America's uncontrolled experiment in eyes-closed sequestration of research funding has George F. Will of the Washington Post worried. With the National Institutes of Health (NIH) now enforcing cuts of 5% or $1.55 billion, Will has declared sequestration, "a public health hazard." Will writes, "NIH scientists seek intensely practical, meaning preventive and therapeutic, things that can save society more than any sequester can."
As a little girl growing up in Nabatieh, Lebanon, I was passionate about painting and wanted to be an artist. My mother did everything in her power to push me into science. I grew up under the impression that art or even literature were not for smart people. I was also very interested in nature, plants, and animals, especially the exquisite cell life visible through a microscope. So I decided to be a biologist.
David Odde may be the first scientist whose lab meetings include a dance company. Four years ago Odde, professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Minnesota and ASCB member, started collaborating with Black Label Movement (BLM); a Twin Cities-based dance theater. Together they use dance to simulate molecular processes.
Our bodies and our cells need specialized fats. Our cells eat through a process called endocytosis, which is critical for cells to take up nutrients from their environment. Embedded in the cell membrane, phosphoinositides are specialized lipids crucial during endocytosis and subsequent steps. They can be modified by protein kinases and phosphatases that alter their phosphorylation pattern in one of five places, indicated by the number(s) in the name. Thus was born the PIP family. PIP2, for example, is PtdIns(4,5)P2 phosphorylated in positions 4 and 5.