Year: 2015

Nucleosome cores are screws, not cans or bubbles

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Each one of your cells is too small to be seen with the naked eye. Remarkably, each one has 6 feet of DNA packed inside a smaller compartment (nucleus) within the cell. Very complicated data has solved this mystery…can the data be presented in an attractive and understandable way? Read the rest of this entry »


Research – Biotechnology & Bioengineering – The histone deacetylase inhibitor Entinostat enhances polymer-mediated transgene expression in cancer cell lines

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Abstract_figureThe histone deacetylase inhibitor entinostat enhances polymer-mediated transgene expression in cancer cell lines
Elmer JJ, Christensen MD, Barua S, Lehrman J, Haynes KA, Rege K. (2015) Biotechnol Bioeng. PMID: 26614912

Collaborators from the Haynes Lab (ASU, SBHSE), Rege Lab (ASU, SEMTE), and Elmer Lab (Villanova) published our discovery of how drugs that modify epigenetic mechanisms improve the expression of synthetic genes that are delivered into cultured human cells. Dr. Elmer is the first author. Dr. Haynes and Matt Christensen (Rege Lab) used quantitative PCR to discover that treatment with a low molecular weight compound called Entinostat led to increased uptake of synthetic DNA into the nuclei of cells.


ASU Brings Syn Bio to 5th Graders

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On Thursday, October 22, 2016, Haynes Lab PhD student Cassandra Barrett and ASU Professor Michael Caplan presented a hands-on lesson about synthetic biology to a classroom of fifth graders at Phoenix Country Day School. More details to follow.

Interview: Dr. Karmella Haynes: Expressing Her Creativity Making Epigenetic Machinery and Designing Biological Devices

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M. McNeely, 10.12.2015, People Behind the Science Podcast: Dr. Karmella Haynes is an Assistant Professor in the Ira A. Fulton School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering at Arizona State University. She is also a senior judge for the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition. She received her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to joining the faculty at ASU, Karmella was awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Teaching and Research fellowship at Davidson College, followed by an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School. Karmella is with us today to tell us all about her journey through life and science.

Read excerpts and listen to the interview at People Behind the Science.

Editorial – Frontiers in Bioengineering – Synthetic Biology: Engineering Complexity and Refactoring Cell Capabilities

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Synthetic Biology: Engineering Complexity and Refactoring Cell Capabilities
Ceroni F, Carbonell P, François J-M and Haynes KA (2015) Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol. 3:120. PMID: 26347864

This editorial was written for a special topic issue in the journal Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. Featured articles included the latest progress in synthetic biology with. Research papers focused on rational design within the context of a complex, natural cell or system. In spite of (or because of) biological complexity, bioengineering has produced some concrete biotechnological applications. The cover art was created by Dr. Karmella Haynes.

Review – Frontiers in Bioengineering – Can the natural diversity of quorum-sensing advance synthetic biology?

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Can the natural diversity of quorum-sensing advance synthetic biology?
Davis RM, Muller RY and Haynes KA (2015) Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol. 3:30. PMID: 25806368.

Quorum sensing takes place when small molecules generated by one bacterium diffuse over to a neighbor and control that neighbor’s genes. With 100 morphologically and genetically distinct species of eubacteria that use quorum sensing to control gene expression, why does the bioengineering community only use about 4 variants to control cell communication? This review explains quorum sensing systems, their use in engineering, the problem of crosstalk between parallel QS systems, and how natural QS diversity might be used to address this problem.

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