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Crenarchaeon sequence

By | January 17, 2002

Pyrobaculum aerophilum is a hyperthermophilic crenachaeon that cannot tolerate the presence of elemental sulfur. In the January 22 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sorel Fitz-Gibbon report the complete genome sequence of the P. aerophilum IM2 strain that was isolated from a boiling marine water hole in Maronti Beach, Italy (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2002, 99:984-989).The genome is 2.2 Mb long, has a 51% G+C content, and contains 2,587 predicted proteins. Fitz-Gibbon et al.

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Lettuce leaves a nasty taste

By | January 17, 2002

can enter lettuce through the roots and migrate to the leaves, resisting traditional sanitizing methods.

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Treating infections with infections

By | January 17, 2002

Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) is a frequent cause of bacteremia in immunocompromised patients and there exists only two antibiotics that are effective for treating VRE infection. In January Infection and Immunity, Biswajit Biswas and colleagues from National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA, show that bacteriophage therapy can be an efficient way of treating vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium infection in mice.Biswas et al. used a VRE strain to induce a fatal bacterem

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Analysing Xist

By | January 16, 2002

Inactivation of the X chromosome requires the Xist gene, whose product, a noncoding RNA, associates with chromatin on the inactive X chromosome and causes transcriptional silencing. In an Advanced Online Publication from Nature Genetics, Anton Wutz and colleagues at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research report their analysis of functional domains within the mouse Xist RNA (Nat Genet 2002, DOI:10.1038/ng820).They used mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells expressing different Xist transgenes

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Dyslexia under pressure

By | January 16, 2002

Immunological responses to elevated levels of platelet activating factor could cause dyslexia.

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Genetic control of social behavior

By | January 16, 2002

Ants live in complex social colonies in which each individual has a well-defined role, but the mechanisms by which this interaction is maintained remains unclear. In January 11 Science, Michael Krieger and Kenneth Ross from University of Georgia, Athens, USA show that a single gene can control complex behavior patterns important in colony formation and social evolution.Krieger & Ross discovered that the Gp-9 gene of the South American fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) encodes a pheromone-binding

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The necrotizing gene

By | January 16, 2002

-hemolytic group G streptococcus can cause necrotizing fasciitis due to the presence of a functional homologue of streptolysin S.

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Chewing the fat

By | January 15, 2002

, regulates lipid metabolism in mice.

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Lactose intolerance DNA

By | January 15, 2002

A DNA variant upstream of the lactase-phlorizin hydrolase gene is associated with lactose intolerance.

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p53 mysteries

By | January 15, 2002

No one really understands why activation of the tumor suppressor p53 sometimes leads to cell-cycle arrest and sometimes induces an apoptotic program. It has been proposed that post-translational modifications (phosphorylation and acetylation) induced by genotoxic stress affect the DNA binding affinity of p53. In the January 8 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Kaeser and Iggo suggest that such models should be reassessed in light of their results using chromatin immunoprec

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