Visualizing Unfolded Protein Movement Within the Cell

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 12-10-2014

In an interesting study, Professor Martin Gruebele from the University of Illinois, led a team that developed a way to watch how unfolded proteins move through a cell using a fluorescent microscope and three-dimensional diffusion modeling.

While it had been widely considered that, due to their large size, unfolded proteins move slower through cells than their folded counterparts, the current study found that interactions between unfolded proteins and chaperones play a large part in controlling the velocity of protein movement throughout the cell. In general, unfolded protein binds to chaperones which help facilitate their movement throughout the cell. When the ratio of unfolded proteins to chaperones becomes too high, the unfolded protein gets stuck in a cellular traffic jam which retards their movement throughout the cell.

In addition, unfolded proteins also bind to other non-chaperone proteins which, in effect, disrupt their flow within the cell.

The team plans to use a specialized microscope to study other proteins and how unfolding affects their diffusion, to see if the properties they observed are universal or if each protein has its own response.

Citation: Guo M, Gelman H, Gruebele M (2014) Coupled Protein Diffusion and Folding in the Cell. PLoS ONE 9(12): e113040. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113040

President Obama Secretly Tinkering with Molecular Biology

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 12-09-2014

The President recently visited the NIH and let everyone in on his secret, world-class, molecular biology lab. Flow cytometer included!

H/T NIH

Learn Total Protein Normalization from the Experts

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 12-08-2014

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Image Labâ„¢ Software

Presented by: Kate Clark, PhD Senior Technical Support Specialist

Presented by:
Kate Clark, PhD
Senior Technical Support Specialist

Join us for a 30 minute live webinar developed and delivered by our knowledgeable Technical Support Team.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 | 10:00 AM Pacific
As you get ready to use your new system, we will provide you with an opportunity to learn about total protein normalization using Stain-Free Technology.
This training will cover the steps to use Image Lab software to normalize your western blot data, as well as provide guidelines for using housekeeping proteins as loading controls.

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A Movie that Reflects YOUR Reality!

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 12-04-2014

This movie looks awesome! A story of our lives!

How Biological Research Harms Psychiatric Patients

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 12-03-2014

Most scientists live by the motto “the more knowledge the better.” We spend the majority of our careers, (and maybe even our lives), trying to understand the biological mechanisms involved in every facet of life and we will never be satisfied as long as there is more science to discover. However, in some circumstances, too much knowledge can be harmful.

In a study recently conducted by scientists at Yale University and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that when clinicians read descriptions of patients whose symptoms were explained using information that focused on either genetics and neurobiology, their level of empathy for the patient actually decreases.

According to Matthew Lebowitz, lead author of the study

Overemphasis on biology to explain psychopathology can be dehumanizing by reducing people to mere biological mechanisms

Two of the most important qualities that patients look for in physicians are competency and compassion. While competency is often a function of knowledge and understanding of mechanisms of disease, doctors must be careful not to allow that knowledge dampen their compassion towards their patients.

For more information visit For docs, more biology info means less empathy for mental health patients