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4 Janelia Publications

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    06/16/09 | Self-organization of the Escherichia coli chemotaxis network imaged with super-resolution light microscopy. (With commentary)
    Greenfield D, McEvoy AL, Shroff H, Crooks GE, Wingreen NS, Betzig E, Liphardt J
    PLoS Biology. 2009 Jun 16;7(6):e1000137. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000137

    The Escherichia coli chemotaxis network is a model system for biological signal processing. In E. coli, transmembrane receptors responsible for signal transduction assemble into large clusters containing several thousand proteins. These sensory clusters have been observed at cell poles and future division sites. Despite extensive study, it remains unclear how chemotaxis clusters form, what controls cluster size and density, and how the cellular location of clusters is robustly maintained in growing and dividing cells. Here, we use photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) to map the cellular locations of three proteins central to bacterial chemotaxis (the Tar receptor, CheY, and CheW) with a precision of 15 nm. We find that cluster sizes are approximately exponentially distributed, with no characteristic cluster size. One-third of Tar receptors are part of smaller lateral clusters and not of the large polar clusters. Analysis of the relative cellular locations of 1.1 million individual proteins (from 326 cells) suggests that clusters form via stochastic self-assembly. The super-resolution PALM maps of E. coli receptors support the notion that stochastic self-assembly can create and maintain approximately periodic structures in biological membranes, without direct cytoskeletal involvement or active transport.

    Commentary: Our goal as tool developers is to invent methods capable of uncovering new biological insights unobtainable by pre-existing technologies. A terrific example is given by this paper, where grad students Derek Greenfield and Ann McEvoy in Jan Liphardt’s group at Berkeley used our PALM to image the size and position distributions of chemotaxis proteins in E. Coli with unprecedented precision and sensitivity. Their analysis revealed that the cluster sizes follow a stretched exponential distribution, and the density of clusters is highest furthest away from the largest (e.g., polar) clusters. Both observations support a model for passive self-assembly rather than active cytoskeletal assembly of the chemotaxis network.

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    06/05/09 | Three-dimensional nanoscopy of biological samples.
    Vaziri A, Tang J, Shroff H, Shank CV
    2009 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics and Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (CLEO/QELS 2009), Vols. 1-5. 2009 Jun 5;1-5:147-8

    We have demonstrated super-resolution imaging of protein distributions in cells at depth at multiple layers with a lateral localization precision better than 50 nm. The approach is based on combining photoactivated localization microscopy with temporal focusing.

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    06/01/09 | [Analysis on acupuncture literature in Science Citation Index (SCI) periodicals in 2007].
    Gao L, Tian L, Guo Y
    Zhongguo Zhen Jiu = Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion. 2009 Jun;29(6):504-7. doi: 10.1364/AO.50.001792

    To grasp the international developing tendency of acupuncture research and provide some references for promoting acupuncture and moxibustion internationalization process, the articles about acupuncture in Science Citation Index (SCI) periodicals in 2007 were retrieved by adopting the retrieval tactics on line in combination with database searching. Results indicate that 257 articles about acupuncture had been retrived from the SCI Web databases. These articles were published in 125 journals respectively, most of which were Euramerican journals. Among these journals, the impact factor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 25. 547, is the highest one. It is shown that the impact factors of the SCI periodicals, in which acupuncture articles embodied are increased, the quality of these articles are improved obviously and the types of the articles are various in 2007, but there is obvious difference in the results of these studies due to the difference of experimental methods, the subjects of these experiments and acupuncture manipulations. Therefore, standardization of many problems arising from the researches on acupuncture is extremely imminent.

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    06/01/09 | The ethomics era?
    Reiser M
    Nature Methods. 2009 Jun;6:413-4. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.06.072

    Applying modern machine-vision techniques to the study of animal behavior, two groups developed systems that quantify many aspects of the complex social behaviors of Drosophila melanogaster. These software tools will enable high-throughput screens that seek to uncover the cellular and molecular underpinnings of behavior.

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