I haven't really had much time lately for fun extraneous stuff (like blogging), but I figured I have some time before I go to Boston so I might as well show something.
Larry is presenting at Biophysical society so he called on yours truly to create a bunch of graphics to accurately represent our science. Below are a few figures from the poster for your pre-viewing pleasure.
This first image quickly details my aspect of KochLab. That is the molecular biology aspect of the lab. The green blobs are yeast chromosomes, and the cleaver is a restriction endonuclease.
This next image is used to diagram the different aspects involved in unzipping DNA, namely that one has to deal with base-pairing, single stranded DNA (ssDNA), and double stranded DNA (dsDNA).
I made the next image to demonstrate how the optical tweezers will function. As you can see, the DNA is attached to a microsphere in an optical trap. This interaction is through bonding between streptavidin (on the sphere) and biotin (embedded in the DNA). On the other end, the DNA is affixed to a glass surface because of the specific binding of dig (on the DNA) and anti-dig (on the glass). This setup is made possible by the use of Koch's anchor DNA. It is created from dsDNA with a nick. The dig is on one side of the nick and the biotin is on the other. This short segment of DNA (an oligo) is ligated (attached) to a fragment of DNA that a user would want to inspect, in our case yeast genomic DNA. And that is as good a quick description of the process as you are going to get.
If you are going to be at the Biophysical Society Meeting, come check out Larry's poster (Lawrence Herskowitz) and admire our very cool science (and my sweet images).