Bioscience Report for LSS group meeting – 17/03/08
No further progress currently on data analysis position. Things are understandably currently stalled in any case. We hope to advertise a position at Band 4/5 with adjusted slection criteria with more of a focus on SANS data analysis and modelling.
Biolabs (TS-1 and TS-2)
BioLab is running and functional. Lots of teething problems and discovering things we didn't have in stock but tbis is likely to continue for a few months yet. Nonetheless have successfully expressed three proteins in the last two weeks including some bright green fluorescent protein. Moving forward on ion channel purification.
We hope to revoke general access to the BioLab soon after Easter. This is currently waiting on getting the shift crew trained for emergencies. Once this has been done we can revoke access for everyone else. At this point anyone who doesn't hold a piece of paper with either CN's or LW's signature saying they have been trained will not have access.
Timelines on this are uncertain at the moment. The labs are a lower priority than the instruments so there is the potential for significant delay. Space will continue to be an issue.
Science and general
Biomembrane Structure and Function
Luke is focussing on developing various membrane channels as model systems for working with SAS and reflectometry to gain structural information. This includes developing a project with SAH and Jeremy Lakey (Newcastle) on incorporation of channels into langmuir monolayers. Also submitted a CMSD proposal for 50% studentship with Reading to develop work on puroindoline membrane proteins whose protein-lipid interactions are important in determining wheat hardness. Luke will be talking on some of this work at NMUM.Still hoping to bring out Steven Sligar to work on nanodiscs as sample environments for SANS. Placement student will begin in June working on developing fluorescently labelled versions of various of our target proteins to make SAS and reflection experiments easier as well as developing the potential for complementary microscopy based approaches to some of these systems.
Other protein and sample environment systems
Sandwich student starting in July will work on fluorescent labelling of DNA binding protein. This is also part of another CMSD proposal with Dave Scott at Nottingham to combine AUC and SAS data for integrated data analysis approaches. Aim is for the data analysis post to assist with this. This will also focus on developing the fluorescent labelling as a convenient technique for determining protein concentration in samples as well as exploiting the german funded in situ fluorescence project. Another focus will be developing footprinting technqiues that will provide data on which parts of the protein are exposed to solvent (and/or covered up by interactions with other molecules).
Recent work for Steve King's experiment means we now have a good sample cell for potentially pathogenic samples.
The Open Lab
We are committed to making all of our techniques development and protocols fully available to the user community. This will include raw and processed data with the aim of providing examples that people can work through as well as the detail that will allow people to check protocols are working in their hands. This will also include logging of lab parameters and certain equipment (autoclave, freezer, etc) for both safety records and trouble shooting. The development work is being done in Southampton. This is all development work but feeds into efforts on data capture from instruments. Implementations already exist for e.g. tracking the output from a langmuir trough that might be useful for other people.