Technology development and enzyme discovery

New England Biolabs has a rich history of innovative basic research that empowers modern molecular biology and accelerates the development of new methods and technologies. Our lab continues to discover new enzymes, understand how they work, and then apply them in new technologies to gain deeper biological insights. Specifically, we are developing functional metagenomics and bioinformatic pipelines to find novel enzymes more broadly and rapidly. In addition, next generation sequencing (NGS) is a powerful technique to understand enzymes and how they act in the cell. Recently, we published a new genome-wide NGS method called RADAR-seq to analyze DNA replication and repair in the cell. Currently, we are using RADAR-seq to understand how archaeal DNA polymerases synthesize the leading and lagging strand, as well as understand the dynamics of DNA damage and repair in the cell.

We are constantly developing new assays to understand enzymes and apply them in new technologies. Pictured here is a strategy to study DNA helicases at single molecule resolution (from Kelly M. Schermerhorn, Nathan Tanner, Zvi Kelman and Andrew F. Gardner. (2016) High-temperature single-molecule kinetic analysis of thermophilic archaeal MCM helicases. Nucleic Acids Res. 44 (18): 8764-8771. PMID: 27382065)