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. 

 

January 2019

Cannabis on Board

Research suggests ill effects of cannabinoids in the womb

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

WIN a VIAFLO 96/384 to supercharge your microplate pipetting!
WIN a VIAFLO 96/384 to supercharge your microplate pipetting!
INTEGRA Biosciences is offering labs the chance to win a VIAFLO 96/384 pipette. Designed to simplify plate replication, plate reformatting or reservoir-to-plate transfers, the VIAFLO 96/384 allows labs without the space or budget for an expensive pipetting robot to increase the speed and throughput of routine tasks.
FORMULATRIX® digital PCR technology to be acquired by QIAGEN
FORMULATRIX® digital PCR technology to be acquired by QIAGEN
FORMULATRIX has announced that their digital PCR assets, including the CONSTELLATION® series of instruments, is being acquired by QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN, Frankfurt Stock Exchange: QIA) for up to $260 million ($125 million upfront payment and $135 million of milestones).  QIAGEN has announced plans for a global launch in 2020 of a new series of digital PCR platforms that utilize the advanced dPCR technology developed by FORMULATRIX combined with QIAGEN’s expertise in assay development and automation.
Application of CRISPR/Cas to the Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice
Application of CRISPR/Cas to the Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice
With this application note from Taconic, learn about the power that the CRISPR/Cas system has to revolutionize the field of custom mouse model generation!
Translational Models of Obesity, Dysmetabolism, Diabetes, and Complications
Translational Models of Obesity, Dysmetabolism, Diabetes, and Complications
This webinar, from Crown Bioscience, presents a unique continuum of translational dysmetabolic platforms that more closely mimic human disease. Learn about using next-generation rodent and spontaneously diabetic non-human primate models to accurately model human-relevant disease progression and complications related to obesity and diabetes here!