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Cell and Molecular Biology
In every growing cell, the DNA replication and transcription machineries are routinely in conflict with each other. Replication-transcription conflicts have various negative outcomes, including slowing of DNA replication forks, and breaks in the DNA. Survival, despite the existence of conflicts, depends on essential conflict resolution factors that all organisms harbor. In this seminar, I will highlight some of the new insights we have gained regarding the multi-faceted effects of these encounters on key parameters of cellular function.
Last year, we celebrated the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology awarded for the discoveries of the molecular basis of daily rhythms in cells. These circadian (~24 h) rhythms are common across phyla and cell types. In vertebrates, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) synchronizes circadian rhythms in behavior and physiology to the external light cycle, but the mechanisms by which this occurs are unclear.
Biological systems can be quite complex for intuitive interpretations. This is especially true in developmental biology, where robust patterns are established and maintained dynamically in ever-changing and inhomogeneous multicellular environments. Despite the discovery of many key regulatory modules in growth, morphogenesis and fate specification, we still understand little on how such modules are precisely executed, particularly when small initial differences may induce sharp segregation of developmental decisions.