Enzyme likely evolved from a high temperature to a low temperature environment

Given that the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) cells likely existed in alkaline hydrothermal vents in the ocean, enzymes that exist by that time in life’s evolution should be ones adapted to high temperature environments. Thus, in progressing from a high to low temperature environment, enzymes likely took a path down the energy ladder in … More Enzyme likely evolved from a high temperature to a low temperature environment

RNA-seq may be a better option at profiling the transcriptome than protein microarray

RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) enables the profiling of the transcriptome of cells where mRNA generated by transcription would be sequenced to yield the identities of the transcripts. Thus, RNA-seq provides a comprehensive view of gene expression since it has access to both protein-based transcripts as well as non-protein (i.e., RNA) transcripts. Such capability meant that RNA-seq … More RNA-seq may be a better option at profiling the transcriptome than protein microarray

Differential transcriptional start sites modulate gene expression

Adjacent to the promoter lies the transcriptional start sites of genes that define the starting point of the mRNA transcript. However, there are genes with multiple transcriptional start sites that define slightly different variants of the same mRNA transcript. Such variants of the same mRNA transcript typically have different 5’ untranslated region that may impact … More Differential transcriptional start sites modulate gene expression

CRISPR activation could enhance gene expression

Besides genome editing, modifications made to the Cas9 endonuclease of CRISPR (clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats) have enabled the technique to be used for purposes such as gene activation, gene repression, and modifying the epigenome. The key lies in inactivating the Cas9 protein’s endonuclease activity through the introduction of two point mutations at the … More CRISPR activation could enhance gene expression

Construction of single chromosome yeast cells

Yeast cells carry 16 linear chromosomes for encapsulating the genome of the species. Recent research has sought to rewrite the genome of yeast and one approach seeks to reduce the number of chromosomes required to encode all the genomic information. Specifically, by deleting the centromere and telomere of yeast chromosomes and fusing one chromosome with … More Construction of single chromosome yeast cells

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell immunotherapy for cancer

Use of the body’s immune system in fighting cancer has attracted much research attention over the past few years. Specifically, different approaches such as checkpoint inhibitors and chimeric antigen receptor T-cell have been shown to be effective in killing tumour cells and controlling cancer.   In the case of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CART), a … More Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell immunotherapy for cancer

CRISPR interference could negate the need for construction of deletion mutants

Loss of function studies is commonly used to decipher the functions of genes. Multiple ways could be used to implement loss of function of genes such as inactivation of gene expression or construction of deletion mutants. Due to the problem of leaky expression, inactivation of gene expression might not completely abrogate the expression of a … More CRISPR interference could negate the need for construction of deletion mutants

Anti-CRISPR proteins protect bacteriophages during infection of bacteria

CRISPR (clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats) is an adaptive immune system that protects bacteria and archaea against viruses and foreign DNA. Specifically, CRISPR and CRISPR associated proteins do constant surveillance of the cell’s cytoplasm for foreign DNA. Once detected, CRISPR-Cas would bind to the foreign DNA and activate an endonuclease system for cleaving the … More Anti-CRISPR proteins protect bacteriophages during infection of bacteria

Phase separation of transcriptional activation complex in cells

DNA transcription is a complex choreographed exercise where myriad transcription factors, accessory proteins and RNA polymerase assemble on defined sites close to the transcriptional start site for the generation of a messenger RNA (mRNA) from DNA. While it was conventionally viewed as distinct molecules mediating the process, recent studies have observed, through various microscopy techniques, … More Phase separation of transcriptional activation complex in cells

Error-prone PCR generates mutant library needed for screening new improved phenotypes of enzymes

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the workhorse of modern biology given that it provides for the amplification of small amount of DNA to quantities useful for subsequent steps of most biological workflows. For example, PCR is commonly used to amplify specific target genes such as 16S rRNA of bacterial species in environmental samples to help … More Error-prone PCR generates mutant library needed for screening new improved phenotypes of enzymes