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Paul Erickson
Works at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Attended University of Nebraska–Lincoln
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Paul Erickson

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It was a great event, I'm glad +Melissa Woo could take (and share) notes.
My informal notes taken during the EDUCAUSE Connect: Chicago conference - enjoy!

Opening General Session: Three Missing Elements That Will Reinvigorate Our Work - Kevin D. Jones, Organizational Strategist

Student Performance, Assessment, and Technology Outcomes: Defining Relationships for Effective Assessment - Charles Dull

Learn When and How to Speak IT: Converting Technical into Understandable - Kirsten Nagel

Blended Learning Initiatives: Facilitating Institutional Change - Timothy Dugdale & Chad Shorter

Learning cohort session for the Elevating Your Game track

The Path Less Traveled: Taking Control of Your Career - Debbie DeYulia & Dan Harder

Be a technology guru, or move into management? - Debra Jenkins & Chris Eagle

Leading a Revolution: How to Create a World-Class Service Organization in Just One Year - Raechelle Clemmons & Scott Crevier

Last day wrap-up sessions for the Elevate Your Game track

Closing General Session: "Moving Forward With the Focus on Results" - Mark Askren, CIO, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Just for fun, random and miscellaneous pics taken during the conference -

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"Exploding Cancer Cells" Explained

By now many of you may have seen reports of a new 'breakthrough' in cancer research resulting in 'exploding cancer cells' ( These reports are in reference to a new study published in the journal Cell. What exactly does this mean, and how realistic is it to expect this treatment to reach patients anytime soon?

✤ In this study, scientists focused on a very aggressive, essentially incurable type of brain cancer known as glioblastoma. Glioblastomas typically have a lot of things wrong with it, meaning most of our inherent hard-wired cellular defense mechanisms ( have been overridden. Even worse, glioblastomas tend to harbor a subset of cells known as 'cancer stem cells' that are resistant to treatment and can repopulate the tumor following treatment (

✤ The scientists screened a range of compounds for their ability to specifically kill glioblastoma cells in culture (i.e. grown in a petri dish). They identified a compound they named Vacquinol-1 which was highly specific; it had no effect on other types of cells, only glioblastoma cells.

✤ Next, they were curious about the mechanism of cell death and discovered that the cells did not die through apoptosis, i.e. the cell suicide program. However they did find that the cell membranes rapidly changed their shape when treated with Vacquinol-1, indicating that the process had something to do with endocytosis.

✤ Endocytosis is a process by which small molecules are brought into the cell from the outside. The cell membrane forms an invagination (crater-like cups), and the molecules are enclosed in a vesicle (a small bubble) within the cell. When glioblastoma cells were treated with Vacquinol-1, they observed the rapid rounding of cells, the formation of spherical protrusions and irregular bulging of the cell membrane, followed by eventual rupture of the cells through a necrotic-like cell death mechanism. This is the part that has been likened to 'exploding cells'.

✤ Next, in order to fully understand the cellular signalling mechanisms involved, they looked at which genes are involved in this process of cell rupture. They identified a gene known as MKK4 which is involved in many cellular processes such as growth, inflammation and apoptosis. Although the exact mechanism of this pathway is yet to be identified, when MKK4 is missing, Vacquinol-1 had no effect on the cells, indicating that the MKK4 gene is required for this process.

✤ All this was done in petri-dishes so next they tested Vacquinol-1 on mice that had glioblastomas and found that the compound significantly reduced the size of the tumors. The mice in the control group had a median survival (i.e. half the mice were dead) of 31.5 days. In contrast, only two of the eight Vacquinol-1-treated mice died during the 80 days of the experiment. Clearly, the compound had a very pronounced effect on survival.

✤ Clearly there is a long way to go with this work, which is very promising. But it is important to remember that this has only been done in a petri-dish, zebrafish and mice. It hasn't been tested in humans. Pre-clinical trials are a while away yet, and while it is tempting to get excited about the idea of 'exploding cancer cells', a degree of caution is a must.

Further reading
Original research paper:
Image: Mouse brain treated with control (left) or Vacquinol-1 (right). Notice the significantly smaller tumor upon treatment with Vacquinol-1.

H/T +Adam Gill for pinging me on this!

#ScienceEveryday    #ScienceMediaHype
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This pedagogical innovation "allow(s) instructors to imagine and build new assessment or social capabilities and integrate them into their courses in Coursera without any need to involve the Coursera engineering team." 

- University of Michigan + Coursera Professor Charles Severance. He developed a tool with LTI 1.1™ to make assignment grading + feedback easier.
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Five ways to jump Starting your off road tech integration
Warning: this post was written in a moment of professional frustration and fully reflects the way I feel a good part of the time. So, be forewarned! Lately I have had the sense that some of the groups around me are standing still. The official reason is tha...
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Have them in circles
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Paul Erickson

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If there are aliens, they likely look like the Moss Piglet: it can survive 10 years with no food, water, and in the vacuum of space.
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A tremendous project that demonstrates how the humanities provide context and depth to the "hard sciences."

"Because Livingstone thoroughly chronicled his extensive journeys, his journals and letters are a valuable resource for 19th century African history in a number of areas.

'There’s geological data, cultural data, geographical data, astronomical data, zoological data – there’s all kinds of information there in these diaries, that when used in different ways, can tell us different things about the present, such as the erosion of waterways in Africa and even global climate change,' Wisnicki said."
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Fasten your seatbelt. #Highered IT is in for an exciting year—read the top 10 IT issues now #EDUCAUSEReview
Stephen diFilipo's profile photoPaul Erickson's profile photoMelissa Woo's profile photo
That's where those of us in leadership roles must exert our influence
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Very interesting...
This is good stuff 
  A curious download hit Apple’s app store this week: a messaging app called FireChat. It’s a new kind of app because it uses an iOS feature unavailab
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Paul Erickson's profile photoKyle Johnson's profile photoMark Rank's profile photo
+Paul Erickson I have to look back at the spec but the was an option to issue a token with TTL in OAuth. .. potentially addresses the cache password on device vector...
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Have them in circles
342 people
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    Enterprise Architect, 1996 - present
    Director, 2008 - present
  • Creative Cycle Communications
    Technology, present
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Paul Erickson's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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This is a local favorite - there is an excellent selection of beers, with the draft beers being switched out on a regular basis - the bartenders are all very knowledgeable. It's also local-oriented because parking is a much more challenging option, it's better to walk. The pizza is a flat-crust with a great array of toppings. If your pizza preference is mozzarella & red sauce - it may be a little overwhelming, but it's good to experiment. The red pesto sauce for the cheese bread is the main reason to get cheese bread, and well worth it.
• • •
Quality: ExcellentAppeal: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
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