Translation Just in the Cytoplasm? Think Again

Paradigms don't shift easily. But in a recent paper,1 researchers-nearly four years after their initial observation and one year after boarding the journal-submission carousel-are challenging one of modern biology's central tenets. For at least 25 years, biologists have believed that although transcription and translation are coupled in bacteria, they are separated in eukaryotic cells. However, new work from Peter Cook's laboratory at the University of Oxford, UK, which demonstrates translation

Jeffrey Perkel
Oct 28, 2001
Paradigms don't shift easily. But in a recent paper,1 researchers-nearly four years after their initial observation and one year after boarding the journal-submission carousel-are challenging one of modern biology's central tenets. For at least 25 years, biologists have believed that although transcription and translation are coupled in bacteria, they are separated in eukaryotic cells. However, new work from Peter Cook's laboratory at the University of Oxford, UK, which demonstrates translation in eukaryotic nuclei, provides compelling evidence that this distinction no longer exists.

Naturally, this new research is controversial-paradigm shifts always are. But, says Brandeis University's Michael Rosbash, whose postdoctoral fellow is working on a similar problem, "Cook has gone a long way to making believers out of a lot of skeptics, including myself." Says Leslie Leinwand, chair, department of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, University of Colorado, Boulder: "This goes against everybody's dogma so much that...