Dandruff gets its own genome

I just got a press release that made me go ''huh?'' That's ''huh,'' question mark. Not ''huh!

By | November 8, 2007

I just got a press release that made me go ''huh?'' That's ''huh,'' question mark. Not ''huh!'', or ''huh,'' exclamation point -- which is what I like from press releases. If you don't see what I mean, answer me this: Does dandruff have a genome? According to the press release, from Procter & Gamble, it does. So I opened the Email to find out about this sequencing feat. It turns out, as you may have guessed, that scientists at Procter and Gamble Beauty had sequenced the genome of Malassezia globosa, which causes dandruff. I thought it might have just been a hastily written headline, but the company's web site includes a linkurl:page;http://www.pgbeautyscience.com/dandruff-genome.html called ''Sequencing the Dandruff Genome.'' Eager to learn more, I clicked on the ''Dandruff Genome Sequencing Story'' linkurl:link, ;http://www.pgbeautyscience.com/dandruff-genome-sequencing-story.html and learned that scientists had made some ''interesting learnings'' during the project. Among those learnings was that M. globosa can evidently mate. The full results were published in PNAS' Early Edition, but I can't find the paper at the PNAS site yet. The team of scientists was led by linkurl:Thomas Dawson, ;http://www.pgbeautyscience.com/dr.-thomas-l.-dawson.html whom P&G refers to as a ''scalp and hair follicle expert'' who recently gave a talk at the Intercontinental Meeting of Hair Research Societies. I didn't know there was more than one such society. For the 2004 meeting -- click linkurl:here;http://www.hair2004.com/ for the full program, including a photo called ''Rapunzel'' on the home page -- Dawson spoke as part of the ''Hair Care, Hair Surgery, Epilation'' session. Sounds like he's linkurl:Head & Shoulders;http://www.headandshoulders.com/default.jsp above the rest of the field.

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