Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How Cells Change Gears

It's Friday night and do you know what your transcription network is doing?
I didn't think so. Neither do I. But there are bioengineers here at UC San Diego who know how to figure out what a network of transcription factors is doing at any given time point. They published this work in Nature Genetics.
This is great, because it means you can track the activity of transcription factors and see what parts of the network are active when...and then use that information to try to figure out the role that networks of transcription factors play in important cellular tasks like "changing gears"...switching from proliferation mode to specialization/maturation mode. Figure this out, and you might get your head around a lot of interesting questions...including how some cancers arise, and how tissues and organs form.
My colleague Andrea Siedsma wrote a release this week about a different group of bioengineers who recently published in Nature Biotechnology. Read on: "New Method Developed by UC San Diego Bioengineers Gives Regenerative Medicine a Boost".