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Worth a Thousand Words: Mitotic Spindle Cupcakes

This post was written by, Krista Hoff, a publications assistant for PLoS ONE.

To celebrate publication of their recent research, “Mitotic Spindle Proteomics in Chinese Hamster Ovary Cells,” Dr. Ahna Skop, whose second passion is food, baked a batch of fudgy chocolate cupcakes topped with mocha ganache and decorated them with isolated mitotic spindles inspired by those in Figure 2 of the article. Here is Dr. Skop’s summary of the research:

 

Segregation of genetic material is indispensible for the propagation of all species. Each cell relies on a dynamic microtubule-based machine called the mitotic spindle to facilitate the cell division process. Failures in mitosis can lead to birth defects, various leukemias, and tissue-specific tumors, suggesting that knowledge of the molecular make-up of the mitotic spindle is central to our understanding of a variety of human diseases. To identify new proteins that comprise the mitotic spindle, we subjected isolated mitotic spindles to Multi-dimensional Protein Identification Technology (MudPIT) analysis and tandem mass spectrometry. We identified 1155 proteins, which represent the largest number of spindle-associated proteins identified to date. Our initial protein profile of mitosis has implications for cancer research, as major spindle components have been identified as targets for cancer therapeutics.

Seen below Figure 2, the cupcakes provide a beautiful, and delicious, depiction of isolated mitotic spindles, especially similar to those stained green in Figure 2 (A). If you would like to bake mitotic spindle cupcakes at home, the recipe can be found on Dr. Skop’s blog. Yum!

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