Understanding Mammalian RNA Regulation

In an advance, online publication of Science this week, Chaolin Zhang and colleagues at The Rockefeller University report their approach for “understanding mammalian RNA regulation at the systems level” using “Bayesian networks to probabilistically model diverse datasets and predict the target networks of specific regulators.” Zhang et al. used their strategy to elucidate nearly 700 alternative splicing events that are directly regulated by Nova, a neuron-specific factor in the mouse brain.    This research headlines today’s  June 18 issue of Genomeweb’s  “The Daily Scan.”

Hamburg, Collins Chart Course to Personalized Medicine in NEJM

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg and National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins presented their vision for the future of personalized medicine in a perspectives article appearing online in the New England Journal of Medicine yesterday.

In it they explained that while researchers are inching closer to personalized medicine — identifying genetic variants involved in diagnosing disease and predicting treatment response — there are still a range of significant scientific and policy issues that need to be dealt with before personalized medicine reaches its full potential.

Scientists Reconstruct a Bacterial Transport Channel in a Test Tube

ScienceDaily (June 14, 2010) — For a successful infection, bacteria must outwit the immune system of the host. To this aim, they deliver so-called virulence factors through a transport channel located in the bacterial membrane. In some bacteria this transport channel is formed like a syringe, enabling them to inject virulence factors directly into the host cell. Scientists from the Max Planck Society and the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing have now succeeded for the first time in elucidating basic principles of the assembly of this transport channel. This is an important starting point for the development of new drugs that might interfere considerably earlier than antibiotics in the course of infection. The research is published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

Harvard’s Gary Ruvken Highlights Basic Research in Keynote to Genetics Society

In his keynote talk at the Genetics Society of America’s Genetics 2010: Model Organisms to Human Biology meeting in Boston this week, Harvard Medical School’s Gary Ruvkun spoke to the importance of basic research in model organisms — or “cardinal organisms,” as he prefers to call them. “The reason I don’t like ‘model organisms,'” he told the audience of geneticists, is because it “sounds like model airplanes — it just sounds tiny. … Comparative genomics is empowering human genomics and human genetics; we have to be much more aggressive as people who work on invertebrates and yeast and things.” Ruvkun suggests that those who study Drosophila genetics “have been the least aggressive” in staking their claim of advances in applied genetics which have had important clinical applications. Some oncologists, he said, “don’t know why it’s called ‘wingless.'”

“If we renamed it ‘cardinal organisms,’ that sounds much more important,” Ruvkun told attendees. “In navigation, you have these cardinal sites that tell you where to go” – which is appropriate because geneticists who study model systems are “really the beacons for genetic analysis” in humans,” he said.

Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology 2010 – $25,000 First Prize

Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology 2010 – $25,000 First Prize

The Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology is an annual international research prize of $25,000, awarded to one early career scientist* for his or her outstanding contributions to neurobiology research based on methods of molecular and cell biology.

Though the June 15, 2010 deadline is fast approaching, there is still time to submit an application.

Submitting for the Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology 2010 is easy:

  • Write an essay that describes your research as it pertains to current methods and advances in the field of neurobiology. The essay must not exceed 1,000 words, and it should be submitted in English. You must have done or directed all of the work and this work must have been performed in the past three years.
  • Include a one-page letter of recommendation from your postdoctoral adviser, supervisor, or other senior colleague who is familiar with your work.
  • Add a version of your curriculum vitae that includes:
    • Full citations of papers that you have published on the research described in the essay
    • Academic and professional awards and honors that you’ve received
    • Relevant professional experience
    • Copies of two of your papers that are most relevant to the essay
    • A completed entry form.

Email your entry form and the elements listed above to eppendorfscienceprize@aaas.org and you’ll be in the running for a truly career altering opportunity, including a $25,000 prize.

* Entrants must be 35 years of age or younger