Maurijn van der Zee is a tenure-track assistant professor at Leiden University in the Netherlands. His primary interest is to understand the genetic and developmental mechanisms that underlie evolutionary change in animals, but recently he has been exploring a new field: innate immunity in insects. Six months ago he became a father for the first time ‘to a beautiful daughter’. His first PhD student also graduated very recently: he says that this also felt a bit like becoming a father. Maurijn also enjoys writing popular science articles for the Dutch press and giving public lectures.
In this episode we hear about the cocktail party effect, the role of psuedogene RNA in the immune response, the genetic origins of a common form of blindness, the flu vaccine, and the origins of schistosomiasis.
The INM protein LAP1B, an activator of Torsin ATPases, is a chromatin-binding factor that erroneously persists on mitotic chromatin if Torsin functionality is compromised, inducing chromosome segregation defects and binucleation.
eMags is an engineered photodimerizer pair for optogenetic modulation in mammalian cells that is especially suited for the manipulation of intracellular processes occurring in small volumes or subcellular organelles.