January 6, 2024
Yousaf et al from Mayo Clinic published a study in Plos Pathogens on measles virus sequestering in brain to evade immune pressure. In this sheltered environment the virus can persist for many years causing a fatal disease, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE). The story documents how the virus adopts to the new environment by changing its genome sequence. Our lab contributed ampFISH for distinguishing in situ viral genomes that differ only by a few nucleotides.
March 27, 2023
Ryan Dikdan brilliantly defended his Ph.D. dissertation and is now going back to New Jersey Medical School to complete his MD.
February 1, 2022.
Our multiplex PCR assay for identifying all Major SARS-CoV-2 variants including Omicron is published in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics. This is a two tube assay that accurately detects currently circulating Covid-19 variants in less than three hours from RNA extracted from patient samples. Procedures to rapidly develop similar tests for variants of concern that will emerge in future are described.
October 10, 2021.
Stop the noise emanating from the genes. In a paper just published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, we explored the molecular origins of the enigmatic phenomenon of “noise” in gene expression. We show that mammalian genes are not expressed in a steady and continuous stream but are expressed in episodic bursts. This occurs because the regulatory regions of genes are normally hidden in impervious chromatin and random “breathing” events in chromatin provide intermittent access to factors that turn the genes on, rendering the gene expression intermittent. The picture of human cell on the right shows nuclei in blue, certain active genes in orange, and their mRNA products in red.