How much alliteration can be in one title!!! 

A few months ago I stumbled across a biscuit creation technique called pixel cookies http://www.flickr.com/photos/27064046@N00/sets/72157603857787202 not content to just copy the space invader idea, as groovy as it is I thought long and hard about how I could utilise the pixel cookie idea and apply it to my area of research!!! How geeky can I get?!

The pixel cookie scheme was filed in my brain under ‘tasks to be done’ until a recent publication (Ikeda and Graffenried, 2012) where the group demonstrated their findings about the structure and positioning of organelles with Trypanosomes using plasticine models! Whilst I love a good tomogram or reconstructed model as much as the next cell biologist the crafty inner me couldn’t help but smile at the models, if the groups thinks that is the best way to get their findings across then fair enough. The scientist in me noticed that there was no scale bar for the models, the crafter in me noticed the fingerprints in the modelling clay. However this is not a journal club blog! So on with the fun stuff!

To get back to the serious business of baking though! The paper sparked the idea to do flagella cookies with the 9+2 microtubule arrangement but after considering it I thought for my first attempt I would go with a simple basal body/centriole design.

Simple I thought! Wrong I was! 

First of all I got out my ingredients and a diagram of a basal body for reference because once my brain goes into baking mode its like I’ve never seen a pipette in my life! My chosen image is a particular favourite of mine (Fliegauf et al., 2007). 

Image

Once the batches of dough were made, coloured and had been banished to the fridge for 30 minutes I was ready to start! Using the play-doh fun factory I begun by pressing out the A microtubule and then the B and C microtubules followed. I squidged them together and put them back in the fridge to harden up a bit, which makes then easier to cut up later on. 

Image

Now I needed a connecting middle bit so they weren’t just ghostly floating microtubules! I just used a normal circle cookie cutter. The tricky bit was spacing out the 9 triplets as evenly as I could. Then I layer the slices of triplets in the dents. For any cell biologists reading this – yes I know I missed out details like the cartwheel but by this point I was running low on enthusiasm! 

So I popped it in the oven and 12-14 minutes later I was pretty please with what came out even if I do say so myself!

Image

At some point I plan to attempt an edible flagellum!

References!

Kyojiro N. Ikeda and Christopher L. de Graffenried

Polo-like kinase is necessary for flagellum inheritance in Trypanosoma brucei

J Cell Sci jcs.101162; Advance Online Publication (March 2012) doi:10.1242/jcs.101162

 

Manfred Fliegauf, Thomas Benzing & Heymut Omran

When cilia go bad: cilia defects and ciliopathies

Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 8, 880-893 (November 2007) doi:10.1038/nrm2278

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About ScienceySphynx

Sphynx cat owner, Kayaker, STEM ambassador, PhD-er blogging and tweeting under ScienceySphynx because ScientistSam was taken!

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