• Drs. Rahul M. Kohli and Tong Wang discuss a new non-destructive enzymatic sequencing method for detecting DNA methylation that they developed called Direct Methylation Sequencing (DM-Seq). Learn about the technique that allows scientists to profile very small quantities of DNA to clearly identify 5-methylcytosine at base-resolution. Visit Rahul Kohli’s lab to learn more about exciting innovations and current projects.  Read the full paper published in Nat Chem Biol 2023; 19(8):1004-1012.

  • Nanopore technology has transformed how the world sequences DNA and RNA enabling a deeper understanding of genomes. The next frontier for nanopores will be protein sequencing. Giovanni Maglia, Ph.D. and Adina Sauciuc, MSc. (University of Groningen) discuss how they engineered a nanopore to translocate untagged, linearized, full-length proteins under an opposing electroosmotic force and achieve unique protein signatures. Visit Giovanni Maglia’s lab to learn more about single-molecule biophysics. Read the full paper published in Nat Biotechnol (2023) https://doi.org/10.1038/s41587-023-01954-x

  • COVID-19 infections caused by SARS-CoV-2, a coronavirus, are still prevalent worldwide. Having multiple targets available to design antivirals, especially to highly conserved genes across coronaviruses, is ideal. The SARS-CoV-2 helicase, nsp13, is essential for viral replication and is highly conserved. Understanding the mechanics of nsp13 action is difficult due to the speed and small step size of the motor enzyme. Dr. Andrew Laszlo (University of Washington) and Dr. Sinduja Marx (Seattle Children’s Research Institute) discuss the use of Single-molecule Picometer Resolution Nanopore Tweezers (SPRNT) to reveal the detailed mechanism of nsp13 motion on DNA and demonstrate how SPRNT can be used to determine mechanism of action of a helicase inhibitor. Read more about this published work in Nucleic Acids Research. 2023; 51(17):9266-9278.

  • Small nucleolar (sno)RNAs are a large family of noncoding RNAs that often use antisense guide sequences to recognize target RNAs. The vast majority of targets for the ~2000 snoRNAs in humans remains unknown. Zhipeng Lu, Ph.D., and co-lead authors Minjie Zhang, Ph.D., and Kongpan Li, Ph.D., discuss improvements to genomic technologies that led to the identification and verification of a large network of snoRNA-tRNA interactions. These findings reveal a supply-and-demand economy where snoRNAs regulate tRNA usage to influence cell proliferation and development. Application of the improved PARIS2 and denatured RiboMeth-seq methods may allow dissection of other noncoding RNAs’ function in the human genome. Visit Zhipeng Lu’s Lab to learn more about work being conducted.

    Read the full paper published in Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2023; 120 (41):e231216120..