Forums Archive

Science Signaling Forums: 2000 to 2013

From 2000 to 2013, Science Signaling (formerly Science's STKE) maintained a series of threaded discussions on various topics related to signal transduction biology. Active posting to the Forums has been discontinued. These pages represent an archive of the content available as of the end of 2013.

Ligation of Fas and Cell Death

This Forum started with an introduction by David Vaux and received comments from June 2000 through March 2004. Guy Salveson, David Vaux, and Tomas Jelinek were main contributors in 2000 with minor comments added by Rainer Spiegel and Liz Adler in 2004. The main topic of discussion related to questions related to how some cell death triggers are wired to the caspases, the key cell death effector proteins. This Forum  focused on how ligation of the receptor Fas (CD95/APO-1) leads to cell death, in particular whether Fas-triggered cell death can by signalled by pathways that can be blocked by Bcl-2 (or Bcl-xL), and, if so, the nature of the molecules that make this connection.

Open Forum on Methodology

This Forum contains comments, helpful hints, or questions related to laboratory methods.

Open Forum on Cell Signaling

This Forum is organized into threaded discussions on topics related to signal transduction. Most topics were initiated by the readers of Science Signaling and a few were initiated by the editors.

Lipid Rafts: Real or Artifact?

Dr. Michael Edidin of Johns Hopkins University provided an Opening Statement on the topic of lipid rafts--membrane microdomains--organize and regulate important cellular processes. However, the nature of these microdomains, including their size, composition, organization, and even their very existence, remains highly controversial.

Genomes: A Platform for Signal Transduction Research?

The forum served as a venue for a general discussion of how bioinformatics contributes to signal transduction research.

Questions and Controversies in Zinc Signaling

In May 2003, Science's STKE published a Focus Issue on metals in cell signaling, to complement a Special Issue of Science on metals in biology and in the environment. This Focus Issue, which included a Perspective by Li, Hough, and Sarvey on the functional significance of synaptically released zinc, and one by Chris Frederickson on zinc imaging, generated such interest among our readers that the editors opened a Forum specifically devoted to zinc signaling. 

Open Discussion of Modeling and Computational Approaches to Cellular Signaling

As part of a coordinated effort with Science and Science's Online products (see Mathematics in Biology), Science Signaling provided this open forum for the discussion of issues related to modeling and simulation of cellular signaling process. The authors of Science's STKE describing online resources for performing such virtual experiments are available to respond to questions or comments (see Kutscher et al., which describes an online tool for modeling chemotaxis responses and Vayttaden and Bhalla, which describes a Linux-based graphical simulation environment and signaling-relevant demonstrations). In addition, anyone with an interest in modeling or simulations was welcome to participate and provide the signaling community with insight about their favorite online tools for performing such analysis, pose questions, or simply make a comment on the topic.

E-Conference: Defining Calcium Entry Signals

This Forum was an attempt at an online conference. Each topic has invited scientists who contriubted and responded to the comments of the other invited participants in their "session." The topic of this E-Conference was controversies and gaps in our understanding of how receptor-induced calcium signals trigger calcium release from the endoplasmic reticulum and then how depletion of this calcium store triggers calcium entry across the plasma membrane.  At the time of this Forum,m two major gaps in our knowledge of calcium entry signals existed: (i) the identity of the channels in the plasma membrane through which calcium enters; (ii) the nature of the transduction mechanisms linking receptor-induced signals to activation of entry channels. These questions were tackled by the E-Conference participants. The participants also contributed Perspectives, highlighting the main information garnered from the online discussion.

Principles of Cell Signaling and Biological Consequences

This forum is part of the Science Signaling supplement to the Cell Signaling Systems course. The topics under discussion were defined by Drs. A. Chan, R. Iyengar, S. Aaronson, A. J. Caplan, S. Salton, and M. M. Zhou and are based on the concepts presented in the first section of the course. Students at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY, as well as any other interested Science Signaling user (for example, students, instructors, or researchers) are invited to participate. The overall educational goals are (i) to critically read and analyze a recent primary publication and relate it to the concepts described in the first set of lectures described in the course, and (ii) to be able to use information presented in the course or found using PubMed literature searches to answer specific questions posed by the Dr. Chan.

Teaching Cell Signaling

This Forum served as a platform for discussing strategies and tools for teaching cell signaling. The discussion is open and educators are invited to share ideas and suggestions for effectively teaching the complex, multidiscpline subject of cell signaling. 

Meeting Highlights

This Forum was open to anyone and provides a place for attendees of meetings, conferences, and workshops to share meeting reports, highlights, and tidbits. Most of the entries are by Science Signaling editors, who share brief reports of meetings that they attended.