Technologies have been advancing for years and have been leading to new discoveries on their way. Wouldn’t it be fun to know what each organism in a species is doing at the exact moment without disturbing its habitual environment? This has been made possible by the California Institute of Technology who has successfully developed a technology for the same.
This technology understands the gene expression of various species in their natural environment thus giving us the knowledge of what they’re doing at that exact time. Whether they are producing food, consuming food, fighting with various viruses, etc. This technology can be used across millions of bacterial cells to know how to investigate their gene expression.
This technology can be used for various species like bacteria, microbes living inside our body, intestine, bacteria that provide to plant growth and those who prohibit their growth, etc.
Let’s talk about what we actually mean by gene expression. Gene expression is the process by which the instructions in our DNA are converted into a functional product, such as a protein. The physical body is often a gene expression. It acts as both an on/off switch to control when proteins are made and also a volume control that increases or decreases the number of proteins made.
Gene expression is important because these genes have DNA in them that contains cell information. This helps the gene to encode proteins with this dictate cell functions. The thousands of genes expressed in a particular cell determine what that cell can do.
This technology was developed by Daniel Dur, a postdoctoral scholar in Diane Newman’s lab at the California Institute of Technology, an Amgen Professor of Biology and Geotechnology, and Executive Officer of Biology and Biotechnology and a senior research engineer at the Longkai Institute of Technology, and a professor of biology and biotechnology. He conducted the research and developed the technology with other members from the laboratory. The research paper for the same has been published in a journal called “Chemistry.”
With this new technology, you can actually see the gene expression of the bacterium and understand with help of experts what exactly the bacterium is doing and feeling. This advancement will help science over the years to make more great findings unknown to us today.
Gene expression is considered as the one way through which we can understand an organism, its behaviors, and actions. It is due to the protein involved in the process.
Let’s understand it with an example – If a bacterium is in a food deficient environment and has no sources to fulfill its deficiency it will activate certain cells specialized in energy-saving and also expend less energy by not engaging in high energy consumption activities like reproduction, cell division, destroying outside invaders, etc.
In the past we used to use a single prototype for the whole population of the bacterial cells to understand gene expression, this often led to biased opinions and conclusions. This problem was first contemplated by Daniel Dur and thus he developed the technology. He expressed that considering every organism similar to each other leads to identity loss and limits microbial research.
Even if we take the example of two bacterial cells that reside in the same environment and consume the same food, still in certain situations one bacterium can activate while another can deactivate. So even though their genetic composition is similar to each other still their gene expression will be quite different.