A Research Blog

Flora and fauna – in the gut!

Using Periodic acid–Schiff (PAS) staining to indicate the region of basement membrane in human colon tissue, we get to see the unexpected beauty in the tissue.

 Image by Chong Li Yen, a Research Associate in the laboratory of Professor Karl Tryggvason,
Tanoto Foundation Professor of Diabetes Research
Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders Programme
Duke-NUS Medical School

Human GADD34 (Image credit Phosphositeplus, www.phosphosite.org)

Image credit: PhosphoSitePlus®, www.phosphosite.org

Name: GADD34-containing eukaryotic initiation factor 2α phosphatase (GADD34)

Action: Dephosphorylates eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α), thereby reducing the translation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-targeted proteins

Gene: Ppp1r15a

What was known before:

GADD34 was thought to only be expressed as a response to cellular stress, where its main function is to reverse eIF2α phosphorylation and promote the translation of stress response proteins, so as to mitigate cellular stress and facilitate recovery.

Illuminating angiogenesis


Pictured here is a human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) created using a super-resolution microscope (ELYRA PS.1, Zeiss). The nuclei can be seen here in blue, cytoskeleton in green, and the mitochondria in red. HUVECs were employed as a model system in a study, published in Nature Communications, that investigated how the gene, Wars 2, controls angiogenesis or blood vessel formation. More about Wars2 and its angiogenetic function can be read here

Image by Mao Wang, Research Assistant in the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases Programme 
Duke-NUS Medical School

Visualising neurons


The structure of random neurons are highlighted in green following the uptake of green fluorescent protein. Markers specific for dendrites light up in red, while markers for axons light up in blue, to show the intricate network of connections facilitating communication between individual neurons.


Image by Chan Jia Pei, PhD student in the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders Programme
Duke-NUS Medical School




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