May 2013

Bone and skin disorders caused by disruptions in GAG synthesis

ASBMB Today contributor Danielle Gutierrez writes about a recent minireview in The Journal of Biological Chemistry that focuses on two types of glycosaminoglycans, chondroitin and dermatan sulfate, and what we know about their roles in bone and skin disorders.


Story of a donut and a death machine

ASBMB Today contributor Preethi Chander writes about a recent minireview in The Journal of Biological Chemistry that explains how Hfq, RNase E and other proteins act in collusion with sRNAs to affect negatively mRNA translation and stability.


Deconstructing collagen

ASBMB Today contributor Aditi S. Iyengar writes about a recent minireview in The Journal of Biological Chemistry that offers an extensive account of the collagenolytic enzymes, the majority of which are matrix metalloproteinases, implicated in mammalian collagen metabolism.


Thematic series on microRNAs

ASBMB's Mary L. Chang writes about a new thematic series, “Functional regulation of lipid homeostasis by microRNA,” coordinated by Journal of Lipid Research editorial board member Kathryn Moore of the New York University Medical Center.


Spotlight on glycoscience

ASBMB Today science writer Rajendrani Mukhopadhyay covers a special issue of Molecular & Cellular Proteomics devoted to glycoscience. Co-edited by MCP Associate Editor Gerald Hart of Johns Hopkins University and MCP editorial board member Lance Wells at the University of Georgia, the issue explores the fundamental biology of molecules modified with sugars as well as their impact in different diseases.


How to help students learn — and thrill your department chair

Choosing a career in academics? While most scientists are reasonably well-prepared to embark upon research careers, many have far less experience in teaching. The pleasure of observing students learn is as rewarding as research, although it might seem the results are less tangible. But with a tiny bit of effort, you can demonstrate evidence!


In need of a new narrative

Natasha C. Brooks, a member of the ASBMB's Minority Affairs Committee, writes, "Unfortunately, narratives intended to perpetuate fear for past transgressions, those highlighting health disparities and those regarding minority scientists as exceptional and rare have become the norm. The existing narratives perpetuate the notion that science is 1) perpetrated against them and 2) not for them."


Letter from the new Lipid Research Division director

Vytas A. Bankaitis, the new director of the Lipid Research Division, offers his perspective on the challenges that lie ahead for the field. He writes, in part, "On one hand, productive evolution of any vibrant discipline absolutely depends on such cross-fertilization, and the conceptual and technical advances that accompany such progress must be welcomed. On the other hand, this evolution does bring with it a rather unique potential for confusing the conceptual frontier of lipid research."



ASBMB's outreach coordinator, Geoff Hunt, writes about the changing nature of scientific communication and conferences: "With science reporting by the mainstream media fading, science communicators are becoming the sole sources of reliable, accurate scientific information. Luckily, meetings like ScienceOnline are providing the venues for novices to become experts, individuals to become part of a community, and the community as a whole to grow and improve." But, he adds, "Now it is up to rest of the scientific community to come along for the ride."

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