Quick Update on the Racing Cells which Arrived Safely to our Lab

Lab Note #16
May 09, 2014
As of Friday, May 12th, we have received cells from 9 teams and at least four more are on their way.  The teams are listed below.  The numbers are the same from the sign-up list one month ago.  4 more days to the Race, and our lab is getting very crowded !

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. link to the lab page

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... link to the lab page

5.   Natacha Steinckwich-Besancon , NIH/NIEHS , US
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’!!  link to the lab page

7. Terri Bruce , Clemson University, US link to the lab page

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. link to the lab page

10. Carsten Beta , U Potsdam, Germany 
If you want to run fast, you should not be sticking to the ground too much. Therefore, our athletes carry a mutation that results in decreased cell-substrate adhesion. link to the lab page

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. link to the lab page

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. 
link to the lab page

14. Annette Müller-Taubenberger, Matthias Samereier , Ludwig-Maximilians-U, Munich, Germany
We’re sending a low-adhesive mutant into battle! Instead of forming excessive adhesion complexes, these cells dash through any maze, while their fellow competitors are still busy de-adhering.  link to the lab page    

15.  Michael Myre ,  Harvard Medical School, US link to the lab page

17   Alan Kimmel , NIH/NIDDK , US link to the lab page

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.  link to the lab page

19. Eric Tschirhart, Sébastien Plancon , University of Luxembourg link to the lab page

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.  link to the lab page
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