Don’t Hate Perky Morning People: It Might Be Their DNA’s Fault

The people who burst from bed as the sun rises to cheerily tackle their to-do list—while others sluggishly rouse and fumble with coffee makers—may have a few DNA tweaks in common.

Source: Don’t hate perky morning people: It might be their DNA’s fault

Being a morning person is associated with lower risks of depression…  Speaking as a cheerful morning person myself, my theory is that part of that is all the free schadenfreude we get access to just by watching all the other poor schlubs trying to get moving in the morning.

Lab Technique Reveals Structure and Function of Proteins Critical in DNA Repair

By combining two highly innovative experimental techniques, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have for the first time simultaneously observed the structure and the correlated function of specific proteins critical in the repair of DNA, providing definitive answers to some highly debated questions, and opening up new avenues of inquiry and exciting new possibilities for biological engineering.

Source: New lab technique simultaneously reveals structure and function of proteins critical in DNA repair

What was novel wasn’t really the techniques they used, but how they used them. They were able to use high resolution optical traps and single molecule FRET to determine both the processivity of the helicase as well as which conformation the helicase was active in (open or closed) simultaneously. To my knowledge, this hasn’t been done before so that’s pretty cool. They also used this technique to determine that UvrD is far more processive as a dimer than as a monomer.