Commentary – MBoC – Synthetic meets Cell Biology

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Synthetic meets Cell Biology
Silver PA, Haynes KA, Weiss R. (2012) Mol. Biol. Cell, 23:967. PMCID: PMC3302743

In 2011 the American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting hosted its first minisymposium in Synthetic Cell Biology in Denver, Colorado. This exciting first for the society featured research talks on applying the concepts of synthetic biology to the understanding and engineering of cells.

Haynes brings expertise in synthetic biology to ASU’s biomedical engineering program

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N. Pierce & J. Kullman, 02.21.2012, ASU News: Haynes, who joined Arizona State University last year as an assistant professor in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, was recently elected for a two-year term as a Councilor for the Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE).

Read more at ASU News.

Research – ACS Syn Bio – A sensitive switch for visualizing natural gene silencing in single cells

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ACSsynbio2011A sensitive switch for visualizing natural gene silencing in single cells
Haynes KA, Ceroni F, Flicker D, Younger A, Silver PA. (2012) ACS Synth. Biol. 1: 99–106. PMID: 22530199

We designed a synthetic gene switch that expressed cyan fluorescent protein in the presence of microRNAs, which are biomarkers for cell development and disease. The switch was designed to be sensitive to small, hard-to-detect microRNAs in live cells. Here, we demonstrated that the switch responded to natural as well as artificial proof-of-concept microRNA signals.

Rethinking DNA and RNA

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C. Agapakis, 09.27.2011, Scientific American: Karmella Haynes, now setting up her own lab at Arizona State University, set out to not just create new sequences of DNA, but to alter how DNA is read by the cell.

Read more at Scientific American: Oscillator.

Research – JBC – Synthetic reversal of epigenetic silencing

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JBC2011Synthetic reversal of epigenetic silencing
Haynes KA, Silver PA. (2011) J Biol Chem. 286:27176-82. PMID: 21669865
Cover article

We developed synthetic gene regulators that interact with epigenetic marks instead of DNA sequences. This research breaks new ground for artificial regulation of genes to stop cancer cell growth. The development of the synthetic chromatin protein marks the beginning of our group’s work in synthetic epigenetics. Cover art was produced by Karmella Haynes.

Time to Teach: Is there room for teaching and research in a postdoc experience?

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A. Widener, 08.18.2011, HHMI Bulletin: As she faced the end of grad school, Karmella Haynes wasn’t sure what direction to take. “I couldn’t think of a research project that got me really excited,” says the graduate of Washington University in St. Louis.

Read more at the HHMI Bulletin.

More art & science, hand-painted poster at Synthetic Biology 5.0

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Karmella’s hand-painted poster for the SB5.0 International Meeting for Synthetic Biology (Palo Alto, CA) was featured in Jonathan Eisen’s blog The Tree of Life.