In the world of genetic engineering one often talks about ‘transgenic organisms’. These are organisms that have been modified by the insertion of an alien gene into their genome. Now it turns out that there are naturally occurring transgenic plants. One such instance was found by Dr Lena Ghatnekar from the research team for evolutionary genetics at Lund University in Sweden. Her findings have just been published in the prestigious Proceedings of the Royal Society in London.
Sheep’s fescue (Festuca ovina) is a common grass that the research team at Lund University in Sweden has studied for a long time. One of its genes codes for an enzyme called PGIC. Lena Ghatnekar discovered that the enzyme did not look the same in all sheep’s fescue plants. It turned out that certain plants had extra genes for the production of PGIC and that these genes existed at a different site in the genome than the normal PGIC genes. At first the scientists believed that it was a matter of copied genes – gene duplications – but it soon proved to be a question of fugitive genes. Lena Ghatnekar explains:
”There are always minor differences from one plant to another when it comes to complex proteins like the enzyme PGIC. Maybe a difference of up to a few percent. But in this case the difference was six percent, and that is too much for an ordinary gene duplication.”
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Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.
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Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
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