As any modern cancer researcher knows, great discoveries often start in a beaker. Since 1959, scientists have used solutions—most often a bright red mixture of sugar, salts, vitamins
Writer Ed Yong specifically calls out Eagle’s minimal essential medium (EMEM), a solution used in biological research for nearly six decades, and its more concentrated variant Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle’s Medium (DMEM). Both solutions are still frequently used by researchers to study animal cells in the context of viruses or cancer.
But in recent years, many scientists have started realizing that these media, or solutions, could be skewing their results. As Yong writes, “It’s as if they had spent decades studying the health of people who had only ever been given rations to eat.” That’s huge, say
In response, many researchers have begun to make their own custom media to better reflect human chemical profiles, and in the process are discovering that the medium used can have a big impact on research results.
For example, a researcher who created his own solution found that cancer cells behave far more
The article ends by calling for far more types of media to be commercialized for more accurate, responsive cancer research results. To read the full article, click here.