Selection of a DNA aptamer for homocysteine using systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment
McKeague's Ph.D. dance , based on her research at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, is about a technique called Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment (SELEX). The target is a small molecule called homocysteine. SELEX uses natural selection to find the small strands of DNA called aptamers (the other dancers) that bind specifically to the target. Watch for the hilarious Taq Polymerase scene in the middle of the dance.
Directed transport without net bias in physics and biology
Steven Lade, a Ph.D. student at the Australian National University in Canberra, does the dance of myosin-V, a molecular motor that moves vesicles around inside cells by migrating along actin fibers. In the dance, Lade is myosin-V, buffeted by other proteins in the cell. He doesn't know where he's going, but his built-in bias to walk forward eventually gets the vesicle to its destination at the end of the actin filament.
The influence of previous experiences on visual awareness
The key to understanding de Jong's dance is the distracted guy on the couch. All of this is happening in his head: a video clip on a laptop, a signal going through his eyes, and ultimately information being processed in his brain. How all this adds up to visual awareness is the subject of her Ph.D. research at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
The negotiation of contributions to public wikis
Goldenberg's Ph.D. research—at Université du Québec à Montréal and Université Nice Sophia Antipolis—focuses on how people interact with one another through wiki sites. If you've ever witnessed a "flame war," you'll appreciate the violent petulance about halfway through the dance .