Tus fuss (1)

 

The main actors.

My Tus paper in the news, those interested can start reading up. Again, more to follow

 

Today’s headlines

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No: It’s my project on the cover of Nature Chemical Biology!

Tussle stories.

More will follow soon, for the time being I’ll quote the Journal:

“A single-molecule approach using magnetic tweezers shows that DNA strand separation alone can trigger a lock at Tus–Ter sites where oppositely moving replisomes on circular bacterial chromosomes must avoid crashing. The results support a ‘mousetrap’ model in which replication-related proteins are not necessary and strand separation is followed by an interaction between Tus and C6 of the Ter site that sets up a hierarchy of interactions to allow the Tus–Ter complex to progressively strengthen. Cover art by Erin Dewalt, based on an image provided by TU Delft/Tremani.”

Supporting conversations

During a recent conversation with a technician, let’s call him ‘Cherry Maker’ (CM, not to be confused with cherry picker), I wanted to know what being support staff meant to him. “Assimilation.” he answered, and after seeing my puzzled face, he added: “It’s becoming what you always dreaded as a researcher.” “Well”, I said, “isn’t that a bit dramatic?” CM: “No! I find it quite funny. When I was a young grad student a long time ago, I found the sight of a technician going home at 5, irrespective of the status of the experiment, horrifying. Same when a technician’s interest in a paper did not go beyond his/her own contribution.”

The distorted views of academia. This image is really spot on (@biomatushik – http://sotak.info/sci.jpg)

“Now” he said with an ironic smile, “I can just feel those looks from grad students as soon as I leave for home at around 5! Look Bojk,” CM said in his usual tongue-in-cheek manner, “you PhDs like to think it’s all about you and your research, but as a technician you have come to realize that hierarchy and continuity come first, then comes a whole lot of nothing and other stuff, and then come the PhDs…” Me: “So where’s the assimilation part in this and why is this funny?” CM: “Because I realize now that every researcher-turned-support unavoidably assimilates towards this other way of thinking, irrespective of the initial world view. It’s nurture pur sang!”

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