The genome encodes the complete information needed by an organism, including that required for protein production. Viruses, which are up to a thousand times smaller than human cells, have considerably smaller genomes.
Using a type of herpesvirus as a model system, the scientists of the Max Planck Institute (MPI) of Biochemistry in Martinsried near Munich and their collaboration partners at the University of California in San Francisco have shown that the genome of this virus contains much more information than previously assumed.The researchers identified several hundred novel proteins, many of which were surprisingly small. The results of the study have now been published in Science.
The results of the American and German researchers provide detailed insight into the complex mechanisms used by the virus. “We showed that it’s not enough merely to know the virus genome to understand the biology of the herpesvirus,” Annette Michalski said. “What is important is to look at the products actually produced from the genome.” Even human genes may be much more complex than the genome sequence itself indicates, commented the researchers. Matthias Mann and his colleagues plan to investigate this question further in the coming years.Original publication:
Anja Konschak | Max-Planck-Institut
Epilepsy at the Molecular Level
10.02.2016 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
The herbivore dilemma: How corn plants fights off simultaneous attacks
09.02.2016 | Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research
Physicists from Saarland University and the ESPCI in Paris have shown how liquids on solid surfaces can be made to slide over the surface a bit like a bobsleigh on ice. The key is to apply a coating at the boundary between the liquid and the surface that induces the liquid to slip. This results in an increase in the average flow velocity of the liquid and its throughput. This was demonstrated by studying the behaviour of droplets on surfaces with different coatings as they evolved into the equilibrium state. The results could prove useful in optimizing industrial processes, such as the extrusion of plastics.
The study has been published in the respected academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).
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Researchers at King’s College London and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom have for the first time demonstrated a direct link between the Wbp2 gene and progressive hearing loss. The scientists report that the loss of Wbp2 expression leads to progressive high-frequency hearing loss in mouse as well as in two clinical cases of children with deafness with no other obvious features. The results are published in EMBO Molecular Medicine.
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