In this series of four brief video clips from Washington State University produced by Adam Ratliff and Cherie Winner for Washington State Magazine Online, microbiologist Cynthia Haseltine describes how she's working to understand the process of DNA repair and the causes of lymphoma, with the help of a microbe that has an unusual lifestyle and an uncanny resemblance to Homo sapiens.
Archaea are everywhere, yet until a few years ago we didn't know how special they are. Haseltine gives us a quick introduction.
The way Archaea repair their DNA is a stripped-down version of the way our cells do it. Haseltine takes advantage of that similarity, and the sturdiness of archaeal proteins, to figure out how damaged DNA gets fixed.
How do you study a process that kills traditional lab organisms? Haseltine explains why a sulfur-eating archaeal microbe is her top choice for studying the mistakes in DNA repair that lead to lymphomas and other cancers.
Haseltine reveals an essential attribute for any scientist: a sense of wonder.
Source - wastatemagazine.blip.tv