The SMRT (single molecule, real-time) technology is also faster than current high-throughput technologies. The researchers of the BIMSB will use this third-generation sequencing technology, which was launched on the market in April 2011 by Pacific Biosciences, Menlo Park, California, USA, to gain deeper insight into gene regulation. The new sequencer, PacBio RS, will be installed in the BIMSB labs early in September.
To develop the “single molecule real-time” (SMRT) technology, Pacific Biosciences has combined nanotechnology, biochemistry, surface chemistry and optics. The new sequencer determines DNA sequences in real time by visualizing the reaction of a single enzyme with a single DNA molecule. The process does not require DNA amplification before the sequencing reaction and therefore avoids potential bias. The system is able to produce average DNA reads of greater than 1000 bases and accomplishes one experiment in one day instead of one week or longer. The PacBio RS perfectly complements the current scientific applications and capacities of next-generation sequencing technologies of the BIMSB Scientific Genomics Platform led by Wei Chen.
“The outstanding characteristic of SMRT technology is not only that you can watch how DNA is being synthesized, but also that it enables us to quantitatively determine gene regulation, RNA function, epigenetic gene regulation, DNA modification and genome structure. It allows us to look deeper into how genes and regulatory networks function and opens new approaches to personalized medicine,” said Walter Rosenthal, scientific director of the MDC, and Nikolaus Rajewsky, head of the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) of the MDC.
The BIMSB was launched by the MDC in 2008, supported by start-up funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Senate of Berlin. Medical Systems Biology focuses on molecular networks of genes and proteins, their regulation and interaction with each other and their relevance in disease processes. BIMSB works closely with research institutions and networks in Berlin and beyond, in particular with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and also with New York University, USA.Barbara Bachtler
Barbara Bachtler | Max-Delbrück-Centrum
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22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden
The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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