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Our ability to grow cells in culture (in petri dishes and flasks in laboratories) has been critical to our efforts to learn more about the biology of Parkinson’s and to screen for novel potential therapies.
Recently, researchers have employed more sophisticated methods of characterising cells in culture, to achieve greater insights. These effort have led to some interesting work from investigators at Google Research and
They used a powerful new technique called “Cell Painting”.
In today’s post, we will outline what Cell Painting is, discuss what the new research demonstrates, and explore what their findings could mean for Parkinson’s research.
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John Maynard Keynes. Source: NYTimes
I recently read an interesting story about the economist John Maynard Keynes.
In 1918 Keynes was working as a Treasury adviser when a friend – the art critic Roger Fry – told him about a sale of impressionist works that was about to occur in Paris. The collection was from the artist Edgar Degas, who had died in late 1917.
Edgar Degas. Source: Wikimedia
With the great war still raging in northern France, intrepid Keynes somehow managed to convince not only the UK Government to give him money, but also for the director of The National Gallery, Sir Charles Holmes, to join him on his mad dash to Paris. They boarded a boat to Boulogne and then travelled by train to Paris, carrying a suitcase containing £20,000 in French banknotes (understand that this is equivalent to £1.1 million in todays money).
As the auction started, Paris was rocked by the sound of German artillery. Many of the hopeful bidders at the auction fled, but Keynes and Holmes stood their ground and secured some incredible bargains (not only for the British Government, but also for themselves – such as a still life with seven apples, by Paul Cézanne that Keynes purchased for himself).
Cézanne’s seven apples. Source: Wikimedia
Upon arrival back in England, Keynes could not carry all of his newly acquired luggage, so he left his Cézanne under a hedge on the side of the road. Upon arrival at their lodgings for the night, he instructed their host that ‘if you’d like to go down to the road, there’s a Cezanne just behind the gate‘.
It was a very Keynesian enterprise as that Cézanne painting alone is probably worth well over £30 million if it went to auction today.
Interesting, but what does this have to do with Parkinson’s?
Nothing, but today’s post is about a different kind of painting, so I thought I’d start off with this little anecdote.
What does painting have to do with Parkinson’s?