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:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 09-26-2011
Genetic parasites invaded the mammalian genome more than 100 million years ago and dramatically changed the way mammals reproduce — transforming the uterus in the ancestors of humans and other mammals from the production of eggs to a nurturing home for developing young, a new Yale University study has found.
The findings published online Sept. 25 in the journal Nature Genetics describe in unprecedented detail the molecular changes that allowed mammals to carry their developing young within the safety of the womb rather than laying them in nests or carrying them around in pouches.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 09-15-2011
What do humans and cats have in common? Apart from a liking for tuna and a tendency to get sleepy on a Sunday afternoon, both are AIDS-susceptible species, and researchers in the USA and Japan are looking at feline genome manipulation as a route to create better models for HIV and other infectious and non-infectious diseases.
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic used gamete-targeted lentiviral transgenesis to transfect the feline egg cells with a gene for the restriction factor, TRIMCyp, along with a jellyfish gene as a fluorescent reporter gene to track the efficacy of transfection, before fertilisation in vitro. This was the first success of this technique in a carnivore.
The latest article, appearing in The Boston Globe, talks about Dr. Church’s approach to synthetic biology and his “broad brush” approach of editing bacterial genomes to devise powerful new technologies.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 08-30-2011
A recent study published in Science has shown that potential interbreeding between Neanderthals, Denisovans and Modern Humans may have helped boost modern man’s immune system. Many reviews have already been published on this subject (see Science 2.0 for a good review or the ScienceDaily news release) and so we won’t dwell on the subject in this post. However, in light of these findings we would like to share with you a YouTube interview with Svante Pääbo, a Neanderthal researcher, produced by The DNA Learning Center in 2009.
It’s interesting to see how far we’ve come in just 2 short years!