Just before my Indonesian adventure took off, I got to present my Tus work to an audience of DNA replication specialists. The thought of going to Egham did not particularly excite me – as google maps quickly taught me the town was situated practically on top of Heathrow’s runways. However, England would not be England were it not that even these kerosene fume filled outskirts of London somehow still have the air of being a Harry Potter movie set. Egham turned out to be home to the Royal Holloway University of London. Never heard of the place, even though it seemed to want to compete with Oxbridge in appearance. Besides this, Windsor Castle turned out to be around the corner and, more importantly: Great Windsor park.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No: It’s my project on the cover of Nature Chemical Biology!
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.”