Life has its shapes, and depends on all kinds of architecture. It needs a skeleton on which to hang. Blood vessels in which to flow. A brain to house its thoughts. A heart to give it a beat. On a far smaller scale, it needs cells to accommodate all the various components without which there would be no life in the first place. One of the most important being: DNA. DNA itself is found within a defined structure in each of our cells: the nucleus. Within this protective core, our genetic heritage adopts yet other variable conformations depending on a cell's stage in mitosis. One of these conformations is the well-known chromosome. Chromosomes are simply highly-packed DNA, which is an ideal conformation to be in when a cell is about to divide for instance, and chromosomes need to move around. Many different proteins work in unison to keep chromosomes arranged in such a way. One in particular has recently proved to be important in maintaining the shape of packed chromosomes, and is called proliferation marker protein Ki-67.
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Snapshot : Titin
Voulez-vous le taximeter?
Le tionta su la seata
Tu la tu la tu la wa
This is gibberish sung by Charlie Chaplin in ‘Modern Times’ as he struggles to satisfy an impatient audience whilst frantically seeking for his cuff – on which he had written the true lyrics – which had flown off his wrist following an unfortunate flick as he made a hasty entry to perform. He ad-libs novel lyrics to the tune of ‘Je cherche après Titine’ (‘Looking for Titine’) a then popular French song written by M.Bertal and L.Maubon in 1917, the music of which was composed by L.Daniderff. As a result, Chaplin not only added to the song’s popularity but also made it worldwide. Little did he know though that what helped him to dash around the dining-room as he searched for the lost cuff is also named…titin….
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“I recently stumbled upon your columns. Let me congratulate you on achieving the near impossible, for your articles have enabled me to successfully marry IT with the Life Sciences and better explain the concepts of bioinformatics to those who are not in the know of the field.
Your articles are very well written, lucid, and contain just enough information to excite the reader to want to learn more about the topic being discussed. They fall in a very rare category where they are accessible to everyone, from the undergraduate students to research students who want to have a basic idea of the topics being discussed. Some of your articles, like "Our hollow architecture" and "Throb" are outstanding pieces.
I would highly recommend your articles as a necessary reading in undergrad classes to get students inspired about the various avenues of research.”