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Anthrax genome sequenced

genomes reveal the pathogenicity, virulence, and ancestry of the anthrax causative agent.

Cathy Holding(cholding@hgmp.mrc.ac.uk)

The use of anthrax spores as an agent of bioterrorism in 2001 led to a renewed interest in the fundamental biology and pathology of the bacterium Bacillus anthracis and to attempts to identify novel treatments for inhalation anthrax. In the May 1 Nature, two research articles report the use of whole genome sequencing and comparative genomics of two Bacillus species: B. anthraci and B. cereus.

Timothy Read and colleagues at The Institute for Genomic Research in Rockville, Md., report the sequence of the genome of the lethal B. anthracis Ames strain and compare the predicted coding sequences with their own draft sequence of B. cereus (Nature 423:81-86, May 1, 2003). Natalia Ivanova and colleagues from Integrated Genomics, Chicago report the sequence of the genome of B. cereus and compare it with the B. anthracis sequence published last year by Read (Nature 423:87-91, May 1, 2003)....

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