ISB News

Central Dogma

The Power of Touchscreens: ISB Researchers Develop Game to Help Students Learn Molecular Biology

Pop quiz: What’s the difference between DNA, RNA and proteins? ISB researchers have created a video game that teaches secondary students (grades 6-12) the key tenets of molecular biology in a fun, interactive and engaging way, and can be used by teachers as a supplemental aide to assist with complex lessons.

Dr. Jeff Ranish and Dr. Mark Gillespie

Mysteries of Cell Fate Unlocked with New Measurement and Modeling Techniques 

In the cellular process of differentiation, information about the concentrations of an important class of proteins residing in a cell’s nucleus has been lacking, a missing link needed for scientists to fully understand how the process works. ISB researchers have quantified this important class of proteins that play a key role in the formation of red blood cells.

The Institute for Systems Biology has a mission to make data available to the world. In a paper recently published in the journal Current Protocols in Bioinformatics, proteomics researchers in the lab of Dr. Robert Moritz provide a step-by-step tutorial demonstrating how to take advantage of web-based applications that let researchers share and use proteomics data.

Let Us Tell You Everything We Know About Proteomics – Everything

3 Bullets: Proteomics experiments generate huge amounts of raw data, most of which cannot be easily shared or described in a publication. ISB researchers curate publicly accessible databases that allow researchers to share their data with the world and to use data others have collected. All data are analyzed in a consistent manner and results are presented via searchable, user-friendly web applications. By Dr. Kristian Swearingen Institute for Systems Biology…

New Tool Uses 3-D Protein-DNA Structures to Predict Locations of Genetic ‘On-Off’ Switches

3 Bullets: Novel systems approach uses high-resolution structures of protein-DNA complexes to predict where transcription factors (genetic switches) bind and regulate the genome. This approach can help researchers better understand and predict binding sites for non-model organisms or ‘exotic’ species. Having such insight and predictive capabilities is critical for reverse- and forward-engineering organisms that could be pivotal for new green biotechnologies. By Jake Valenzuela and Justin Ashworth Researchers at the…

New Structural Map Helps To Understand Aggressive Tumors

3 Bullets: Aggressive tumor growth is linked to high activity of a macromolecular assembly called RNA polymerase I. ISB and FHCRC researchers collaborate to map the architecture of the assembly using a powerful crosslinking-mass spectrometry (CXMS) technology. Structural maps provide important insights into therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. By Mark Gillespie Rapidly growing tumor cells require large amounts of protein for their survival. This increased protein synthesis, or translation, can…

ISB Post Doc Gets Patent for Protein that Blocks HIV

Martin Shelton Martin Shelton, a post doc in the Lee Hood lab, just received his first patent. He shared the following explanation with his 10-year-old nephew who’s a burgeoning scientist/inventor/engineer. “We made a small molecule called a peptide (which is a sciency word for a piece of a protein). This peptide blocks a function that is key to the spread of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV, the virus that causes…

I ♥ Proteins

By Terry Farrah Since I first learned about them as a college sophomore, protein molecules have been my scientific passion. I love them for the beauty of their shapes and functions. Protein molecules are central to the workings of life, but in popular culture they are the unsung hero next to their high profile cousin, DNA. Everyone knows that DNA is the blueprint for life. But does one section of…