This classification conveys important information about the biochemistry and metabolism of disease-causing organisms. Here are three examples. 1) Pneumocystis, an opportunistic pathogen causing mortality in AIDS patients and immunocompromised individuals, is now known to be a fungus, indicating a different treatment regimen is needed. 2) Phytophtora, an organism causing potato blight, such as the one that caused the Irish famine in the 19th century, is now known not to be a fungus, which explains why fungicides are not effective treatments. 3) Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, is now known to share ancestry with photosynthetic organisms and has a vestigial chloroplast, called the apicoplast. This knowledge opens exciting possibilities for novel drug therapies.
The new classification recognizes 6 major clusters of organisms, rather than the 4 traditional Kingdoms. These clusters are 1) the Opisthokonta, grouping the animals, fungi, choanoflagellates, and Mesomycetozoa; 2) the Amoebozoa, grouping most traditional amoebae, slime moulds, many testate amoebae, some amoebo-flagellates, and several species without mitochondria; 3) the Excavata, grouping oxymonads, parabasalids, diplomonads, jakobids, and several other genera of heterotrophic flagellates, and possibly including the Euglenozoa and Heterolobosea; 4) the Rhizaria, grouping the Foraminifera, most of the traditional Radiolaria, and the Cercozoa with filose pseudopodia, such as many amoebo-flagellates and some testate amoebae; 5) the Archaeplastida, grouping the Glaucophyta, red algae, green algae, and Plantae; 6) the Chromalveolata, grouping the Alveolata (including ciliates, the dinoflagellates, and the Apicomplexa), cryptophytes, haptophytes, and stramenopiles (including brown algae, the diatoms, many zoosporic fungi, opalinids, amongst others).
Finally, the authors noted that they "adopted a hierarchical system without formal rank designations, such as "class," "sub-class," "super-order" or "order," The decision to do so has been primarily motivated by utility, to avoid the common problem of a single change causing a cascade of changes to the system. We believe this to be more utilitarian, and less problematic than traditional conventions, as it is not constrained by formally attributing a limited number of rank names."
Jill Yablonski | EurekAlert!
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
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Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
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An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
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26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy