Posted by: Dan | October 29, 2006

Cells in Focus

nuclei stainingI’m not ambitious enough to think there are enough cell biology bloggers out there for a carnival, but what other bloggers are discussing research articles or on-going research? I’m just asking, because, well, I’d like to send some link-love out to my cytological peeps.

To that end, here’s a brief round-up of blog posts on cell biology and related topics, that I’ve bookmarked in the past week…

Cellular Physiology Studied with Lab-on-a-Chip

  • A team led by Marshal Porterfield, an associate professor at Purdue University’s Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, has fabricated a micro-electromechanical systems-based lab-on-a-chip which they have used for measuring the concentrations and fluxes of calcium ions around single cells.

Hybrid TIRF/AFM Imaging

  • One of the things I’ve been working on in the last few months is simultaneous fluorescence and atomic force microscopy (AFM) of a variety of biological samples. I’ve talked about total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, or TIRF, before and I’ve also shown you some AFM images of leaves and insect wings so I think the time is ripe to show you some work on combining the two.

Scientists’ Cell Discovery Unearths Evolutionary Clues

  • The full family tree of the species known as social amoebas has been plotted for the first time – a breakthrough which will provide important clues to the evolution of life on earth.

Scientists Prove That Parts Of Cell Nuclei Are Not Arranged At Random

  • The nucleus of a mammal cell is made up of component parts arranged in a pattern which can be predicted statistically, says new research published today. Scientists hope this discovery that parts of the inside of a cell nucleus are not arranged at random will give greater insight into how cells work and could eventually lead to a greater understanding of how they become dysfunctional in diseases like cancer.

Viruses May Influence Memory

  • Regular readers know an interest of mine are infections that cause more than just the typical acute spectrum of disease. For example, I’ve written on the role microbes might play in obesity, or the role of viruses in chronic disease such as cancer and, of course, AIDS. Still, typically, infections are thought of as acute and self-limited; that is, they infect the individual, cause illness, and are resolved in a matter of days or weeks, even though we know that this doesn’t always happen. And increasingly, we’re finding that infections are associated with all kinds of long-term diseases or conditions, either causally or as a co-factor. A recent article highlights one area of investigation: how viral infections can influence memory problems.

Some Thoughts on Mitosis and Cancer

  • At that same meeting over the past weekend, I heard Tim Mitchison give an interesting talk about mitosis and pharmacogenetics. For any of you who don’t know, Tim’s lab has been at the fore front of analyzing how the mitotic spindle operates. Tim was the first to visualize microtubules, the major constituents of the spindle, in a live cell. In his seminar, he led us on a tour of 20 years of thought about mitosis.

Magnetotactic bacteria

  • Magnetoreception is one of the most fascinating sensory modalities in living organisms. Most of the work has been done in homing pigeons, migrating birds and salmon. More recently, work has been done in mammals and fruitflies. But this sense is not limited only to the most complex organisms – it is found in a number of bacterial species…


%d bloggers like this: