If you’re a student or anyone with a .edu address, you’re eligible for a free six month trial of Amazon prime and the biggest perks? No sales tax and free two-day shipping on most items. This is a great way for the students who live in the lab and have no time to go to the store!
Learn more about the promotion here.
From ars technica:
“About five years ago, biologists were surprised by the first discovery of an extremely large virus. Viruses are generally stripped down, efficient predators, only carrying as much DNA or RNA necessary to hijack their host and make extra copies of themselves. The newly discovered virus, called Mimivirus, was anything but stripped down; it carried a genome nearly the size of some bacterial species. And, instead of simply hijacking its host, the viral genome carried a lot of genes that replaced basic cellular functions, including some involved in DNA repair and the maufacturing of proteins.
The unsual size and gene content of the virus led one scientist to suggest that viruses could explain the origin of DNA-based life. If viruses carried all these genes, then it’s possible to imagine that one could set up shop in a cell and simply never leave, gradually taking over the remaining functions once performed by its host’s genetic material. This would explain the origin of DNA, which would distinguish the virus from its host’s genetic material, a holdover from the RNA world. It could also explain the existence of a distinct nucleus within Eukaryotic cells.”
Read the full article at ars technica.
Related PNAS article.
From the BBC:
“Two of the holy grails of medicine – stem cell technology and precision gene therapy – have been united for the first time in humans, say scientists.
It means patients with a genetic disease could, one day, be treated with their own cells.
A study in Nature corrected a mutation in stem cells made from a patient with a liver disease.
Researchers said this was a “critical step” towards devising treatments, but safety tests were still needed.
At the moment, stem cells created from a patient with a genetic illness cannot be used to cure the disease as those cells would also contain the corrupted genetic code.”
Read the full article from the BBC.
Related Nature article.
“BLACK Death rampaged across Europe in 1348, killing a third of the population. Now the complete sequence of Yersinia pestis, the most likely cause of the Black Death, has been unearthed from a medieval mass grave in London.
‘This is the first time a human pathogen more than a century old has ever been fully sequenced,’ says Johannes Krause at the University of Tübingen, Germany. The teams used DNA from modern Yersinia in an array that bound to similar DNA in victims’ teeth. That DNA carried telltale chemical changes showing it was indeed ancient plague. Differences reported earlier between it and modern Yersinia were not confirmed.”
(Image: Museum of London Archaeology excavated remains of Black Death victims)
Read the full article at NewScientist.com.
Related article at Discover Magazine.
Dr. Hugo J. Bellen
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor
Department of Molecular and Human Genetics
Baylor College of Medicine
“Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, mitochondria and neurodegeneration”
Friday, October 21, 2011
1022 Life Sciences
Faculty Host: John A. Kiger, Jr. (firstname.lastname@example.org)