Thesis defense: Dr. Janzen

Congratulations to Dr. Evan Janzen for a well-deserved finish to his graduate studies! Five years of dedicated work spanning organic synthesis, RNA biochemistry, and bioinformatics was summarized in an excellent thesis defense. Dr. Janzen will be venturing across the...
Why do phages tolerate molecular engineering?

Why do phages tolerate molecular engineering?

When Huan Peng first cloned M13 chimeras by mix-and-match with other filamentous phages, in order to change the host targeted, we thought we'd probably need to do at least a little directed evolution to improve the folding or affinity of the new chimeras. That was not...

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Thesis defense: Dr. Tran

Thesis defense: Dr. Tran

Congratulations to Dr. Claire Tran on successfully defending her thesis! We will miss her hard-won expertise in protein and RNA biochemistry as well as her carefully crafted 'joke' slides. Dr. Tran is heading to Boston to join i2o Therapeutics.

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Processing Illumina data from in vitro evolution

Processing Illumina data from in vitro evolution

A few years ago, Celia Blanco and Sam Verbanic began analyzing Illumina data from our collaborator Burckhard Seelig's laboratory. Since our existing tools were written for ribozyme selections, Celia and Sam wrote some new scripts to pre-process the data. Others in the...

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Now at UCLA

Now at UCLA

After more than seven wonderful years at UCSB, our lab is beginning a new chapter at UCLA! We are excited to join the 'Bruin' family in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Many thanks to our tireless and optimistic lab mates who packed and moved...

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Primer on protocells

Primer on protocells

Looking for a quick introduction to protocells and their importance for the origin of life? Read our Primer by postdoctoral fellow Yei-Chen Lai and Irene Chen, and take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy some of J.R.R. Tolkien's lyrical text. We'll bet you'll be...

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The microbiome of chronic wounds

The microbiome of chronic wounds

We first started to wonder about the impact that phages might have on polymicrobial, long-term bacterial communities, such as those that colonize chronic wounds, a few years ago. Studying this question requires characterization of both the bacterial and the phage...

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Rapid bacterial detection and antibiotic susceptibility

Rapid bacterial detection and antibiotic susceptibility

To identify bacterial pathogens and determine the best antibiotics to use, clinical laboratories use 'culture and sensitivity', or growth of bacteria on selective media. This process takes days to yield results, which is a long time during a bacterial infection. Last...

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Thesis defense: Dr. Verbanic

Thesis defense: Dr. Verbanic

Congratulations to Sam Verbanic on an exceptionally smooth thesis defense! Four and a half years of hard work and enthusiasm establishing a completely new project in the lab could be seen. Dr. Verbanic will be staying with us as a postdoctoral fellow to expand his...

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Reviews: promiscuous ribozymes, HTS, and fitness landscapes

Reviews: promiscuous ribozymes, HTS, and fitness landscapes

It is tempting to imagine that, during the origin of life, the earliest catalytic RNAs would be so simple that they would be rather non-specific in activity or substrates. Then, evolution might create variants that would become optimized for different activities...

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