Courtesy of @lopsidedlablife, here is another alternative splicing visual. This follows on from ‘Let’s eat grandma‘, and is based on the idea of how punctuation can greatly influence the meaning of a statement, akin to how the inclusion/exclusion of alternative exons during pre-messenger RNA splicing can massively influence the ‘meaning” of the spliced message e.g. the introduction of new coding sequence that might adapt protein function by adding an extra functional domain(s), for example, or might influence the levels of functional or ‘translatable’ message if a premature termination codon is included in the alternative exon. The review ‘Alternative splicing in plants – coming of age‘ by Syed et al. 2012 gives a great overview of pre-messenger RNA splicing in plants.
The visual is of course greatly influenced by the famous Banksy graffiti….however there is some speculation as to whether it was actually a true Banksy. Here the Panda is proudly shooting ‘Splice’ & ‘Sites’ from a couple of clown guns.
See how a single comma can totally change the meaning of what Pandas do best (they ‘Eat shoots and leaves’), turning the cute Panda into a (clown) gun-toting splicing bear, that ‘leaves’ the scene of the splicing crime (‘Eats, shoots and leaves)…
..or put another way:
See Panda alternative splicing, see pandAS…
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Thinking about how to encapsulate alternative splicing in one ‘killer’ picture.
The picture above is what I came up with….
The analogy is that the inclusion/exclusion of alternative exons during pre-mRNA splicing can have the same dramatic effects as the inclusion/exclusion of key punctuation in a sentence.
I sincerely apologise to all Grandmas seeing/reading this….
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Putting together some ideas for a poster to showcase our research for an upcoming visit by the BBSRC to the University of Glasgow.
Was doodling the BBSRC logo. BBSRC stands for Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and is the largest UK public funder of non-medical bioscience.
BBSRC’s mission is to “promote and support, by any means, high-quality basic, strategic and applied research and related postgraduate training relating to the understanding and exploitation of biological systems”.
Intrigued with the 3 circle icons to the left of the letter logo. What do they represent? Possibly antibodies recognising antigens? or are they pollen granules? or viruses…or bacteria? circular plasmid DNA? …or maybe they are the aliens species that, as part of a new strategic focus, we will be a new intensive research focus – probably after the year 2050?
Answers on a postcard for any more ideas as to what they might represent.
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Caught a piece on Nile Roger’s new ‘Chic’ album on GMTV this morning…what a inspiration!
He explained that his new album is called ‘It’s About Time‘
Wow…talk about great minds thinking alike! Our blog, and research is also ‘about’…’time’.
Only we are all about circadian clocks and how plants tell the time.
Just how do plants anticipate the light at dawn for photosynthesis, and how do they time the breakdown of the starch that they’ve made during the day for surviving the dark of the night? How do they do this?
It’s their circadian clocks – molecular DNA and protein ‘cogs’ that link together to make a molecular timer. They just keep ticking – even during the night – maybe it even allows plants to ‘stay up all night to get lucky!’
Pretty funky, no?
We have circadian clocks too. Nile Rogers is an international jet set superstar. I’m sure he’ll feel his clock ‘squeal’ at times with all the globe trotting and jet lag. That’s when the internal clock becomes de-synchronised with its new environment, and it takes a day or two to readjust. Understanding circadian biology is a really ‘cool’ area of research just now. You only have to look at last years Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine – it went to circadian clock research!
All this funk makes me want to get down to our research song! Check it out here:
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Back to thinking about how to explain alternative splicing in an easy, graphical or pictorial way.
Here’s an attempt at sketching plant cells under a microscope. Grid like arrangement of cells, with chloroplasts (photosynthesis organelles) as greenish circles, and the cell nucleus as dark circles/blobs.
Not entirely sure where this is going…maybe a cartoon. Still hope to include Pandas somewhere along the line…