NEWEST: Andy's Research is on the Weather Channel!; Bruce receives funding for an alum;Te-Wen receives funding; Peter presents in Physics; Maki presents work co-authored with student and others; Kit Muma--Panel Discussion; Andy Smith receives Funding; Ian Woods Presented in Wisconsin; Nancy Jacobson Presented in California
Friday, September 13, 2013
Newest Research Findings Hit the Media:
- On the Weather Channel! "Slugs and Surgery?"
- YNN News Channel: "Substance found in slugs could replace the use of stitches"
Friday, September 13, 2013
Bruce Smith was granted funding for Alumni-in-the-Classroom via the H&S Educational Grant Initiative. William Brogan (Biology ’07) will be presenting during the department’s seminar series. Fall 2013.
Monday, September 9, 2013
Do Plants Defy Physical Laws? How plants move water against the forces of gravity and hydraulic resistance without using a heart-like pump. Peter Melcher. Physics Department Seminar Series, Ithaca College. September 2013.
In this seminar, I will explain the physics of sap ascent in plants and discuss the various obstacles that plants must overcome to get water from the soil to their thirsty leaves. Unlike many higher animal species that use a mechanical pump known as a heart to push fluids around their bodies, plants lack hearts because plant cells have cell walls which limit cellular flexibility and hearts are also very energetically expensive to maintain. This resulted in many cool evolutionary adaptations used by plants to overcome the forces of gravity and hydraulic resistance that allows them to move water through their bodies. The physics of fluid flow and the adaptations used by plants to translocate fluids will be the focus of this seminar.
Friday, September 6, 2013
Maki Inada. Poster Presentation. "Linking the C-Terminal Domain Code of RNA Polymerase II to Modulating Chromatin States in fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe”. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Eukaryotic mRNA Processing Meeting. Cold Spring Harbor, NY. August 2013. Co-authored with Robert Nichols (Biochemistry ’14), Beate Schwer (Cornell Weill Medical College) and Jeff Pleiss (Cornell University).
Regulation of gene expression is essential for all living organisms. One critical step in modulating gene expression is altering the ability of the transcriptional enzyme, RNA Polymerase II (RNAPII), to access DNA by manipulating chromatin states. The carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of RNAPII, is believed to play a critical role in chromatin remodeling through its recruitment of factors that modify histones. Conserved throughout evolution, the CTD contains a repeated Y1S2P3T4S5P6S7 heptapeptide sequence that undergoes dynamic posttranslational modifications. The capability of each serine in the sequence to undergo phosphorylation and dephosphorylation creates a readable ‘code’ for recruiting factors that can determine when processing events such as chromatin remodeling to occur. In order to characterize how specific phosphorylation marks in the CTD affect gene expression, mutants of fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe were rendered defective for phosphorylation by substituting a nonphosphorylatable alanine in place of each serine in position 2 in the heptad sequence (S2A), each position 7 serine (S7A), or all serines in position 2 and position 7 in combination (S2A/S7A). In addition, a fourth mutant was created in which the position 7 serines were substituted for the phosphomimetic glutamic acid (S7E). We have performed microarray experiments with these mutants to study the genome-wide effects of eliminating and altering these phosphorylation events. In agreement with previous results, we have observed the expression of STE11, which is required for mating in S. pombe, to be low in the S2A mutant, whereas levels are restored in the double mutant S2A/S7A. However, while others have observed defects in snRNA levels with these mutants in human cells, we do not see a similar decrease with our S. pombe mutants. Interestingly, analyses of our microarray data reveals an upregulation of positionally related clusters of genes, specifically in some telomeric regions. Further quantitative PCR analysis of genes in these telomeric regions confirm a significant upregulation of gene expression in the telomeric regions spanning approximately 50kb. Our microarray analyses and subsequent qPCR validation suggest a role for the dynamic phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of serines within the CTD code in modulating the chromatin states in large telomeric regions of S. pombe.
Thursday, September 5, 2013