ISB News

Pushing the Molecular Switches of Tuberculosis Into Overdrive to Map Interactions

3 Bullets: Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infects more than 1.5 billion people worldwide partly due to its ability to sense and adapt to the broad range of hostile environments that exist within hosts. To study how MTB controls its responses at a molecular level, ISB researchers and their collaborators at Seattle Biomed perturbed almost all MTB transcription factor regulators and identified the affected genes. This comprehensive map of molecular switches in…

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How One Family of Microbial Genes Rewires Itself for New Niches

3 Bullets: When an organism duplicates its genes, it increases its ability to adapt and colonize new environments. ISB researchers used the systems approach to study how one family of microbial genes evolved to bring functions that were adaptive to specific environments. This new understanding of how gene regulatory networks rewire themselves has many potential applications, including how to wire new functions into an organism for biofuel production, bio-remediation or…

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How Physics and Thermodynamics Help Assess DNA Defects in Cancer

3 Bullets: ‘Big data’ cancer research has revealed a new spectrum of genetic mutations across tumors that need understanding. Existing methods for analyzing DNA defects in cancer are blind to how those mutations actually behave. ISB scientists developed a new approach using physics- and structure-based modeling to systematically assess the spectrum of mutations that arise in several gene regulatory proteins in cancer. By Jake Valenzuela and Justin Ashworth A significant…

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New Tool Uses 3-D Protein-DNA Structures to Predict Locations of Genetic ‘On-Off’ Switches

3 Bullets: Novel systems approach uses high-resolution structures of protein-DNA complexes to predict where transcription factors (genetic switches) bind and regulate the genome. This approach can help researchers better understand and predict binding sites for non-model organisms or ‘exotic’ species. Having such insight and predictive capabilities is critical for reverse- and forward-engineering organisms that could be pivotal for new green biotechnologies. By Jake Valenzuela and Justin Ashworth Researchers at the…

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Baliga Lab: Uncovering the Genetic Adaptability of Tuberculosis

3 Bullets: The Institute for Systems Biology and Seattle BioMed have collaborated to reconstruct the gene regulatory network of the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Finely tuned gene regulation has allowed Mycobacterium tuberculosis to survive unnoticed in an apparently healthy host for decades; understanding those subtleties is critical for advancing treatment. The identification of co-regulated sets of genes and their regulatory influences offers validated predictions that will help guide future research…

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Decoding the Microbial Gene-Recycling Program: Researchers 'Unzip' Genetic Instruction Manuals

New Open-Access Multiscale Model Captures Dynamic Molecular Processes in Unprecedented Detail

3 Bullets: Microbes are efficient because their streamlined genomes allow them to evolve and adapt rapidly to complex environmental changes. Decoding the highly-compressed information within a microbial genome requires sophisticated systems biology tools to map the genetic programs, and understand how they are executed. ISB researchers invented novel algorithms to unzip and decode microbial genomes into the EGRIN 2.0, an open-access multiscale model that captures instructions for executing the dynamic…

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Collaboration: $16.6M TB Grant

ISB will collaborate with Seattle BioMed and ETH Zurich on a $16.6 million tuberculosis grant from the National Institutes of Health. Seattle BioMed issued this press release today: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SEATTLE, AUG. 15 — Seattle BioMed has been awarded a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, that will take a comprehensive systems approach to the problem of tuberculosis…

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ISB Recieves $1.8M Grant for Ocean Acidification Research

Congratulations to Dr. Mónica Orellana and Dr. Nitin Baliga on their new grant for $1.8 million from the National Science Foundation. The project title is “Ocean Acidification: A Systems Biology Approach to Characterize Diatom Response to Ocean Acidification and Climate Change.” Abstract from the proposal: Diatoms account for approximately 40 percent of primary production in the world’s oceans and are the most productive marine phytoplankton group. They form the basis…

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How Systems Biology Can Help Improve ‘Green Crude’ – aka Algae Fuel

Sapphire Energy and ISB today announced a partnership that will lead to exciting discoveries in commercial algae fuel production. You can read the release here. But to hear directly from Dr. Nitin Baliga, who is ISB's Director for Integrative Biology, on why this partnership is unique, watch this short interview.

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