Menu

Image of the Day: Cell Droplets

Proteins and RNA aggregate into “membraneless organelles” due to liquid-liquid phase separation.

Apr 4, 2018
The Scientist Staff, The Scientist Staff

Proteins gather and separate into droplets in the nucleus of a HeLa cell.T NOTT ET AL.

Phase separation—the process of converting a solution into its constituent liquids—may explain how living cells keep the molecules within them apart. When a group of protein or RNA molecules gather together in a high enough concentration, physical forces can attract them to one another, causing them to phase-separate, forming droplets within the cell. The process has been observed in bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals (via Nature).

“It’s one of these in-hindsight, intuitive ideas. The second you hear it, it just makes a lot of sense,” Shana Elbaum-Garfinkle, a biophysicist at the City University of New York Advanced Science Research Center, tells Nature. “It’s a new paradigm that’s really transforming our understanding of cell biology as a whole.”

T. Nott et al., “Phase transition of a disordered nuage protein generates environmentally responsive membraneless organelles,” Molecular Cell, doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2015.01.013, 2015. 

 

November 2018

Intelligent Science

Wrapping our heads around human smarts

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Slice® Safety Cutters for Lab Work

Slice® Safety Cutters for Lab Work

Slice cutting tools—which feature our patent-pending safety blades—meet many lab-specific requirements. Our scalpels and craft knives are well suited for delicate work, and our utility knives are good for general use.

The Lab of the Future: Alinity Poised to Reinvent Clinical Diagnostic Testing and Help Improve Healthcare

The Lab of the Future: Alinity Poised to Reinvent Clinical Diagnostic Testing and Help Improve Healthcare

Every minute counts when waiting for accurate diagnostic test results to guide critical care decisions, making today's clinical lab more important than ever. In fact, nearly 70 percent of critical care decisions are driven by a diagnostic test.

LGC announces new, integrated, global portfolio brand, Biosearch Technologies, representing genomic tools for mission critical customer applications

LGC announces new, integrated, global portfolio brand, Biosearch Technologies, representing genomic tools for mission critical customer applications

LGC’s Genomics division announced it is transforming its branding under LGC, Biosearch Technologies, a unified portfolio brand integrating optimised genomic analysis technologies and tools to accelerate scientific outcomes.