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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News: Building proteins to counteract cancer

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J. Kullman, 11.10.14, ASU Now: Karmella Haynes wants to help the body fight cancer by designing proteins to stop the disease. Haynes, a synthetic biologist at Arizona State University, is leading research to explore the capability of genetically engineered proteins to reactivate tumor suppressors inside body cells to prevent the onset of cancer, or arrest its development.

Read more at ASU Now.

GMO Labeling: a (chance for) victory for GMO’s

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Think of the worst thing that the food industry has done with genetically modified foods (GMOs). If you say “sell them at all,” I’d disagree. I enjoy genetically modified foods, and they rely less on pesticides than “organically” grown foods. More on that later. Read the rest of this entry »

Professional bullying: personal comments on the recent assault of Dr. Ore

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Unfortunately, the disingenuous practice of disguising emotion-driven assaults with a veil of rules and laws is widespread, even amongst esteemed protectors, leaders, and professionals. This is what happened recently when a Tempe Police officer exploited his authority and applied excessive force in apprehending ASU Professor Ersula Ore for jay-walking in an area where the street is currently blocked off and there is no through-traffic on May 20, 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

Haynes Receives Grant from Women and Philanthropy

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Getting a grant is extremely exciting, especially for a young PI who has to find support after she has exhausted her start-up funds. In addition to receiving new funding, something else truly amazing happened. My science-communication skills were challenged like they had never been before. Read the rest of this entry »