov15: on the couch

Still playing nurse. But it's only about ten days since four became three in the dogleg department. Early days.
And I'm still worrying about him.
There are times when his progress is remarkable, when he sprints (yes, sprints) up the road in his amazing hoppy bounding gait.
And there are times when I'm beside myself with worry - he's not back to eating properly yet. I'm not sure if he's unwell, in pain, nauseated, or holding out for more convalescent diet.
When he's exhausted, he just lies flat out, breathing heavily.
He sleeps and dreams and chases things (or runs away), with all four legs.
I'm probably expecting too much of this new amputee - I'd really like him to start eating well, eating his dog food once again.
I'm too much the mother - health is signified by appetite and a clean plate.
Here's to clean plates, Rosco!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

daily snapshot: November 11, 2015 at 09:42AM

#tripawd for one week now and doing very well. Rosco still gets tired on walks but he's going for longer and longer trips now. He can manage our inside stairs and is back up in our bedroom at night with us. His gait is hoppy but much smoother, and he can stand for longer. He doesn't lie down as much in the house and has started following us around. Life is kind of returning to normal.
from instagram

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Incorporate ELSI Strategies When Planning a New Biobank

via Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

As a handy checklist for scientists involved in setting up a new biobank, Budin-Ljøsne et al. (2012) published a paper detailing the ethical, legal and societal issues (ELSI) faced during implementation of the European Biobanking and Biomolecular Resource Research Initiative (BBMRI).1 In addition to listing these issues, the authors describe the strategies undertaken to address the Read the rest of this article

The post Incorporate ELSI Strategies When Planning a New Biobank appeared first on Accelerating Science.

from Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

Food Safety and Soft Drinks

via Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

Soft drinks come in a number of varieties and are a popular choice for consumers. Although the health benefits of certain products are under debate, food producers must ensure that the beverage itself is safe. As part of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) monitoring process in place within production facilities, awareness of microbial hazards Read the rest of this article

The post Food Safety and Soft Drinks appeared first on Accelerating Science.

from Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

Monday, November 09, 2015

Mass Spectrometry and Advances in Cancer Research

via Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

Cantor et al. (2015) recently published a review showing how mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics are contributing to cancer research. Describing advances made under the biology/disease initiative of the Human Proteome Project (B/D HPP), the authors review strategies important in current biomarker discovery and validation for novel diagnostics and therapeutics. Cancer is a key area of Read the rest of this article

The post Mass Spectrometry and Advances in Cancer Research appeared first on Accelerating Science.

from Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

Sunday, November 08, 2015

two steps forward, one step back

It's not all sunshine and roses.
It's rarely sunshine and roses - there's always something grey on the horizon in my experience. It doesn't make a pessimist per se, but I do hedge on realism.
Today for example.
Note to self: just because the dog is all bouncy doesn't mean that he isn't hurting somewhere. Take care when handling him - he can't speak nicely to say "Owch! Put me down!"

Saturday, November 07, 2015


legless, but not dogless
Our house - many stairs. Stairs to the front doors, stairs on the split levels on the main, stairs to the bedrooms and stairs to the basement.
Since Rosco's transformation into a tripawd, we've been sleeping on the main so he doesn't have to manage too many of the stairs.
This evening, he just headed up the stairs at bedtime, back to his old spot.
Guess where we're all sleeping tonight?

Friday, November 06, 2015

The Human T Cell Palmitome, Proteomically Speaking

via Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

Proteomics researchers are equally familiar with both the advantages and the drawbacks of methods used for characterizing a number of post-translational modifications (PTMs). For example, many PTMs require prior sample enrichment for subsquent mass spectrometry analysis due to low abundance. In other cases, such as palmitoylation, as discussed by Morrison et al. (2015) in their recent Read the rest of this article

The post The Human T Cell Palmitome, Proteomically Speaking appeared first on Accelerating Science.

from Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

DIY Vintner, or Places to Make Your Own Wine in the Tri-Cities

Wine spilling

Home-made wine always conjured up images from my childhood of harvesting peapods, demijohns bubbling quietly in the airing cupboard, alcohol explosions, and going to school in clothes smelling not-so-faintly of booze. In my experience, UK home brewing was a niche hobby with variable outcomes.

In BC I am still pleasantly surprised – not that homemade wine is popular but that it is brewed away from the house. No explosive puddles to mop up. Every neighbourhood I’ve lived in so far has had at least one winemaking store where all you do is select your wine, start the batch going then come back a month or two later to bottle up.

Most of the on-premises winemaking shops have a great selection of starter kits to choose from, with expert advice on grape varieties. Once started, batches ferment in temperature-controlled storerooms until completion. Bottling is easy, using an industrial-style set up that’s easy to manage solo. Apart from buying your kit, the only investment required is the bottles for the final product.

Here in Port Moody, our local shop – Beyond The Grape – has never disappointed in terms of both wines produced and friendly, knowledgeable service. Choosing the wine to make has always been the hardest part but the staff is always ready with a recommendation based on gently quizzing you for your tastes, drinking intentions and previous purchases. Once chosen, it’s easy to set the batch going and a convenient reminder service brings you back when the fermentation is ready.

Bottling is a do-it-yourself task; bring your empties (or buy them in-store) along to a pre-arranged appointment (hours are generous, with evening slots available during the week) and use the bottling stations. Once staff connects the wine demijohn into the system, the process is easy to manage with bottle sterilization, filling, and corking requiring only minimal hands-on time. Newbies get expert teaching on-site; veterans can ask for a refresher. Shrink wrapping the cork with a heating coil and adding one of the professional-looking labels completes the process, leaving you with a respectable batch for the home cellar. Don’t forget to sample a mouthful before leaving as there’s always a splash left over at the end. Staff will recommend how long your brew should be laid down before sipping – it’s best to take note as the flavour improves within this time.

In the Tri-Cities there are a few neighbourhood winemaking stores to choose from. Get a recommendation from a friend or check out the list below to get you started. If you choose a five-week wine, then you might just have a batch for quaffing at Christmas and New Year.

Slàinte mhath!

Beyond The Grape
3030 St Johns Street, Port Moody

Como Creek Brewing
228 Cayer Street, Coquitlam

Classically Corked
#304 – 1194 Lansdowne Drive, Coquitlam

Oak Barrel Wines
115 – 2918 Glen Drive Coquitlam

1044A Austin Ave, Coquitlam

Just Fine Wine
#311 – 2071 Kingsway Avenue, Port Coquitlam

Find out more about making your own wine at

from The - Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam » Amanda Maxwell

Thursday, November 05, 2015

spt5nov15: the cone of shame

We've reached the cone of shame stage - the lure of itchy sutures and softly weeping incision is too much to resist. 
I also think we overdid it a bit today with an off-leash session into the forest.

On Monday, Rosco had his left fore amputated. Might be cancer, might be something else - we wait for the biopsy results to come back. In the previous three weeks, his lameness was held in check by good painkillers but radiographically, something akin to PacMan was munching through the proximal shaft of his ulna.

We could wait and watch as his bone exploded.
We could wait and watch for a spontaneous fracture.
We could amputate prophylactically. 
Not really much of a choice, so we opted to turn our geriatric rescue dog into a tripawd.

Neither Rosco's vet nor I found this an easy decision to make. It's quite one thing to read about osteosarcoma and similar in a text book, but faced with real life fur it is one emotional rollercoaster. Throw in the fact that we've only had Rosco for around six months, he's a rescue and all the financial stuff ... oh my :(

Rosco has been an absolute gift ever since I got him. He sits next to my desk, keeping me company while I work at home. He's a delightful hiking companion for short trots around the neighbourhood. He sings back at you. He gives awesome kisses. He's a true gentleman at the weekend, waiting until a decent lie in before wanting to go out. He adores me. I want him to have a good shot at a few more years since he seems to love his new life with us.

So screw the cost.
I just hope he adapts to losing his spare leg.

And now he's at cone of shame stage, and I'm feeling even more guilty for what I'm putting him through.

Biobanking 101: The South African Experience

via Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

Abayoni and co-authors (2013) discuss steps required to set up a national human biobanking structure in South Africa, covering many of the issues commonly encountered but also describing some that northern hemisphere biobankers may not have considered.1 As a continent, Africa presents a uniquely complex set of health and disease issues. Setting up a cooperative network Read the rest of this article

The post Biobanking 101: The South African Experience appeared first on Accelerating Science.

from Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

daily snapshot: November 04, 2015 at 05:32PM

wordless wednesday: big hugs with Rosco
from instagram

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Smoking out Foodborne Pathogens with SO2

via Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

Carter et al. (2015) have recently shown that a common food industry post-harvest treatment, sulfur dioxide (SO2) fumigation, might also be beneficial in combating foodborne pathogens in fresh produce1. This finding could prove useful with the current emphasis on eating healthily as consumers recognize the value of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet. Since Read the rest of this article

The post Smoking out Foodborne Pathogens with SO2 appeared first on Accelerating Science.

from Accelerating Science » Amanda Maxwell

Monday, November 02, 2015

daily snapshot: November 02, 2015 at 07:48PM

Home #legless day one of #tripawd #rescuedog send hugs to Rosco pls
from instagram

Sunday, November 01, 2015

antici ........ pation

Waiting is the worst part ... and we've got about 36 hours of waiting perhaps ahead of us.
Not liking this one little bit.
ebb and flo by pomo mama design click to shop pomo mama design online!