Ever felt curious about the cell world? Ever had the desire to find out what and how much protein a cell consists of?Well, if the answer to any of the above is yes, then you are at the right platform. After reading this article, one thing can be assured- that all your questions will be answered. Diving into the world of cells, let’s explore the intricate unit of life.
As you know, the cell is the basic structural unit of life. It is certain that the answer to all the diseases is within the cells. Knowing the exact amount of protein a cell contains and the function that protein performs will help in getting a step closer to the treatment of many untreatable diseases such as cancer.
A cell is not something which we can open to know what’s inside it. It is much complex than it may seem. There has been a lot of research in the past by several scientists on this but they seem to face a lot of problems. Basically, there have been problems in knowing the sequence of proteins in a cell. Though the total amount of protein could be calculated by knowing the amount of protein in a cell, is a tedious task.
Nikolai Slavov, a Northeastern University researcher has been working religiously to devise protein measuring technology.
According to Slavov, “It’s a sampling error. It doesn’t tell us whether some cells might have lots of proteins while others might have none at all.”
Proteins are responsible for carrying out very crucial functions of our body. Proteins tend to work in a cascade reaction and obtain desired responses. Several proteins are known to carry out functions which are vital for providing immunity. These proteins are known to fight diseases and help in the survival of cells constituting the human body. Despite all the problems, Slavov was working in the Northeastern University lab and was not ready to give up. He knew what revolution such a discovery can make and benefit mankind. He kept on working and successfully developed a technology using mass spectroscopy. Mass spectroscopy has been used for a long time to detect and differentiate proteins in a cell. Slavov and his team worked rigorously and revamped this technique with data-driven methods. The technique can now be used to identify 2,000 proteins in a cell.
Earlier scientists were able to devise a technology which helped in identifying 100 proteins in a cell. They thought it was an impossible task but Slavov’s hard work disproved them all.
After his success, Slavov said “The biggest block was the perception that this was not possible. But I believed in my back-of-the-envelope calculations that we were going to make it work.”
Currently, Slavov is on his mission to improve the technique further and has the support from many other researchers as well. Soon, Slavov will hopefully devise such a technology that would help in treating many untreated diseases.