How Intracellular Bacteria Hijack Your Cells

Catherine Offord in The Scientist:

As a grad student in cell biology, Shaeri Mukherjee was always on the lookout for new ways to fiddle with cells’ internal structures. It was the early 2000s, and Mukherjee was working in Dennis Shields’s lab at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, studying how cells organize the internal transport of proteins and other cargo. She was particularly interested in the Golgi apparatus, a cluster of membrane-bound compartments that help coordinate this trafficking, and spent much of her time manipulating the organelle’s activity to try to better understand how it works. Genetics methods could slow down or alter the organelle’s structure in days; certain pharmacological agents made it disintegrate in less than half an hour. But in 2008, Mukherjee stumbled across a new and much faster way to cause intracellular mayhem.

More here.