News Archive - 2006

News Archive - 2006

Giving worms a taste of their own medicine

Giving worms a taste of their own medicine

New study shows how worms can help screen for new drugs

The exciting results, reported today, 20 July 2006, in the open-access journal BMC Biology, promise a simple assay that can be used to screen thousands of compounds for activity against human proteins - a foundation of drug development.

Looking for weaknesses in difficult difficile

Looking for weaknesses in difficult difficile

C. difficile genome highlights the many weapons of this most awkward pathogen

The emergence of 'superbugs' - bacteria resistant to several antibiotics - is a major problem facing health-care providers worldwide. Today, a team of scientists led by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute detail the genome of the multiply-antibiotic-resistant Clostridium difficile in a report in Nature Genetics.

Nodules, nitrogen and nature

Nodules, nitrogen and nature

Rhizobial genome sheds light on biology and evolution

Researchers from the Universities of York, East Anglia and Reading, together with scientists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, have published their study of the genome of one of the remarkable bacterial species that support virtually all life on earth. Rhizobium leguminosarum and other species capture nitrogen from the atmosphere and convert it into forms that are usable by plants. Without this 'fixation' of nitrogen, life as we know it could not exist.

International collaboration to boost genome research in developing countries

International collaboration to boost genome research in developing countries

Studying the genomes of the world's major killers

The Wellcome Trust, whose funding has been crucial to progress in genome sequencing, is collaborating with the Institut Pasteur to share its expertise and knowledge with developing countries. The initiative is aimed at providing training in the fast-moving arena of genome analysis.

Genome doesn't start with 'G'

Genome doesn't start with 'G'

Study of the largest and last chromosome of the human genome published

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and colleagues in the UK and USA today publish the longest and final chapter in what has been called The Book of Life - the text and study of our human genetic material. Published in Nature, the report of the sequence of human chromosome 1 is the final chromosome analysis from the Human Genome Project.

Uncovering Gene Functions With A New Vertebrate Model

Uncovering Gene Functions With A New Vertebrate Model

Genetic screens of Xenopus tropicalis development

In a report published online in PLoS Genetics, a team from the Sanger Institute, together with colleagues from the National Institute for Medical Research, describe a new initiative designed to analyse function of a wide variety of genes in the frog Xenopus tropicalis . X. tropicalis , unlike its well-studied cousin Xenopus laevis, has a simple genome structure, and has been recently adopted for laboratory research.

Mammoths Maketh Man

Mammoths Maketh Man

Did northeast Asian populations eat well 30,000 years ago?

A rich diet of mammoth meat helped some tribes of early man to develop more quickly than their plant-eating contemporaries, scientists have discovered. Research published in Genetics by an international team led by Dr Chris Tyler-Smith from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute shows that northern and southern populations in East Asia followed dramatically different fates around 30,000 years ago. The growth of the northern populations might have occurred simply because they could hunt and eat mammoths: an abundant source of nutrition.

TraceSearch - Seeking among sequences

TraceSearch - Seeking among sequences

Sanger Institute's 100-fold faster DNA search engine

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute launches today a search engine that speeds up the hunt for important DNA sequences more than 100-fold. Just as important, the engine scans all known sequence data from all available organisms, saving time for researchers, who, until the release of TraceSearch, had to inspect each organism in turn.

Outsmarting the Smartie Bug

Outsmarting the Smartie Bug

Complete description of pneumococcal vaccine targets

The research, published online today in PLoS Genetics, shows how the target of the vaccines, called the polysaccharide capsule, has evolved and allows the researchers to determine functions of the genes involved. The polysaccharide capsule forms a sugary coat around the bacterium and changing the structure of the capsule can help it to fool our immune defence systems - like a Smartie changing its colour.

When Less is More

When Less is More

Losing gene activity can be good for your health

A remarkable study, published in the April edition of the American Journal of Human Genetics, suggests that a gene called caspase-12 has been inactivated in the human population because the active gene can lead to poorer response to bacterial infection. When infectious diseases became more common in human populations, perhaps because population densities grew and pathogens were able to spread more rapidly, the people with the inactive gene were at an advantage and prospered.

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