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Greetings from the Wickens lab!
Since the last newsletter, we have been focusing on how RNAs are controlled, and how networks of mRNA control are assembled and integrated. Lets start by talking about the people who are now in the lab; then those who’ve left; then a quick tour of our science; and a final few comments about Marv. And a plea to stay in touch! – Read More on page 64 of the Newsletter
Updates from the Wickens lab!
JJ Chritton is coming down the home stretch to the thesis finish line, doing what we hope will explain biochemically how certain mRNAs are controlled. The work hinges on the cell-free system she developed, a lateral move for a Genetics student (kudos to her), and proof that all these fields now merge. – Read More on page 48 of the Newsletter
In the lab…
JJ Chritton and Amy Cooke are both now working on their first papers, assembling figures, dealing with too many Marv comments, and getting Laurified. JJ’s efforts to figure out how a family of repressors do their thing is going well, mostly in a cell-free system. Amy has found that an enzyme thought to act one way to repress mRNAs can actually act entirely differently. In her spare time, Amy also just gave birth. (To a baby, Olivia, not just a manuscript). – Read more on page 53 of the Newsletter
As I write this newsletter this year, we sit in 9,000 feet of snow and ice, and await the next ice age, despite Greenland’s thaw. In our igloos, we continue to focus on how mRNAs are controlled, how proteins and RNAs find one another, and the many ways in which biology uses RNA. – Read more on page 48 of the Newsletter
Here in the clearing, strange sounds from the rainforest. Chatter among the capuchins, high up in the canopy. Pop songs from the shrubs – the call of the bald-headed Daniel. Wild goats bray. An occasional coconut or beaker crashes to the floor. A silverback and the other males challenge the wild Labib. There is chest-beating, songbirds in the trees, frogs in the marsh. In the clearing of my office, above the sound of the tapping of keys, you can hear it all, and wonder. You may not be sure what species you are hearing, but you darn sure the rainforest is alive. – Read more on page 25 of the Newsletter
Birches, bloodroots and trilliums — each one unique, contribute to the excitement and animation of a walk in the early spring woods. So it is with the Wickens lab. It may not be entirely clear who is a wildflower and who a birch, boulder, or compost. But the woods in spring are wonderful place, full of surprises. Come with me along the path through the well-oiled gate next to my office. – Read more on page 23 of the Newsletter
Most years at about this time, sap rises in the trees, bulbs tentatively assert themselves, and students in the lab prepare for prelims. That all is true this year too. But this year is different. The later winter brought a new kind of transformation. Hair loss. – Read more on page 26 of the Newsletter
As the snow drifts down aimlessly this late afternoon, glistening from invisible heavens, I think of you all. I look out my immense window and see the quiet peace of the snow, and capture in my mind’s eye those of you who used to be here but now are off in the blistering nauseating relentless heat and sunshine of the West Coast or Southwest. How sad the sameness. Here, where men are men and women and women and we all get cold, we are at the beating heart of the seasons, feeling mortality’s breath on our cheeks, and getting — I admit it — antsy for the coming of bulbs and the rising of the sap. – Read more on page 22 of the Newsletter