This “statistics in slow motion” video is the best visual example that I have seen for understanding how statistics and probability work! It is highly unlikely that all of the beads will end up at the edges in any experiment – most will end up in the middle (i.e. normal distribution).
Important take aways from a long-term analysis of devil facial tumour disease #DFTD
1. “these results indicate that plasticity in devil life history traits, that are triggered by reduced densities, have allowed them to persist with the disease to date”
2. “results show that prevalence increased in 1-year-old devils with years since DFTD. Our results support the idea that the frequency of encounter in young devils increases as they breed younger and therefore increases their chances of contracting DFTD”
3. “precocial breeding may be a powerful offset to DFTD. We suspect that the rate of precocial breeding and the number of pouch young per female may be near maximum capacity in response to the reduced densities caused by DFTD”
Title: Tipping the balance from tolerance to anti-cancer immunity in Tasmanian devils
A transmissible cancer first identified in 1996 has been the primary driver for an 85% decline in wild Tasmanian devils. Recently a second type of transmissible tumour was discovered in wild devils and further threatens the long-term persistence of wild Tasmanian devils. These two transmissible tumours offer a unique opportunity to learn how tumours avoid being killed by the immune system, and the knowledge we acquire from studying these transmissible tumours could have help us to understand cancer and transplant rejection in humans and other species. We have recently developed cutting-edge molecular tools (i.e. recombinant cytokines and checkpoint molecules) for studying and manipulating the devil immune system. The goal of this project will be to assess functional responses of tumour cells and immune cells to cytokines and manipulation of checkpoint molecule and cytokine signalling pathways at the RNA and protein levels. Bioinformatics skills are highly desirable, but not essential.
1. Determine most effective methods for stimulating anti-tumour immune responses using
2. Identify novel immune evasion pathways using RNA-seq