Bin Liu, PhD, publishes three articles in prestigious journal

Published 1:21 pm Monday, March 13, 2023

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The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota’s, Bin Liu, PhD, has recently published three articles in Trends in Biochemical Sciences, a high-impact and prestigious journal from Cell Press. The publications include an invited review, an invited technology of the month paper, and an invited narrative.

“Since these are invited reviews and articles, they recognize my team’s achievements in our field of study and the importance of our opinions as scientists and experts,” Liu said. “Also, it means that our knowledge and experience could be potentially used by others to improve their data representation and engage in science popularization.”

The first review, “Roles of zinc-binding domain of bacterial RNA polymerase in transcription,” describes how The Hormel Institute’s Cryo-EM technology is used to better understand the structural mechanisms of a cell. Cryo-EM technology allows scientists to see the structure of some of the smallest parts of our bodies – down to the near-atomic level. 

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“Cryo-EM is one of the main tools that helps to translate proteins into highly specific structural data,” Liu said. “Images collected from a protein sample are processed by the Cryo-EM software and used to generate high resolution 3D structures that bring an understanding of the molecular mechanisms happening within the cell, with the goal of developing new treatments for cancer and other diseases.” 

The other two articles, “How to compile different types of structural visualizations in one panel” and “Developing protein structure figures” highlight Liu’s enthusiasm and expertise in structural biology research and studying transcription machinery. These articles describe the tremendous effort and challenges that are faced in creating effective and clear illustrations of protein structures, while noting the beauty of and applications for this information in central biological inquiries. Liu’s co-authors on these articles include Fan Bu, PhD, and Dmytro Kompaniiets, PhD, from The Hormel Institute.

The articles are available here: