Lunch Notes With Love: A new book to add joy to school days

Hi all,

I’m happy to announce that I’ve written a new book!

Lunch Notes With Love is a 4″x4″ book with perforated pages for easy tear-out, where each page has a prompt that invites people to share a memory, thought, feeling, poem, a drawing, and other creative ideas with their children, or really anyone for whom they pack a lunch or can slip a note into a packed lunch! It’s like mindfulness journaling prompts, but something you can share with loved ones. :)
Here is the link to pre-order (ends Friday 3/31/17!): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1705010519/lunch-notes-with-love

Continue reading

Views – 1215

10 Awesome Science Gifts for Kids

Here are some of our favorite engaging science gifts for kids!

stembox

Stem Box is a subscription service that sends high quality lab-like experiments to your home monthly . Each kit focuses on an aspect of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). They provide all of the materials needed, a protocol, safety equipment, and there’s always a fun, themed toy and stickers. Previous kits have included: strawberry DNA extraction, growing bacteria on agar plates, aviation and aerodynamics, chromatography, lemon-powered clocks, make-your-own wearable tech, and more.

yellow_scope

Yellow Scope sells fun chemistry kits that will engage children in learning about chemical reactions, molecular motion, the effects of temperature, and pH. Continue reading

Views – 1391

“What’s your favourite immune cell, and why is it the T cell?”

Last weekend, I ran an IamA on Reddit where I welcomed questions from the community around immunology. I posted that after the session, I’d pick one lucky winner’s question to illustrate here!

The most upvoted question was, “What’s your favorite immune cell, and why is it the T cell?” Which is pretty funny to me because for some reason, the T cell is kind of a celebrity cell.

So this post is about why T cells are awesome.

Continue reading

Views – 4577

Cancer and the immune system – illustrated! (Part 3: T cell transfer therapies)

In Part 1 and Part 2, we overviewed the natural immune response to cancer, monoclonal antibody therapies, and cancer treatment vaccines. This time we’re talking about taking out a patient’s own anti-tumor cells, equipping them for a good fight, and putting them back in! We call these T cell transfer therapies.

One historical approach has been to isolate a patient’s own anti-tumor T cells that have infiltrated a tumor, culture them in a petri dish to re-awaken them and pump them up (since cancer cells tend to suppress healthy T cells that are trying to fight them).

A more recent approach has been to take out a patient’s T cells (irrespective of whether they specifically recognize the cancer cells), and to genetically engineer them to recognize cancer cells. These cells are then put back into the patient, and they are now programmed to get all fired up when they see their target. How does this work?

Introducing, the “CAR” T cell (“chimeric antigen receptor”):

CAR_T_cell

Continue reading

Views – 1278

Ask your questions on my Reddit IamA!

Hi everyone,

I’ve submitted a Reddit IamA, where I will invite the world to ask questions about immunology. While my personal focus has been on cancer and the immune system, I am happy to do my best to answer questions in any realm of immunology! The immune system is involved in so many aspects of our health – infections, allergies, asthma, cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, wound healing… you name it, and the immune system is probably involved in some way. Continue reading

Views – 1112

Cancer and the immune system – illustrated! (Part 2: Vaccine therapies)

In Part 1 of Cancer and the Immune System – Illustrated, we had a look at how the immune system naturally responds to cancer, and how crafty cancer cells evolve to hide from the immune system. We also went into how researchers have harnessed the power of synthetic antibodies in the fight against cancer.

We’ll continue learning more about how researchers are unlocking the power of the immune system to fight cancer, this time focusing on vaccine therapy and cell transfer mechanisms.

When you hear the term “vaccine,” you probably think about your annual flu shot, or kids getting vaccines to pre-educate their immune cells and prevent later infection. These are “preventative vaccines.” In this post we’re going to talk about “treatment vaccines,” which are designed to treat already-established disease. Continue reading

Views – 2511

Cancer and the immune system – illustrated! (Part 1: Antibody Therapies)

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so to promote awareness and education, I have illustrated some of the ways in which our immune systems interact with cancer! If you enjoy this post, please consider supporting my Kickstarter campaign to publish and distribute my illustrated immunology book. I promise you’ll learn a lot, and you’ll have tremendous fun playing with immune cell playing cards. :)

Cells are your body’s tiny building blocks that make you who you are.

Cancer cells are your own body’s cells that have become mutated. The DNA (genetic code) of these cells has changed and the the translators inside the cell are now translating the new code into messengers (“proteins”) that are sending haywire signals! Every messenger, whether it’s normal or haywire, is shown off by your cells for your immune system to come by and scan, to see whether that cell is normal, cancerous, infected with a virus, etc. So, guess what? Just like when someone gets a cold, if someone gets cancer, their immune system also sees that there is something wrong! How does this work? Enter: the T cell.

Continue reading

Views – 6163

Bridging the Immunology Education Gap

I have an exciting announcement, long in the making! Today, I’ve launched my Kickstarter campaign to support publishing my children’s immunology book that teaches kids (and parents!) about how immune cells function.

Click here to view the campaign!

If you want a fun and easy way to learn / teach your kids about immune cells, to promote immunology awareness for public health, or to promote girls in science, please consider supporting my campaign!

Watch our video, read the campaign, and view the “Rewards” for supporters on the right. smile emoticon (Hardcover book, immune cell playing cards, and custom immune cell art poster.)

And please share this if you think you know others who would be interested!

Immunology_Educaition

Views – 821