So Alex and I were having lunch with my summer research professor at UK when he told us about the history of the doublemint barnstable twins and the diabetes conference. After passing of the husband of Patricia, the twins decided to raise money for diabetes to help battle the disease. I thought this related to the theme of our class on how politics and individuals contribute to the progress of science. Regardless of whether you like doublemint gum or not, you have to admit that celebrity twins throwing a Derby after-party to help support diabetes research is definitely fancy!
Like many of my fellow bloggers, I too attended the talk by Jean Schaefer at the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Research Symposium at the University of Kentucky. In her talk, she showed that snoRNAs in the intronic regions of fatty acid metabolic genes are important in regulating the oxidative stress and lipidtoxicity which cause cell death. When they made a…wait for it….fluorescent construct to act as a reporter for the expression of snoRNAs in presence of high lipid levels in cell culture, many of these snoRNAs were shown to accumulate in the cytosol of the cell! This is fascinating since small nucleolar RNAs are “expected” to be mostly localized to the nucleus. Furthermore, she was able to show that both intronic microRNAs expressions and lipid linked oxidation change upon mutating specific snoRNAs. Specifically, mutation of the snoRNAs U32a, U33, and U35a resulted in decrease of apoptosis in cells under metabolic stress conditions (high amounts of lipid). In addition to the slides upon slides of data that she showed, I enjoyed how her talk showed the importance of intronic sequences and noncoding RNAs (RNAs and DNA sequences that do not directly contribute to making proteins in an organism) that have been traditionally ignored in genetics until recently. Also I am creepingly stalking her, as I do with most scientists that I like, by directly sitting in front of her while typing this post. (She was telling one of her colleagues about her path to science as a cardiologist who went to MIT to learn cell biology and ended up spending five years and becoming dedicated to basic research now with little clinical work–creeping clearly makes you find out interesting information). Anyways, click on her picture to get to her lab’s website and all the interesting projects that go on in there. She is…Definitely FANCY!
So Excited for the Diabetes Research Symposium Tomorrow!!! Here is the google maps directions to get there. Also I think there is usually parking behind the building but you can usually park on State or Terrace Street which are really close to the Biomedical Pharmaceutical Complex Building. Just keep going a block or two after you see the Pharmacy building on Limestone and turn right onto them. See you at room 124!!! Also the link to the program: http://www.mc.uky.edu/odrd/2013%20Program.asp
A paperfrom Doug Melton’s group published in Cell (153, 4, 747-758) this month made a fascinating new discovery. Pancreatic B cells are responsible for the production of insulin in the body. Thus, regulating the proliferation of these cells is of great interest. The researchers used a mouse model of diabetes and using an antagonist blocked insulin receptors that surprisingly led to a higher proliferation of these cells. To determine what proteins were responsible for the proliferation, a microarray study was performed in which Betatrophin was found as a potential new hormone regulator. Expression of Betatrophin in mouse liver significantly increased B cell replication rates (red stained cells on the bottom row of the figure) causing higher levels of insulin (green bottom row) and improved glucose tolerance compared to control mice (top row). The study helps provide new methods for treatment of diabetes in the future and highlights the importance of basic research! It’s also Fancy!
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