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May Issue of Nature Methods
In the cover story of the May issue of Nature Methods, Matthew Attreed, a graduate student with Dr. Hannes Buelow reports a novel method that allows visualization of specifically modified heparan sulfates (Nat. Methods, 2012, 9(5):477-479). Heparan sulfates are extracellular sugars that are ubiquitous on the cell surface of multicellular organisms and modulate protein-protein interactions by way of their modifications. This work is significant because it describes a general strategy for the genetic analysis of non-genetically encoded molecules. On the other hand, this method hints at “…the exciting possibility of analyzing the physiological and/or tissue-specific roles of non–genetically encoded molecules such as different sugars or lipids in live worms” write Drs. Kulkarni and Wadsworth from UMDNJ, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in an accompanying News & Views piece.