A 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.
Synthetic reversal of epigenetic silencing
Haynes KA, Silver PA. (2011) J Biol Chem. 286:27176-82. PMID: 21669865
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.
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.
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.
I. Flatow, 05.23.2008, Science Friday: A group of scientists reports in the Journal of Biological Engineering that they have created specially modified E. coli bacteria capable of performing one specific type of calculation, a puzzle known as the “pancake flipping problem.” Karmella Haynes, one of the researchers, discusses the prospects for biologically based computing, and ways in which calculating bacteria might be useful.
Listen to the interview at the NPR website.