cell biology

 

Synthetic Biology: Engineering Life To Examine It

Posted 6 January 2014 by Jalees Rehman

Two scientific papers that were published in the journal Nature in the year 2000 marked the beginning of engineering biological circuits in cells. The paper "Construction of a genetic toggle switch in Escherichia coli" by Timothy Gardner, Charles Cantor and James Collins created a genetic toggle switch by simultaneously introducing an artificial DNA plasmid into a bacterial cell. This DNA plasmid contained two promoters (DNA sequences which regulate the expression of genes) and two repressors (genes that encode for proteins which suppress... Read more

Beautiful Animations of Cellular Processes

Posted 17 January 2013 by Jalees Rehman

The professional animator and molecular biologist Janet Iwasa at Harvard Medical School is generating beautiful animations of cellular processes such as proteasome structure and function or endocytosis. Importantly, she has published these on her website with a Creative Commons license so that everyone has access to them. She has been interviewed by EarthSky, where she explains why she became a molecular animator. Movie about the proteasome structure: Movie about chromosome segregation: Movie about protein translocation (movement of proteins across membranes):... Read more

Is the Analysis of Gene Expression Based on an Erroneous Assumption?

Posted 26 October 2012 by Jalees Rehman

The MIT-based researcher Rick Young is one of the world’s top molecular biologists. His laboratory at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research has helped define many of the key principles of how gene expression is regulated, especially in stem cells and cancer cells. At a symposium organized by the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), Rick presented some very provocative data today, which is bound to result in controversial discussions about how researchers should assess gene expression. It has... Read more