Alexander Sergeevich Spirin
(9/4/1931 – 12/30/2020)
Alexander Spirin was an eminent Russian biochemist, who was one of the early pioneers in ribosome research. His lifelong research interests were nucleic acids and protein synthesis. Among his many early achievements he predicted the existence of messenger RNA, and showed that the RNA content of ribosomes does not code for protein, but is structural in nature. As someone coming into the field rather late, as a structural biologist, I mostly appreciated his work on mRNA-tRNA translocation. He had deep insights...
A time-resolved cryo-EM Study of S. cerevisiae 80S Ribosome Protein Composition in Response to a Change in Carbon Source
Ming Sun, Bingxin Shen, Wen Li, Parimal Samir, Christopher M Browne, Andrew Link and Joachim Frank (2020). PROTEOMICS DOI: 10.1002/pmic.202000125
The role of the ribosome in the regulation of gene expression has come into increased focus. It has been proposed that ribosomes are catalytic engines capable of changing their protein composition in response to environmental stimuli. We employed time-resolved cryo-electron microscopy...
Structure of human GABAB receptor in an inactive state
Jinseo Park, Ziao Fu, Aurel Frangaj, Jonathan Liu, Lidia Mosyak, Tong Shen, Vesna N. Slavkovich, Kimberly M. Ray, Jaume Taura, Baohua Cao, Yong Geng, Hao Zuo, Yongjun Kou, Robert Grassucci, Shaoxia Chen, Zheng Liu, Xin Lin, Justin P. Williams, William J. Rice, Edward T. Eng, Rick K. Huang, Rajesh K. Soni, Brian Kloss, Zhiheng Yu, Jonathan A. Javitch, Wayne A. Hendrickson, Paul A. Slesinger, Matthias Quick, Joseph Graziano, Hongtao Yu, Oliver Fiehn, Oliver B. Clarke, Joachim Frank &
Qing R. Fan
Structure of human GABAB receptor in an inactive state.
Jinseo Park, Ziao Fu, Aurel Frangaj, Jonathan Liu, Lidia Mosyak, Tong Shen, Vesna N. Slavkovich, Kimberly M. Ray, Jaume Taura, Baohua Cao, Yong Geng, Hao Zuo, Yongjun Kou, Robert Grassucci, Shaoxia Chen, Zheng Liu, Xin Lin, Justin P. Williams, William J. Rice, Edward T. Eng, Rick K. Huang, Rajesh K. Soni, Brian Kloss, Zhiheng Yu, Jonathan A. Javitch, Wayne A. Hendrickson, Paul A. Slesinger, Matthias Quick,...
Structural heterogeneity has been long recognized as a problem for structure research by cryo-EM. Different molecule species, or molecules in different conformational states or binding configurations may co-exist.
Without resolving this heterogeneity, reconstructions are blurred, and are invalid as representations of any one physical structure. Existing, widely used approaches to resolving heterogeneity, such as Relion, are based on the assumption that the structure exists in a few discrete conformations. Beginning with a paper we published jointly with the group of Abbas Ourmazd at the University...
Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis
1893 – 1972
I recently was invited by the Indian Statistical Institute in Calcutta to give the convocation address (see http://franxfiction.com/convocation-speech-at-indian-statistical-institute-jan-23-2020/).
A sketch circulated by Pablo Guerra Lahoz on Twitter prompted me to put together this brief chronicle of the invention that has changed our lives in so many ways. What I didn’t realize was that Ernst Ruska started his studies at the Technical University Munich in 1929, where I got my Ph.D. in 1970. He went to the Technical University of Berlin in 1927 where he finished his Ph.D. in 1933. He hypothesized that electrons with their much smaller wavelength could be used to image objects with much higher resolution than light microscopes. The sketch dated March 9, 1931 is a testimony of brilliance.
I was recently invited by Michael Roehrl to present a talk at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Institute, here on the East Side of Manhattan. Michael, a physician
As a special
Sydney Brenner died on April 5 in Singapore at the age of 92.
has been called a giant of molecular biology.
Among his many contributions to this field are key experiments in 1961
proving that the mRNA is the carrier of genetic information, and the substrate
for protein synthesis on the ribosome. Here