Structure-function relationships are central to much of GEN’s coverage. So, it should come as no surprise that this month, GEN is making a point of marking the 70th anniversary of the discovery of DNA’s structure. After all, the DNA double helix may be the best example we have of how structure-function relationships can work. As the discoverers of DNA’s structure stated, “It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material.” To take inspiration from this kind of thinking, join GEN in commemorating the double helix’s discovery. Also, take the opportunity to appreciate the varied structure-function relationships embedded in this, the February issue. They are to be found, for example, in AI-driven protein engineering, the design of therapeutics and vaccines, and the development of molecular diagnostics.
Every spatial biology system promises to integrate two kinds of information: 1) gene expression information and 2) spatial information. Different systems, however, may convey gene expression and spatial information in different degrees of detail. For example, gene expression information may be limited to transcriptomic profiles, or it may also encompass proteomic information. And RNA transcript and protein panels may be more or less extensive. Spatial information may be available in low resolution, single-cell resolution, or subcellular resolution. Finally, spatial biology systems may offer greater or lesser throughput, or more or less complicated workflows. To get a handle on all these variables—and to better appreciate the potential of spatial biology—read this GEN Spotlight. It includes thoughtful features from GEN magazine, and helpful advice from NanoString Technologies, a spatial specialist.