Research Roundup: August 2020

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Research Roundup: August 2020

Here are summaries of a selection of the papers published by GCB faculty in August 2020:

Gene Regulation

Charlie Gersbach was part of a team that investigated enhancer RNA (eRNA) to gain a better understanding of their role in neuronal gene regulation. Read more


Pediatric obesity is a major public health problem in the US. Lawrence David, John Rawls and team, with help from the Microbiome Shared Resource, investigated whether the microbial production of short-chain fatty acid from the fermentation of otherwise indigestible dietary carbohydrates could protect against pediatric obesity. Read more


Microbiology has traditionally been defined by the study of the phenotypic traits of microorganisms. While some traits can be easily explained with a direct genetic basis, most are a result of complex interactions between the organism and its environment. Lingchong You and team demonstrate that phenotypes with a sufficiently high information content can distinguish strains and predict traits such as antibiotic response. Read more 

New Methods

John Rawls was part of a team that created a platform that uses immunocompromised zebrafish for xenograft cell transplantation. Read more

Cell Cycle

Healthy cell growth and division are critical for individual organism survival and species long-term viability. However, researchers still don’t know how Archaea cells maintain a healthy cell cycle. Amy Schmid and team used genetics, functional genomics, and quantitative imaging to identify and characterize novel molecular players needed for regulating cell division in archaea. Read more


Ryan Baugh collaborated with a researcher from Queens University on a review that establishes three criteria to evaluate how compelling evidence for adaptive multigenerational plasticity is. They then use that criteria to critically examine putative cases of it in C. elegans. Read more

Charlie Gersbach and Brian Cosgrove reviewed research that employs unbiased proteomics approaches and live-cell imaging to reveal a key role for the histone chaperone complex FACT (SPT16 and SSRP1) in governing Cas9 turnover at the DNA target site during genome and epigenome editing. Read more

Related News

SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, appears to have evolved silent changes to its RNA code that gave it a biological edge over previous strains. Credit: Felipe Esquivel Reed


RNA folding may help explain how the coronavirus became so hard to stop after it spilled over from wildlife to humans.