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The Allen Institute of Cell Science – Integrated, multi-scale and spatial-temporal cell biology

The mission of the Allen Institute for Cell Science is to understand and predict cellular behaviors. Our initial project takes an integrative approach, developing high replicates of dynamic, visual data on cell organization and activities using endogenous fluorescently tagged human induced pluripotent stem cells. We are quantifying the relative locations and dynamics of the major cellular structures and activities as the stem cells go through the cell cycle and differentiate into cardiomyocytes andrespond to environmental perturbations and drugs.

Evolution and ecology of oddball reproduction in Australian bush tomatoes: Further evidence that “Plants are cool, Too!”

The “bush tomatoes” (Solanum) of the Australian Monsoon Tropics continue to generate questions related to reproductive ecology, species boundaries, biogeography, and breeding systems evolution. This talk will summarize work done on this unusual group of plants in the Martine lab, often inclusive of undergraduate students, through a holistic research strategy that includes fieldwork, herbarium collections, greenhouse culture, and molecular approaches.

Heraclitus and the cytoskeleton: the role of force feedback in molecular self-assembly

The mechanical properties of most eukaryotic cells is determined by the actin cytoskeleton. A major challenge to understanding the physical properties of actin networks, however, is that they are dynamic: their assembly and disassembly are integral to their function. External forces are particularly relevant to ‘dendritic’ actin networks, generated by the nucleating and crosslinking activity of the Arp2/3 complex, a seven-subunit protein complex that builds crosslinked filament arrays by creating new filaments that branch from the sides of existing filaments.

Cachexia-like wasting in drosophila

During animal development, homeostasis, and aging, anything that grows eventually decays or undergoes consumption, which is known as atrophy or wasting. Thus, like growth, wasting is a fundamental biological process. Importantly, wasting is also part of a complex systemic disorder associated with many diseases. Cachexia, the wasting syndrome commonly observed in advanced cancer patients, affects approximately eight million people worldwide. Due to the complexity of the disease, it is challenging to dissect the molecular mechanisms of cachexia.

Preference Alters Consumptive Effects of Predators: Top- Down Effects of a Native Crab on a System of Native and Introduced Prey

Grason EW, Sweedler JV, Sane SP.  2012.  Preference Alters Consumptive Effects of Predators: Top- Down Effects of a Native Crab on a System of Native and Introduced Prey. PLoSONE. 7(12)


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