In the News...
Congratulations to Dr. Harry Noller for winning The Aminoff Prize 2012 !
After extracting ancient DNA from the 40,000-year-old bones of Neanderthals, scientists have obtained a draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome
Building the Genome Zoo. Robert Pollie Podcast interviewing David Haussler. November 22, 2009. KUSP (NPR).
Dr Michael Stone continues the trend and joins the Center for Molecular Biology of RNA.
Dr Jeremy Sanford joins the Center for Molecular Biology of RNA.
July 9, 2008
Researchers find new mode of gene regulation in mammals
Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have discovered a type of gene regulation never before observed in mammals--a "ribozyme" that controls the activity of an important family of genes in several different species....
June 6, 2008
Molecular 'Ratcheting' Of Single Ribosome Molecules Observed In Act Of Building Proteins
Researchers have reported that they are the first to observe the dynamic, ratchet-like movements of single ribosomal molecules in the act of building proteins from genetic blueprints...
March 15, 2007
RNA enzyme structure offers a glimpse into the origins of life
Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have determined the three-dimensional structure of an RNA enzyme, or "ribozyme," that carries out a fundamental reaction required to make new RNA molecules. Their results provide insight into what may have been the first self-replicating molecule to arise billions of years ago on the evolutionary path toward the emergence of life...
September 13, 2006
Researchers probe the machinery of cellular protein factories
Proteins of all sizes and shapes do most of the work in living cells, and the DNA sequences in genes spell out the instructions for making those proteins. The crucial job of reading the genetic instructions and synthesizing the specified proteins is carried out by ribosomes, tiny protein factories humming away inside the cells of all living things.
Harry Noller, the Sinsheimer Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has been studying the ribosome for more than 30 years. His main goal is to understand how the ribosome works and how it evolved, but there are also practical reasons to pursue this research. Many of the most effective antibiotics work by targeting bacterial ribosomes, and findings by Noller and others have led to the development of novel antibiotics that hold promise for use against germs that have developed resistance to current drugs. Drug-resistant staph infections, for example, are a serious problem in hospitals.
Noller's laboratory achieved breakthroughs in 1999 and 2001, producing the first high-resolution images of the molecular structure of a complete ribosome. Now, his team has made another major advance with an even higher-resolution image that enables them to construct an atom-by-atom model of the ribosome...
August 16, 2006
Newly discovered gene may hold clues to evolution of human brain capacity
Scientists have discovered a gene that has undergone accelerated evolutionary change in humans and is active during a critical stage in brain development. Although researchers have yet to determine the precise function of the gene, the evidence suggests that it may play a role in the development of the cerebral cortex and may even help explain the dramatic expansion of this part of the brain during human evolution...
July 20, 2006
Atomic-resolution structure of a ribozyme yields insights into RNA catalysis and the origins of life
Which came first, nucleic acids or proteins? This question is molecular biology's version of the "chicken-or-the-egg" riddle. Genes made of nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) contain the instructions for making proteins, but enzymes made of proteins are needed to replicate genes. For those who try to understand how life originated, this once seemed an intractable paradox...
April 23, 2006
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Stem cell research under way at UCSC
The cause of diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's continues to puzzle the world. But while cures may be a long way off, research into genetics and biomedicine — some of it happening right here — provides hope, and stem cell scientists at UC Santa Cruz are being touted as the "next generation" of researchers...
April 3, 2006
UC Santa Cruz Currents
UCSC researchers receive $1.6 million grant for biosensor project
A team of UCSC researchers has received major funding from the National Institutes of Health to develop new sensor technology for biomedical applications...
The new project involves the collaboration of two other scientists at UCSC: David Deamer, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and acting chair of biomolecular engineering, and Harry Noller, Sinsheimer Professor of Molecular Biology...
Noller is a leading authority on ribosomes, complex biomolecular machines that are the protein factories in all living cells. The researchers will use the new sensor platform to study individual ribosomes in action.
"In the integrated sensor, we will be able to study the ribosome without the need to immobilize it, so we hope to gain new understanding of how the ribosome works," Schmidt said.