#COVID19 Lab non-happenings

So, like most of the world, the lab has been in lock-down since early March (we ramped everything down, including culling our mouse colonies to 1/3 of their original size, and turned off the lights on March 12th). Nevertheless, things have been moving along…

(1) Work with our collaborator Sabzali Javadov at University of Puerto Rico was published. along with an editorial for AJP Lung written with Mike O”Reilly, all about Scott Ballinger’s trans-mitochondrial mouse study.

(2) Lots of grants submitted and reviewed… In February we submitted an NIDDK R01 on the potential role of mitochondrial K+ channels as anti-obesity drug targets, as well as a metabolomics collaboration with Heiko Bugger in Austria. Paul served on an NIH special emphasis panel, and will also be ad-hocking (sp?) for NIH in June.

(3) Our mass spec’ went kaput! Apparently either the turbo pump or its controller are dead, so we’re awaiting a service call to fix it, but of course with the virus shut-down it’s not clear when that will be accomplished.

(4) Thankfully, when the lock-down occurred, we were at a place in the research cycle where we’re sitting on a LOT of data, and so now we’re writing up several papers for submission in a few weeks. While (my guess is) the rest of the world is going to be churning out review articles during this time, I’m hopeful that we can get some actual science published this year!

(5) We were intrigued by the report last fall from Yingming Zhao’s group regarding the potential for modification of histone lysine residues by “lactylation” (addition of lactate)… especially since, at the same time, Jim Galligan’s group in Arizona reported a possible mechanism. However, there were some problems in the Zhao paper related to the anti-lactyl-lysine antibody, and we currently have in revision at Nature a “Brief Matters Arising” paper, outlining some important caveats. We may post a pre-print on BioRxiv in the coming weeks, depending on how fast things move through the editorial process.

As seems to be the case with so much scientific communication recently, the blog is going the way of the dodo, and Twitter seems to be where it’s at, for more timely updates on happenings of both a scientific and non-scientific nature.