Biology

DNA curtains—devised by P&S professor Eric Greene—provide a new way to study DNA-protein interactions. DNA strands are green; proteins are pink. Image: Eric Greene.

Using a dazzling technology to watch proteins collide, clutch, and slide along strands of DNA, researchers at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and UC-Berkeley report online in Nature that they have uncovered some of the secrets behind a powerful new genetic engineer

An evaporation harvesting device made of Legos, a spore-coated rubber sheet, a coil and a magnet. The device produces electricity when sheet bends and straightens in response to moisture. Image Credit: Xi Chen/Columbia University

Legos may seem like an unlikely foundation for scientific research, but the building blocks have been a part of Ozgur Sahin’s work since he made a mechanical adding device with them when he was 11.

Three Columbia professors were among the 78 recipients of awards in the National Institutes of Health High Risk-High Reward program.

From the chimera in Greek mythology to the sphinx in ancient Egypt, humans have imagined making creatures from pieces of different organisms for millennia.

In recognition of their exceptional scholarly merit and distinguished service to Columbia, the University Board of Trustees has approved President Lee C. Bollinger’s appointment of two new University Professors: Martin Chalfie, the William R. Kenan Jr.

When Koji Nakanishi retired six years ago, the chemistry department threw a party for him, complete with a cake that said, “Happy Retirement, Koji. See you tomorrow!” Sure enough, he was back in his Chandler Hall office the next day, where he continues to work six days a week.

Researchers in the group of Centennial Professor of Chemistry, Samuel Danishefsky, have synthesized what is arguably the largest and most complex biological molecule ever assembled by the methods of organic chemistry.

Images of various preparations used to study traumatic brain injury in Barclay Morrison's laboratory. Left: a mixed culture of brain cells stained for neurons (green) and auxiliary brain cells (red). Center: a hippocampal slice stained for inhibitory neurons (green). Right: a living hippocampal culture on a microelectrode array (black dots) to record neuronal activity after injury.

Barclay Morrison, an associate professor of biomedical engineering, compares the brain's physical response to traumatic brain injury to, of all things, a gelatin dessert.

Columbia to Award the 2012 Horwitz Prize to Richard Losick, Joe Lutkenhaus, and Lucy Shapiro for Discovering the Intracellular Structure of Bacterial Cells

Martin Chalfie

Martin Chalfie, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Biological Sciences, was awarded the first Golden Goose Award, honoring basic science research that initially seems obscure but leads to findings with significant health and economic benefits.

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