Recent Posts

Traffic Management: The Indispensable Vesicular Transport System

Posted by Kin Leung on Jun 3, 2022 12:00:00 PM

When I taught high school biology, a favorite part of the curriculum was cellular structures and functions. I set up an activity suggested by other experienced biology teachers that was based on the “Cell City,” a learning analogy where students would create an artwork of a city with the mitochondrion as a power plant and a vacuole as a lake. (Figure 1) I wish I saved their very creative projects, but I distinctly remember one group used the Chicago Transit Authority’s elevated train system map to represent the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), a very clever use of the analogy and a nod to city pride. It was also the first time these students really thought about vesicular transport, although they didn't fully understand its importance.

Designer Genes: What's Next For CRISPR?

Posted by Kin Leung on May 13, 2022 12:00:00 PM

Towards the end of my doctoral research, I first heard the rumblings of an acronym termed “CRISPR” that was starting to gather momentum. By the time I earned my doctorate, the applications that were discussed in both theory and in practice accelerated to the point that, while I didn’t fully understand the mechanism of the factors involved, I was certain that the discovery and re-engineering of this prokaryotic phenomenon would eventually be recognized with a Nobel Prize. Less than a decade after their first publications on the topic, 1, 2 Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for the development of a method for genome editing,” which sounds a lot less important than it actually is!


How Next Generation Sequencing Changed Disease Research

Posted by Michele Mei on Oct 22, 2018 6:00:00 PM

Therapies targeting the function of a small intestinal protein, SGLT1, might have the potential to treat diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart failure, and associated death—and we have next generation sequencing to thank.