MolBio Research Highlights

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We highlight and comment selected stand-out papers, techniques, tools, websites and news in molecular biology.

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  • November 8, 2010
  • 09:59 AM
  • 556 views

Oh, so I guess they just couldn't do the experiment again...

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

In 20051, the Liu lab described a new central element in the Neurospora circadian clock. They found that an RNA helicase with similarity to the yeast exosome cofactor Dob1p/Mtr4p, associated with FRQ, a core clock component essential for circadian clock function in this fungus (it was termed FRH, for "FRQ-interacting RNA helicase"). Their evidence suggested that FRH played an important role in ... Read more »

  • August 2, 2010
  • 02:25 PM
  • 890 views

The MolBio Carnival: the first edition

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

I’m pleased to host the very first edition of the MolBio Carnival, your monthly roundup of interesting posts in molecular biology from the science blogosphere. There has been a great response to this initiative and I had a great time reviewing submissions and writing this post.
You can read all about this Carnival here (submission guidelines, scope, etc), but right now, let’s get down to ... Read more »

  • July 19, 2010
  • 04:13 PM
  • 897 views

[Direct Connection] Sweet and Sour: Glucose-6-Phosphate, Anoxia, and Enzyme Regulation

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

The “Direct Connection” section of MolBio Research Highlights includes blog posts discussing primary research articles in the field, but the interesting thing about it is that these posts are written by the authors themselves. This allows them to discuss the background, results and implications of their work with a wider audience and in a more relaxed format. Further, as it provides a direct link... Read more »

  • June 28, 2010
  • 02:32 PM
  • 762 views

A clever genetic strategy for the study of circadian output pathways

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights


Circadian clocks control a large number of daily processes in most organisms. These endogenous cellular timekeepers regulate rhythms in gene expression, physiology and behaviour and enable organisms to anticipate predictable environmental variations.
Circadian clocks are composed of a central oscillator and two signaling pathways: input pathways convey external signals to the oscillator, so ... Read more »

  • April 5, 2010
  • 10:09 AM
  • 1,090 views

Matryoshka dolls in biology, the connection between flowers, stem cells and fat and more, in my Picks of the Week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

Craddock, N., Hurles, M., Cardin, N., Pearson, R., Plagnol, V., Robson, S., Vukcevic, D., Barnes, C., Conrad, D., Giannoulatou, E.... (2010) Genome-wide association study of CNVs in 16,000 cases of eight common diseases and 3,000 shared controls. Nature, 464(7289), 713-720. DOI: 10.1038/nature08979  

Cleveland, L., & Grimstone, A. (1964) The Fine Structure of the Flagellate Mixotricha paradoxa and Its Associated Micro-Organisms. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences (1934-1990), 159(977), 668-686. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.1964.0025  

Koretke KK, Lupas AN, Warren PV, Rosenberg M, & Brown JR. (2000) Evolution of two-component signal transduction. Molecular biology and evolution, 17(12), 1956-70. PMID: 11110912  

Zhang, Q., Raoof, M., Chen, Y., Sumi, Y., Sursal, T., Junger, W., Brohi, K., Itagaki, K., & Hauser, C. (2010) Circulating mitochondrial DAMPs cause inflammatory responses to injury. Nature, 464(7285), 104-107. DOI: 10.1038/nature08780  

Kilian, K., Bugarija, B., Lahn, B., & Mrksich, M. (2010) Geometric cues for directing the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(11), 4872-4877. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0903269107  

  • March 22, 2010
  • 09:06 AM
  • 936 views

Dominant transposases, becoming famous for your lab mistakes and more, in my Picks of the Week from RB.

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

Christodoulou, F., Raible, F., Tomer, R., Simakov, O., Trachana, K., Klaus, S., Snyman, H., Hannon, G., Bork, P., & Arendt, D. (2010) Ancient animal microRNAs and the evolution of tissue identity. Nature, 463(7284), 1084-1088. DOI: 10.1038/nature08744  

  • March 15, 2010
  • 09:23 AM
  • 1,255 views

Surveying the gut microbiota, cross dressing chickens and more, in my Picks of the Week, from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

Qin, J., Li, R., Raes, J., Arumugam, M., Burgdorf, K., Manichanh, C., Nielsen, T., Pons, N., Levenez, F., Yamada, T.... (2010) A human gut microbial gene catalogue established by metagenomic sequencing. Nature, 464(7285), 59-65. DOI: 10.1038/nature08821  

Vijay-Kumar, M., Aitken, J., Carvalho, F., Cullender, T., Mwangi, S., Srinivasan, S., Sitaraman, S., Knight, R., Ley, R., & Gewirtz, A. (2010) Metabolic Syndrome and Altered Gut Microbiota in Mice Lacking Toll-Like Receptor 5. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1179721  

Zhao, D., McBride, D., Nandi, S., McQueen, H., McGrew, M., Hocking, P., Lewis, P., Sang, H., & Clinton, M. (2010) Somatic sex identity is cell autonomous in the chicken. Nature, 464(7286), 237-242. DOI: 10.1038/nature08852  

  • March 8, 2010
  • 08:53 AM
  • 756 views

Non-inherited antibiotic resistance, jumping viruses and more, in my Picks of the Week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

Balaban NQ, Merrin J, Chait R, Kowalik L, & Leibler S. (2004) Bacterial persistence as a phenotypic switch. Science (New York, N.Y.), 305(5690), 1622-5. PMID: 15308767  

  • March 2, 2010
  • 10:19 AM
  • 652 views

Molecular machines and memorable African genomes in my Picks of the Week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

Clements, A., Bursac, D., Gatsos, X., Perry, A., Civciristov, S., Celik, N., Likic, V., Poggio, S., Jacobs-Wagner, C., Strugnell, R.... (2009) The reducible complexity of a mitochondrial molecular machine. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(37), 15791-15795. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0908264106  

Schuster SC, Miller W, Ratan A, Tomsho LP, Giardine B, Kasson LR, Harris RS, Petersen DC, Zhao F, Qi J.... (2010) Complete Khoisan and Bantu genomes from southern Africa. Nature, 463(7283), 943-7. PMID: 20164927  

  • February 17, 2010
  • 08:33 AM
  • 1,062 views

The Almighty Fungi: The Revolutionary Neurospora crassa

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

On January 11 2010, a new series of blog posts was born over at Benchfly: BenchFly’s Model Organism Week. The idea was to invite fellow science bloggers to discuss and present some of the many model organism used in biology to the rest of the science blogosphere.In that post, a poll was displayed asking people´s model organism of choice, and offered the following alternatives:* Mice* Flies* Rats*... Read more »

  • February 1, 2010
  • 08:18 AM
  • 794 views

GWAS under attack?, historical evolutionary constraints, and a lot more, in my picks of the week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.This week's ... Read more »

Durrant, J., Amaro, R., Xie, L., Urbaniak, M., Ferguson, M., Haapalainen, A., Chen, Z., Di Guilmi, A., Wunder, F., Bourne, P.... (2010) A Multidimensional Strategy to Detect Polypharmacological Targets in the Absence of Structural and Sequence Homology. PLoS Computational Biology, 6(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000648  

KEELING, P., BURGER, G., DURNFORD, D., LANG, B., LEE, R., PEARLMAN, R., ROGER, A., & GRAY, M. (2005) The tree of eukaryotes. Trends in Ecology , 20(12), 670-676. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2005.09.005  

Milinkovitch, M., Helaers, R., & Tzika, A. (2009) Historical Constraints on Vertebrate Genome Evolution. Genome Biology and Evolution, 13-18. DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evp052  

Dickson, S., Wang, K., Krantz, I., Hakonarson, H., & Goldstein, D. (2010) Rare Variants Create Synthetic Genome-Wide Associations. PLoS Biology, 8(1). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000294  

  • January 18, 2010
  • 09:02 AM
  • 777 views

Protein dancing partners, yeast as our allies, and more, in my Picks of the Week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

Brückner A, Polge C, Lentze N, Auerbach D, & Schlattner U. (2009) Yeast two-hybrid, a powerful tool for systems biology. International journal of molecular sciences, 10(6), 2763-88. PMID: 19582228  

Hughes, J., Skaletsky, H., Pyntikova, T., Graves, T., van Daalen, S., Minx, P., Fulton, R., McGrath, S., Locke, D., Friedman, C.... (2010) Chimpanzee and human Y chromosomes are remarkably divergent in structure and gene content. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08700  

Oldenburg KR, Vo KT, Michaelis S, & Paddon C. (1997) Recombination-mediated PCR-directed plasmid construction in vivo in yeast. Nucleic acids research, 25(2), 451-2. PMID: 9016579  

  • January 13, 2010
  • 03:36 PM
  • 866 views

Fourth time is the charm: the quest for the final plasmid

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

In a previous post, I highlighted the wonders of using yeast recombinational cloning (YRC) as an alternative to “classic” cloning, particularly when under a high-throughput approach [See An alternative cloning strategy: yeast recombinational cloning].Just to refresh your memory, and in a nutshell, the idea is to co-transform the DNA segment to be cloned into yeast along with the linearized target... Read more »

  • January 12, 2010
  • 07:11 AM
  • 715 views

Hybrid sterility in fruit flies, regulating the mammalian circadian clock and more, in my Picks of the Week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

  • December 27, 2009
  • 10:34 PM
  • 780 views

“Filling the gaps in the tree of life” and “Stochasticity in gene expression” in my Picks of the Week from RB.

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

Wu, D., Hugenholtz, P., Mavromatis, K., Pukall, R., Dalin, E., Ivanova, N., Kunin, V., Goodwin, L., Wu, M., Tindall, B.... (2009) A phylogeny-driven genomic encyclopaedia of Bacteria and Archaea. Nature, 462(7276), 1056-1060. DOI: 10.1038/nature08656  

Maamar H, Raj A, & Dubnau D. (2007) Noise in gene expression determines cell fate in Bacillus subtilis. Science (New York, N.Y.), 317(5837), 526-9. PMID: 17569828  

  • December 21, 2009
  • 04:02 PM
  • 1,030 views

“Chameleon sequences’’, “surveying the human microbiota” and more, in my picks of the week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

Pleasance, E., Stephens, P., O’Meara, S., McBride, D., Meynert, A., Jones, D., Lin, M., Beare, D., Lau, K., Greenman, C.... (2009) A small-cell lung cancer genome with complex signatures of tobacco exposure. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature08629  

Alexander, P., He, Y., Chen, Y., Orban, J., & Bryan, P. (2009) From the Cover: A minimal sequence code for switching protein structure and function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(50), 21149-21154. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0906408106  

Costello, E., Lauber, C., Hamady, M., Fierer, N., Gordon, J., & Knight, R. (2009) Bacterial Community Variation in Human Body Habitats Across Space and Time. Science, 326(5960), 1694-1697. DOI: 10.1126/science.1177486  

  • December 14, 2009
  • 12:11 PM
  • 745 views

"A tale of two membranes", "follow the (Spliced) Leader" and more in my picks of the week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

  • December 7, 2009
  • 10:07 AM
  • 760 views

"Moving through mucus", "quick death-tagging" and more, in my picks of the week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

Celli, J., Turner, B., Afdhal, N., Keates, S., Ghiran, I., Kelly, C., Ewoldt, R., McKinley, G., So, P., Erramilli, S.... (2009) Helicobacter pylori moves through mucus by reducing mucin viscoelasticity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(34), 14321-14326. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0903438106  

  • December 2, 2009
  • 09:21 PM
  • 1,246 views

An alternative cloning strategy: yeast recombinational cloning

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

As part of my Ph.D thesis, I have to generate a lot of transcriptional fusions (constructs in which a promoter of choice is cloned in front of a reporter gene in order to evaluate transcriptional regulation. Such plasmids can then be transformed into your model organism to study this regulation in vivo).Traditionally, this involves amplifying the region of interest (in my case a promoter region) ... Read more »

  • November 30, 2009
  • 08:13 AM
  • 846 views

“Bacterial Fortresses” and “gene-trafficking phages”, in my picks of the week from RB

by Alejandro Montenegro-Montero in MolBio Research Highlights

Another week has gone by and some very interesting molbio blog posts have been aggregated to Researchblogging.org. Every week [see my opening post on the matter], I'll select some blog posts I consider particularly interesting in the field of molecular biology [see here to get a sense of the criteria that will be used], briefly describe them and list them here for you to check out.Note that I'm ... Read more »

Alhede M, Bjarnsholt T, Jensen PØ, Phipps RK, Moser C, Christophersen L, Christensen LD, van Gennip M, Parsek M, Høiby N.... (2009) Pseudomonas aeruginosa recognizes and responds aggressively to the presence of polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Microbiology (Reading, England), 155(Pt 11), 3500-8. PMID: 19643762  

Sharon, I., Alperovitch, A., Rohwer, F., Haynes, M., Glaser, F., Atamna-Ismaeel, N., Pinter, R., Partensky, F., Koonin, E., Wolf, Y.... (2009) Photosystem I gene cassettes are present in marine virus genomes. Nature, 461(7261), 258-262. DOI: 10.1038/nature08284  

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