Utility of rescue experiments in biology

Loss of function assays are common in biology for understanding the function associated with a protein or gene. Typically, targeted mutagenesis is used for creating a specific gene or protein mutant, that due to loss of critical sequence information, result in a loss of function. Thus, the function lost can be associated with the gene … More Utility of rescue experiments in biology

Phylogenetic trees track the evolutionary relatedness of genes and proteins

The tree of life is currently defined by a phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene, which harbours deep evolutionary information on the development of various species on Earth. Specifically, it is highly conserved across species, and yet possesses sufficient variability for individual species to be identified by differential sequence at the gene level. Thus, … More Phylogenetic trees track the evolutionary relatedness of genes and proteins

Utility of CRISPR-Cas9 in genome editing lies in the error rate of DNA repair

Originally used in defending bacterial cells from attacks by viruses, clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) has been modified and utilized in editing single bases in DNA in a process known as genome editing. However, efficiency of CRISPR and CRISPR associated protein 9 (Cas9) in executing precise single nucleotide genome editing remains poor due … More Utility of CRISPR-Cas9 in genome editing lies in the error rate of DNA repair

Clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) bacterial defense system

Clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) is a bacterial defense system against foreign DNA or RNA carried by viruses, bacteriophages, or membrane vesicles. Specifically, nestled within the genome of the bacteria, CRISPR carries a memory of past infection of viruses and foreign DNA and RNA, and uses a Cas9 protein for destroying foreign DNA … More Clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) bacterial defense system

Degeneracy in protein sequence meant that evolutionary conservation occurred at the structure level

Given the importance of many proteins to the maintenance of cellular processes, the structures of the proteins are highly conserved independent of the sequence information at the amino acid and nucleotide level. This raises an important question in evolutionary biology: the direction in which natural selection exerts its effect in selecting for specific information bits … More Degeneracy in protein sequence meant that evolutionary conservation occurred at the structure level

Endosymbiosis may have occurred more than once

Multiple theories exist to explain the occurrence of endosymbiosis, which is the leading theory outlining the sequence of events that led to the formation of modern cells. Specifically, modern cells are ancestral prokaryotic cells nestled within an eukaryotic host cell. For example, mitochondrion in cells have been identified as ancestral prokaryotic cells that evolved into … More Endosymbiosis may have occurred more than once

Field deployable DNA sequencers

Since its inception in the 1990s, multiple revolutions have occurred in the field of DNA sequencing, where successive iterations of the technology enabled more reliable and less error prone sequencing of increasingly larger segments of DNA from a variety of sources such as human, bacteria, fungi, viruses etc. Indeed, DNA sequencing technology has revolutionized biology … More Field deployable DNA sequencers

Utility of co-expression analysis

In biology, researchers often seek to understand the factors that underpin a particular cellular process or diseased state. Thus, this line of thinking necessarily result in experiment design that seek to correlate molecular events with cellular processes, which could be readout experimentally, either through microscopy techniques or enzymatic biochemical assays. More generally, co-expression analysis is … More Utility of co-expression analysis

Lipid metabolism and its role in obesity and health

Obese but healthy, thin but suffering from a multitude of disorders including metabolic syndrome. For years, this clinical observation, also known as metabolic healthy obese, has befuddled doctors and medical researchers, and motivated significant amount of research aimed at understanding the aetiology of obesity and its implications in health and disease.   Why would obesity … More Lipid metabolism and its role in obesity and health

Role of activating mutation in potentiating cancer

Article in Nature, Vol. 539, 10 November 2016, pp. 304, “Leukaemogenic effects of Ptpn11 activating mutations in the stem cell microenvironment”   Summary of article: Effect of the postulated activating mutation, Ptpn11, on leukaemia was investigated in genetically altered mice harbouring the mutation.   Link to the original article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27783593   Category: cancer, biochemistry, developmental … More Role of activating mutation in potentiating cancer