“Wednesday Nite @ The Lab” Public Science Talks
Wednesdays at 7pm CT
Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, Madison WI,
Stream by zoom at go.wisc.edu/240r59
For 4 January 2023
Hi WN@TL Fans,
I hope you’re still enjoying the best that the New Year season has to offer.
In 2023 will see the 70th anniversary of the proposal by Watson & Crick for the structure of DNA. Since then, the double helix has become the unexcelled example of elegance & economy in molecular structure.
The same can be said for DNA’s function. As I point out in my “Doing DNA” workshops with visitors, DNA is a lot like an alphabet. But unlike the English alphabet with its 26 shapes, ordinary DNA has but four. In English, we can string different letters in different orders to give different words with different meanings. Furthermore, we can string words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, paragraphs into pages, pages into books, all using the same set of 26 letters over and over.
In a simplified view, with DNA cells can chain together the four different bases into genes and chain genes into chromosomes and chromosomes compose genomes, using the same 4 bases over and over. As with English, the spelling matters: a small change in the order of the letters can make a big difference in the meaning of a word (or of a gene), as with the word “shut”. Or sometimes, the order makes no or nearly nil change, as in the word ‘centre.’
In spelling DNA as in reading words, speed matters. Accuracy, too. When I started at the Biotech Center in 1991, the DNA Sequencing Facility could spell out about 600 bases a day, a formidable achievement at the time. But when you figure the human diploid genome is comprised of about six billion bases, it would take about 10 million days to spell it out just once at that rate. Yet by 2001, with new techniques in chemistry, new algorithms in math, more powerful hardware and more ingenious software in computer science, the world celebrated the first draft of the compilation of the human genome.
In the past 22 years the speed and accuracy of sequencing DNA has continued to increase to astronomical rates using techniques I can hardly fathom. The biology, the chemistry, the sequencing machines, the algorithms, the hardware & software continue to astonish. The power of a single facility to sequence billions of bases a day opens to us new insights and even newer mysteries both in fundamental biology and in medical sciences.
This week (January 4) Molly Zeller kicks off the year with a new look at our old friend, DNA. Her talk builds on one she gave in in October at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, but we get to hear it right here on Henry Mall.
Title: DNA Sequencing Technologies Upcoming for 2023
Description: This talk will explore innovations in DNA sequencing technologies and what they mean for our future in genomics.
Bio: Molly Zeller has a Master of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology from Colorado State University and a Cell and Molecular Biology bachelor’s degree from UW-Oshkosh. She has been working at the UW Biotech Center’s DNA Sequencing Facility for 6 years. As the lab manager of the core, she oversees staff and production.
On January 11 Carrie Schroeder of Department of Surgical Sciences in the School of Veterinary Medicine speaks on “Veterinary Anesthesiology: One Health and All Species.”
Description: I will be talking about what we do as veterinary anesthesiologists, anesthetizing all species and all sizes. I will also promote our program that welcomes human anesthesia residents for a one-week rotation at the Vet School.
Bio: Carrie Schroeder, DVM, DACVA is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Anesthesia and Pain Management at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine
Explore More: https://archive.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/114616379.html/ (source of the photo above)
Hope to see you soon, in person or by zoom, at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab.
Tom ZinnenBiotechnology Center & Division of Extension, Wisconsin 4-H
Please share this missive with your friends & neighbors.
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Continue to use the link found in the confirmation message Zoom sent you when you first registered.
WN@TL begins at 7:00pm Central.
You can also watch the web stream at the WN@TL YouTube channel.
Visit UW-Madison’s science outreach portal at science.wisc.edu for information on the people, places & programs on campus that welcome you to come experience science as exploring the unknown, all year round.
Here are the components of the WN@TL User’s Guide:
1. The live WN@TL seminar, every Wednesday night, 50 times a year, at 7pm CT in Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center and on Zoom at go.wisc.edu/240r59
2. The WN@TL YouTube channel
3. WN@TL on the University Place broadcast channel of PBS Wisconsin
4. WN@TL on the University Place website
Park for a small fee in Lot 20, 1390 University Avenue, Madison, WI