From my PhD, I mainly learnt that transgenic reporter mice may open the window to the full spectrum of molecular mechanism assessment in a whole-body context, now that I'm looking for a system-biology postdoc, I'm happy to realize that my experience with reporter mice can be so widely turned in different fields. Happy 2009, and thanks for reading.
Francesca Faggioli, Maria Grazia Sacco, Lucia Susani, Cristina Montagna, Paolo Vezzoni (2008). Cell fusion is a physiological process in mouse liver Hepatology, 48 (5), 1655-1664 DOI: 10.1002/hep.22488
Rita L Strack, Daniel E Strongin, Dibyendu Bhattacharyya, Wen Tao, Allison Berman, Hal E Broxmeyer, Robert J Keenan, Benjamin S Glick (2008). A noncytotoxic DsRed variant for whole-cell labeling Nature Methods, 5 (11), 955-957 DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.1264
Getting the first name on Nature it isn't so frequent, but getting it two times in a year (2008) by using a nobelized reporter gene is very impressive, and Matthew Bennet got it. In the group of Jeff Hasty at the University of California, those guys used a microfluidics platform in combination with fluorescence microscopy to look at:
- the loops of a synthethic dual-feedback circuit forming positive and negative tunable feedback loops on yemGFP expression in E. coli;
- the response of the galactose-utilization network in the yeast to sinusoidal changes in glucose concentration over a steady galactose background.
It comes to mind Jacobs and Monod with their petri dishes, but time changes. According to Jeff:
increasingly, there are microfluidics people in every department.
In my department, there are people who are still scared about multichannel pipettors and 96well plates. Neanderthal biologists!
Matthew R. Bennett, Wyming Lee Pang, Natalie A. Ostroff, Bridget L. Baumgartner, Sujata Nayak, Lev S. Tsimring, Jeff Hasty (2008). Metabolic gene regulation in a dynamically changing environment Nature, 454 (7208), 1119-1122 DOI: 10.1038/nature07211
Jesse Stricker, Scott Cookson, Matthew R. Bennett, William H. Mather, Lev S. Tsimring, Jeff Hasty (2008). A fast, robust and tunable synthetic gene oscillator Nature, 456 (7221), 516-519 DOI: 10.1038/nature07389
Fuzziness is not simply the manifestation of methodological limitations, but is also inherent in many biological problems and our reductionist approaches to them
Monika Fuxreiter, Peter Tompa (2008). Fuzzy interactome: the limitations of models in molecular biology Trends in Biochemical Sciences DOI: 10.1016/j.tibs.2008.10.006