Posted by Diana Kenney under Uncategorized
By Julia Darcey
The MBL is known for bringing scientists from separate institutions together for unique and productive collaborations. That was a big draw for husband and wife, Joseph D. Buxbaum, a molecular geneticist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Dorothy E. Grice, a child psychiatrist at Columbia University, who rarely get the chance to work side-by-side. Their joint work at the MBL bore fruit this month when a paper they wrote with lead author Yuji Kajiwara, also of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, was published online in Biological Psychiatry. The team found that SLITRK1, a neural protein linked to Tourette syndrome and OCD, has an important binding protein called 14-3-3 and must be phosphorylated to function. Knowing how SLITRK1 functions is the first step to understanding its role in brain development and in disorders like Tourette syndrome.
- Joseph Buxbaum (left) and Yuji Kajiwara. Their collaborator Dorothy Grice,
who is married to Buxbaum, is presently in New York. Photo by Julia Darcey
“Because we work at separate institutions, we rarely get to share time in the lab. Working together at the bench, where we each contribute from our own areas of expertise, is an important part of our collaboration. So the opportunity to really work closely together is here, at the MBL,” Buxbaum says. Grice knew first-hand that the MBL was the perfect place to collaborate on this project—she grew up in Woods Hole, where her mother was an MBL librarian and her father a scientist at WHOI. “I knew from growing up here,” she says, “that the MBL would provide a great scientific environment. And we knew that it would be a great setting for the molecular biology and functional studies we wanted to do.”
Posted by Diana Kenney under MBL
The sun came out in Woods Hole late this week, shocking many who had grown used to the downpours of the past month. It’s summer! Meanwhile, publications have been streaming out of the MBL labs. Hugh Ducklow, director of the MBL’s Ecosystems Center, co-authored a paper in this month’s Nature Reviews Microbiology, which predicts that a flourishing of bacteria may have a negative impact on polar food webs as ice sheets melt. In the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans, the scientists discovered, bacterial community growth is more dependent on organic carbon produced by phytoplankton than on temperature. As ice melts and more light penetrates the oceans, phytoplankton will flourish and organic carbon will increase. Bacterial populations will likely grow to consume the excess carbon, releasing more of it into the atmosphere as CO2, and leaving less carbon for other marine organisms that rely on it for food. The paper, “Microbial growth in the polar oceans – role of temperature and potential impact of climate change,” is co-authored by David Kirchman and MBL visiting scientist Xosé Anxelu G. Morán.
Icebergs in Antarctica. Photo by Xosé Anxelu G. Morán.
Some other recent MBL publications are: “Light-transduction in melanopsin-expressing photoreceptors of amphioxus,” by Maria del Pilar Gomez et al.; “Functional Overlap of Microtubule Assembly Factors in Chromatin-Promoted Spindle Assembly,” by Aaron Groen and other members of the summer collaborative MBL Cell Division Group; “Protein families reflect metabolic diversity of organisms and provide support for functional prediction,” by Margrethe H. Serres and colleagues; “Plasmodium possesses dynein light chain classes that are unique and conserved across species,” co-authored by Andrew G. McArthur; “Schistosoma mansoni P-glycoprotein levels increase in response to praziquantel exposure and correlate with reduced praziquantel susceptibility,” by Shanta Messerli and colleagues; and “Cuttlefish use visual cues to control three-dimensional skin papillae for camouflage,” by Justine Allen and other members of Roger Hanlon’s laboratory.