Tag Archives: biotechnology

Our brain can store information of the entire web (or more)

Brain (Source: CDC)
Our brain can store information of the entire web (or more)(Image Source: CDC)

Main Point:

Memory capacity of brain is about 10 times more than previous estimations, which is in the petabyte range, i.e. almost equivalent to the entire Web. Continue reading Our brain can store information of the entire web (or more)

Sequencing at Sea – performing real-time DNA sequencing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean

Yan Wei Lim, SDSU graduate student and author on the paper, exploring corals in the southern Line (Photo Credit: Rob Edwards)
Yan Wei Lim, SDSU graduate student and author on the paper, exploring corals in the southern Line (Photo Credit: Rob Edwards)

Main Point:

Scientists overcame equipment failure, space constraints and shark-infested waters to do real-time DNA sequencing in a remote field location.

Published in:

PeerJ

Study Further:

Daylight was breaking over the central Pacific and coffee brewing aboard the MY Hanse Explorer. Between sips, about a dozen scientists strategized for the day ahead. Some would don wetsuits and slip below the surface to collect water samples around the southern Line Islands’ numerous coral reefs. Others would tinker with the whirring gizmos and delicate machinery strewn throughout the 158-foot research vessel. All shared a single goal: Be the first research group to bring a DNA sequencer out into the field to do remote sequencing in real time. Against an ocean of odds, they succeeded.

This three-week, five-island expedition took place last year with a research crew including San Diego State University computer scientist Rob Edwards, biologist Forest Rohwer, postdoctoral scholar Andreas Haas and graduate student Yan Wei Lim. They were accompanied by several other researchers from the San Diego region and around the world. The researchers published an account of their trip and methods today in the journal PeerJ. Continue reading Sequencing at Sea – performing real-time DNA sequencing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean

YbeY is essential for fitness and virulence of Vibrio cholerae and keeps the RNA household in order

Main Points:

YbeY is a conserved protein that is present in most bacteria. A study published on June 5th in PLOS Pathogens examines the function of YbeY in the cholera bacterium and reveals critical roles in RNA metabolism in this and other pathogenic bacteria.

Published in:

PLOS Pathogens

Study Further:

Graham Walker, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and colleagues previously studied E. coli YbeY and found that it acts as an “RNase”—a protein that deliberately and specifically cuts RNA molecules and thereby regulates their availability and activity. Turning to Vibrio cholerae to examine the role of YbeY in disease-causing pathogens, they now report that YbeY is essential in this pathogen, critical for cell fitness and general stress tolerance, and involved in the regulation of different classes of RNA targets.

Like in higher organisms, genetic information contained in the DNA of bacteria gets “transcribed” into RNA molecules. Some of these RNAs serve as templates for proteins, others form part of the bacterial protein factories (so-called ribosomes), and yet another group consists of small regulatory RNAs that modulate cellular functions of the bacteria and their hosts.  The researchers demonstrate that YbeY is needed in generating the components for functional ribosomes, for their assembly, and for ribosome quality control—eliminating defective protein factories before they turn out faulty products. Continue reading YbeY is essential for fitness and virulence of Vibrio cholerae and keeps the RNA household in order