20 teams are now running the "pre-qualifying" reaces

Lab Note #7
Apr 07, 2014
We have asked each of the 20 teams that signed up for the race to write a few words about their winning strategies. Please mark this page and visit it often for updates in the coming weeks.

1 David Queller, Joan Strassman, Debbie Brock, Tracy Douglas, Susanne DiSalvo, and Suegene Noh
Washington University, St.Louis, US
We trust in nature’s ability to create the ultimate competitor. Whether they are traversing the depths of soil to hunt the perfect morsel, or tracking a chemical signal through a synthetic maze, wild Dicty cells will crush the competition and prove that nature knows best.

2 Agnes Janoshazi

3 David Knecht
U. Connecticut, US

4 Guillaume Charras
University College London, UK
Contractility is a key for efficient migration in confined environments. So we doped up our cells to make them fast and furious. Let's just hope they can still steer like Vin Diesel...

5 Natacha Steinckwich-Besancon
With the ‘need for speed’, our chemotaxing neutrophil HL-60s do not require nitrous oxide. Instead, we have souped-up and enhanced the cells Calcium-signaling pathways to ‘GO NEUTRO’!!

6 Max Krummel
UC San Francisco, US

7 Terri Bruce
Clemson University, US

8 C. Anjard & J.P. Rieux Université Lyon 1, France

9 Robert Insall, Douwe Veltman, Jason King
Beatson Institute, UK
We are a group of three cell biology obsessives who worked together a few years back but have since gone our separate ways. We believe that evolution has made cells about as effective as they can be, so the best ways of improving migration are to amplify the cells' own traits, rather than by wholesale changes.

10 Carsten Beta
U Potsdam, Germany

11 Jan Faix
Hanover Medical School, Germany
Following the Olympic games over the past decades clearly illustrated that perfection of certain skills requires specialized adaptations for each discipline. We are therefore confident that genetic manipulation of the motility machinery could be very helpful to boost speed during chemotaxis towards cAMP.

12 Peter van Haastert, Arjan Kortholt, Ineke Keizer-Gunnink, Rama Kataria
U Groningen, Netherlands
The combination of natural and artificial selection has resulted in excellent axenic Dictyostelium strains.  Our "lab work horse" AX3 moves very efficiently in a cAMP-gradient using a combination of complex signaling pathways. To further improve chemotaxis efficiency we generated a mutant with overexpression of a protein that amplifies the basic signaling pathways.

13 Adrian Harwood,
Cardiff University, UK

14 Annette Müller-Taubenberger, Matthias Samereier
Ludwig-Maximilians-U, Munich, Germany

15 M. Myre
Harvard Medical School, US

16 T. Gregor
Princeton University, US

17 Alan Kimmel

18 Rob Kay, Douwe Veltman,
MRC Cambridge, UK
We have adapted our strategy in response to the setup of the obstacle course that the cells have to navigate in order to win this particular race. Seeing that the corridors of the maze are rather narrow we opted for giving the cells some extra squeezing power. We did this by overexpressing a RacGEF that we speculate enhances the acto/myosin cortex in the back of the cell. This extra power gives the cells an edge over the competition.

19 Eric Tschirhart
University of Luxembourg

20 Peter Devreotes, Kristen Swaney, Thomas Lampert
Johns Hopkins University, US
Our lab is testing a number of pharmacological inhibitors at low concentrations, based on the hypothesis that inhibiting the cells' normal spontaneous activity (unrelated to the gradient) will enhance their sensitivity towards the chemoattractant gradient in the device.
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