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Sea monster: sea grass is the world's oldest and largest living thing

Sea monster: sea grass is the world's oldest and largest living thing | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

It's big, it's old and it lives under the sea and now an international research collaboration with The University of Western Australia's Ocean's Institute has confirmed an ancient seagrass to hold the secrets of the oldest living organism on earth.

 

Because ancient giant Posidonia oceanica reproduces asexually generating clones of itself, a single organism has been found to span up to 15 kilometers wide, reaching more than 6,000 metric tonnes in mass and may well be more than 100,000 years old.

 

Researchers analysed 40 meadows across 3,500 kilometres of the Mediterranean sea. Computer models helped demonstrate that the clonal spread mode of Posidonia oceanica, which as all other seagrasses can reproduce both sexually and asexually, allows them to spread and maintain highly-competent clones over millennia, whereas even the most competent genotypes of organisms that can only reproduce sexually are lost at every generation. The genus Posidonia occurs only in the Mediterranean and Australian waters.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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New Rice Variety Boosts Yields in Senegal | Feed the Future

New Rice Variety Boosts Yields in Senegal | Feed the Future | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
Feed the Future is the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. It represents a $3.5 billion pledge to address the root causes of hunger and poverty in the developing world.

Via Valerio Hoyos-Villegas
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CDC - Seasonal Influenza (Flu) - More H3N2v Cases Reported

CDC - Seasonal Influenza (Flu) - More H3N2v Cases Reported | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Influenza Flu: More H3N2v Cases Reported, Still Linked to Pig Exposure.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention continues to monitor the situation, and reports that 71 additional cases of H3N2v are being reported, bringing the total number of such infections since July 2012 in the United States to 224. There is so much interaction between people and pigs in county and state fair settings at this time of year, and the spread and severity of illness are the main factors of concern to the CDC.


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Watching an infection take hold in 3D and in real time

Watching an infection take hold in 3D and in real time | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

Scientists use scans to build a video of infection spreading around the body of a mouse.

 

Via @SocGenMicro


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Nature News: First evidence for photosynthesis in insects - Aphids may have a rudimentary sunlight-harvesting system

Nature News: First evidence for photosynthesis in insects - Aphids may have a rudimentary sunlight-harvesting system | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

The biology of aphids is bizarre: they can be born pregnant and males sometimes lack mouths, causing them to die not long after mating. In an addition to their list of anomalies, work published this week indicates that they may also capture sunlight and use the energy for metabolic purposes.

 

Aphids are unique among animals in their ability to synthesize pigments called carotenoids. Many creatures rely on these pigments for a variety of functions, such as maintaining a healthy immune system and making certain vitamins, but all other animals must obtain them through their diet. Entomologist Alain Robichon at the Sophia Agrobiotech Institute in Sophia Antipolis, France, and his colleagues suggest that, in aphids, these pigments can absorb energy from the Sun and transfer it to the cellular machinery involved in energy production.


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Scientists Discover Previously Unknown Cleansing System in Brain

Scientists Discover Previously Unknown Cleansing System in Brain | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

A previously unrecognized system that drains waste from the brain at a rapid clip has been discovered by neuroscientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The highly organized system acts like a series of pipes that piggyback on the brain’s blood vessels, sort of a shadow plumbing system that seems to serve much the same function in the brain as the lymph system does in the rest of the body – to drain away waste products.

 

Scientists have known that cerebrospinal fluid or CSF plays an important role cleansing brain tissue, carrying away waste products and carrying nutrients to brain tissue through a process known as diffusion. The newly discovered system circulates CSF to every corner of the brain much more efficiently, through what scientists call bulk flow or convection.

 

While the previously discovered system works more like a trickle, percolating CSF through brain tissue, the new system is under pressure, pushing large volumes of CSF through the brain each day to carry waste away more forcefully.

 

The glymphatic system is like a layer of piping that surrounds the brain’s existing blood vessels. The team found that glial cells called astrocytes use projections known as “end feet” to form a network of conduits around the outsides of arteries and veins inside the brain – similar to the way a canopy of tree branches along a well-wooded street might create a sort of channel above the roadway.

 

Those end feet are filled with structures known as water channels or aquaporins, which move CSF through the brain. The team found that CSF is pumped into the brain along the channels that surround arteries, then washes through brain tissue before collecting in channels around veins and draining from the brain.


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Dov Henis's comment, August 23, 2012 11:32 AM
Brain's Cleansing System

Tags: brain clean-up, brain evolution, melatonin function, neural cells evolution

A.
Another Wheel Reinvention
Brain's hidden sewers revealed
Specialized cells host a hitherto unknown cleansing system.
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/343079/title/Brains_hidden_sewers_revealed

B.
http://www.articlesbase.com/science-articles/life-is-simpler-than-they-tell-us-817144.html
Now we can appreciate the fractal nature of life's evolution. It is ever-continuous ever-enhanced ever-complexed cooperation. Now we can understand why, and grosso modo how, all the organs and processes and signals found in multicelled organisms have their origins in the monocells communities, cultures. And this includes the functions of serotonin and melatonin and, yes, the evolution of neural cells and the neural systems with their intricate outer-membrane shapes and functionings and with their high energy consumption requirements.

C.
http://www.immunityageing.com/content/2/1/17/comments
Melatonin Origin And Function
Dov Henis (2009-02-03)
Melatonin's role was to signal that the genes are asleep, their functional activities are shut off, and it is time for the security and maintenance crews to do their tasks, especially to clean up the intercell environment, for keeping the community of cells in proper state.

Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)
http://universe-life.com/
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UC Davis study: Triclosan, a chemical used in hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap may hinder muscle function - Sacramento Business Journal

UC Davis study: Triclosan, a chemical used in hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap may hinder muscle function - Sacramento Business Journal | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
A widely used antibacterial chemical widely used in hand soaps, sanitizers and other...
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U.S. Medics Support Botswana HIV Prevention Efforts

U.S. Medics Support Botswana HIV Prevention Efforts | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

"Today, 17.6 percent of the general population is infected with HIV, and the rate continues to climb by 2.2 percent per year, Maj. Mooketsi Ditsela, the Botswana Defense Force’s HIV coordinator, told American Forces Press Service. Men ages 30 to 45 suffer the highest infection rates, topping 40 percent, according to Health Ministry statistics."

 

17.6 percent of the whole Botswana population is HIV positive: that is HORRIFYING.  But possibly not as bad as Swaziland....


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Sick of Impact Factors

Sick of Impact Factors | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
I am sick of impact factors and so is science. The impact factor might have started out as a good idea, but its time has come and gone.
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More trials, less errors - An effort to lower incorrect scientific claims through a new type of service

More trials, less errors - An effort to lower incorrect scientific claims through a new type of service | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

So many scientific studies are making incorrect claims that a new service has sprung up to fact-check reported findings by repeating the experiments.

 

A year-old Palo Alto, California, company, Science Exchange, announced on Tuesday its "Reproducibility Initiative," aimed at improving the trustworthiness of published papers. Scientists who want to validate their findings will be able to apply to the initiative, which will choose a lab to redo the study and determine whether the results match. The project sprang from the growing realization that the scientific literature - from social psychology to basic cancer biology - is riddled with false findings and erroneous conclusions, raising questions about whether such studies can be trusted. Not only are erroneous studies a waste of money, often taxpayers', but they also can cause companies to misspend time and resources as they try to invent drugs based on false discoveries.

 

Last year, Bayer Healthcare reported that its scientists could not reproduce some 75 percent of published findings in cardiovascular disease, cancer and women's health. In March, Lee Ellis of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and C. Glenn Begley, the former head of global cancer research at Amgen, reported that when the company's scientists tried to replicate 53 prominent studies in basic cancer biology, hoping to build on them for drug discovery, they were able to confirm the results of only six.

 

The new initiative's 10-member board of prominent scientists will match investigators with a lab qualified to test their results, said Elizabeth Iorns, Science Exchange's co-founder and chief executive officer. The original lab would pay the second for its work. How much depends on the experiment's complexity and the cost of study materials, but should not exceed 20 percent of the original research study's costs. Iorns hopes government and private funding agencies will eventually fund replication to improve the integrity of scientific literature.


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Science: Attack of the Clones (2012)

Science: Attack of the Clones (2012) | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

When Nature recently accepted a review co-authored by Sarah Gurr, the plant pathologist from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom sent the journal a self-produced image to consider for its cover. It shows a fungus looking like one of those colossal, menacing tripods from H. G. Wells's War of the Worlds, stalking through a field, with bats, frogs, and toads fleeing before it in a crazed panic. “Fungal Wars of the World,” Gurr called it.

 

The picture didn't make it, but many scientists agree with its message: Fungi have now become a greater global threat to crops, forests, and wild animals than ever before. They have killed countless amphibians, pushing some species to extinction, and they're threatening the food supply for billions of people. More than 125 million tons of the top five food crops—rice, wheat, maize, potatoes, and soybeans—are destroyed by fungi every year.

 

Like other infectious agents, fungi benefit from a combination of trends, such as increased global travel and trade, new agricultural practices, and perhaps global warming. But they have several unique features, researchers say—including the way they can switch from asexual to sexual reproduction—that enable them to exploit these opportunities particularly effectively.


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Science in three dimensions: The print revolution - 3D printers are opening up new worlds to research

Science in three dimensions: The print revolution - 3D printers are opening up new worlds to research | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

Research labs use many types of 3D printers to construct everything from fossil replicas to tissues of beating heart cells. Arthur Olson’s team at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, produces models of molecules; some are shown here partway through the printing process. 

 

Chemists and molecular biologists have long used models to get a feel for molecular structures and make sense of X-ray and crystallography data. Just look at James Watson and Francis Crick, who in 1953 made their seminal discovery of DNA's structure with the help of a rickety construction of balls and sticks.

 

These days, 3D printing is being used to mock up far more complex systems, says Arthur Olson, who founded the molecular graphics lab at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, 30 years ago. These include molecular environments made up of thousands of interacting proteins, which would be onerous-to-impossible to make any other way. With 3D printers, Olson says, “anybody can make a custom model”. But not everybody does: many researchers lack easy access to a printer, aren't aware of the option or can't afford the printouts (which can cost $100 or more).

 

Yet Olson says that these models can bring important insights. When he printed out one protein for a colleague, they found a curvy 'tunnel' of empty space running right through it. The conduit couldn't be seen clearly on the computer screen, but a puff of air blown into one side of the model emerged from the other. Determining the length of such tunnels can help researchers to work out whether, and how, those channels transport molecules. Doing that on the computer would have required some new code; with a model, a bit of string did the trick.

 

3D printer 'inks' aren't limited to plastic. Biologists have been experimenting with printing human cells — either individually or in multi-cell blobs — that fuse together naturally. These techniques have successfully produced blood vessels and beating heart tissue. The ultimate dream of printing out working organs is still a long way off — if it proves possible at all. But in the short term, researchers see potential for printing out 3D cell structures far more life-like than the typical flat ones that grow in a Petri dish.


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You can thank wasps for your bread, beer and wine | Not Exactly Rocket Science | Discover Magazine

You can thank wasps for your bread, beer and wine | Not Exactly Rocket Science | Discover Magazine | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

If wasps didn’t exist, picnics would be a lot more fun. But the next time you find yourself trying to dodge a flying, jam-seeking harpoon, think about this: without wasps, many of your ingredients might not exist at all. Irene Stefanini and Leonardo Dapporto from the University of Florence have found that the guts of wasps provide a safe winter refuge for yeast – specifically Saccharomyces cerevisiae


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How lethal is rabies virus?

How lethal is rabies virus? | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
New evidence from humans in the Peruvian Amazon suggests that rabies virus might be less lethal than previously believed.

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Stem cells can become anything - but not without this protein - Phys.Org

Stem cells can become anything - but not without this protein - Phys.Org | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
Nanotechnology NewsStem cells can become anything - but not without this proteinPhys.OrgIn a finding that could be important to the use of all kinds of stem cells in treating disease, scientists have discovered the crucial role of a protein called...

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Teaching a microbe to make fuel

Teaching a microbe to make fuel | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
A humble soil bacterium called Ralstonia eutropha has a natural tendency, whenever it is stressed, to stop growing and put all its energy into making complex carbon compounds.

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Nasa's Mars rover zaps first rock with laser to determine its composition

Nasa's Mars rover zaps first rock with laser to determine its composition | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

Nasa's Curiosity rover deploys its laser instrument for the first time, hitting a small Martian rock with 30 short but powerful pulses of light. The brief but powerful burst of light from the instrument vaporised the surface of the rock, revealing details of its basic chemistry. This was just target practice for ChemCam, proving it is ready to begin the serious business of investigating the geology of the Red Planet. It is part of a suite of instruments on the one-tonne robot, which landed two weeks ago in a deep equatorial depression known as Gale Crater.

 

The Curiosity mission goal is to determine whether Mars has ever had the conditions to support life. The full project costed around  $2.5 billion and will see initial surface operations lasting two Earth years. Onboard plutonium generators will deliver heat and electricity for at least 14 years to come. Curiosity has a 75 kg science payload more than 10 times as massive as those of earlier US Mars rovers. The vehicle is equipped with tools to brush and drill into rocks, to scoop up, sort and sieve samples, complemented by a large variety of analytical techniques to discern chemistry in rocks, soil and atmosphere. Curiosity will try to make first definitive identification of organic (carbon rich) compounds and answer the fundamental question was/is there life on Mars.


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Vaccine targets malignant brain cancer antigens and significantly lengthens survival

Vaccine targets malignant brain cancer antigens and significantly lengthens survival | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

An experimental immune-based therapy more than doubled median survival of patients diagnosed with the most aggressive malignant brain tumor, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center researchers report.

 

Median survival in a Phase I clinical trial at Cedars-Sinai's Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Brain Tumor Center was 38.4 months, significantly longer than the typical 14.6-month survival of patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma receiving standard therapy alone, which includes radiation and chemotherapy. Median progression-free survival -- the time from treatment to tumor recurrence -- was 16.9 months, compared to the typical 6.9 months with standard care.

 

The study included 16 newly diagnosed patients who could be properly evaluated between May 2007 and January 2010. At later follow-up, six patients (38 percent) -- ranging from 49 to 66 months post-treatment -- showed no evidence of tumor recurrence and were free of disease without current active treatment. Eight patients remained alive.

 

The vaccine's latest version, ICT-107, targets six antigens (HER2/neu, TRP-2, gp100, MAGE-1, IL13R2 and AIM-2) involved in the development of glioblastoma cells. All patient tumors had at least three of the targeted antigens; 74 percent of tumors had all six. Patients with tumors that expressed large amounts of MAGE-1, AIM-2, gp100 and HER2 had better immune responses and longer progression-free survival rates, suggesting that these antigens may be particularly vulnerable to the vaccine.

 

The researchers also found evidence that the vaccine attacks some brain cancer stem cells, considered the original source of tumor cells. These self-renewing cells appear to enable tumors to resist radiation and chemotherapy and even regenerate after treatment. Cancer stem cells are especially appealing targets: killing the stem cells is believed to improve the chances of destroying a tumor and preventing its recurrence.


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The human microbiome: Me, myself, us

The human microbiome: Me, myself, us | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

Looking at human beings as ecosystems that contain many collaborating and competing species could change the practice of medicine.

 

Via @MicroBytes


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Success of engineered tissue depends on where it’s grown

Success of engineered tissue depends on where it’s grown | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it
Tissue implants made of cells grown on a sponge-like scaffold have been shown in clinical trials to help heal arteries scarred by atherosclerosis and other vascular diseases. However, it has been unclear why some implants work better than others.

 

MIT researchers led by Elazer Edelman, the Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, have now shown that implanted cells’ therapeutic properties depend on their shape, which is determined by the type of scaffold on which they are grown. When cells are grown on a scaffold with surfaces of contact whose dimensions are similar in size to the cells, they mold to the curved surfaces, assuming a more elongated shape. In those cells, the structural elements — made of bundles of the protein actin — run parallel to each other. Those shapes determine what types of chemokines the cells secrete once implanted into the body. In this study, the researchers focused on a chemokine known as MCP1, which recruits inflammatory cells called monocytes.

 

The researchers found that the architecture of the cytoskeleton appears to determine whether or not the cell turns on the inflammatory pathway that produces MCP1. The elongated cells grown on porous surfaces produced eight times less of this inflammatory chemokine than cells grown on a flat surface, and recruited five times fewer monocytes than cells grown on a flat surface. This helps the tissue implants to suppress inflammation in damaged blood vessels. The researchers also identified biomarkers that correlate the cells’ shape, chemokine secretion and behavior. One such parameter is the production of a focal adhesion protein, which helps cells to stick to surfaces. In cells grown on a flat surface, this adhesion protein, known as vinculin, accumulates around the edges of the cell. However, in cells grown on a 3-D surface, the protein is evenly distributed throughout the cell. These distribution patterns serve as molecular cues to inhibit or activate the pathway that recruits monocytes.


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A retrospective study of the orthopoxvirus molecular evolution

A retrospective study of the orthopoxvirus molecular evolution | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

The data on the structure of conserved genes of the Old and New World orthopoxviruses and unclassified Yoka poxvirus were used for a Bayesian dating of their independent evolution. This reconstruction estimates the time when an orthopoxvirus ancestor was transferred to the North American continent as approximately 50 thousand years ago (TYA) and allows for relation of this time interval with the global climate changes (with one of the short-term warmings during the Last Ice Age).


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Biotechnology has no health and environmental hazards - Expert | Regional News 2012-08-05

Professor Jonathan Padi Tetteh, a biotechnology expert has debunked public perception that Genetic Modified foods pose health risks to humans.

He said GM foods posed no health risk since extensive test was made on them before they were released.

GM foods, he noted, had been consumed in many countries including USA, Canada, Brazil, India and China for over 16 years without any reports of adverse effects.

Prof Tetteh was speaking at the monthly session meeting of Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) on the theme: “Impact of biotechnology on Food production” in Accra.

He said: “Most of the imported foods into the country are GM foods, yet we eat and have no adverse effects and we speak against GMOs as if is the work of Satan.

“God created man and impacted knowledge into man to discover and explore what He (God) created and that is what GMOs is all about. It is God’s creation and man only discovered it”, he said.

On the environmental hazard of using biotechnology, Prof Tetteh said a toxin known as Bt toxin had been produced by the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis, which was toxic to insects of the Lepidoptera and Coleoptera families only, but not to man and other animals.

“This toxin is formulated into insecticide, and used safely by organic farmers to control insects on their crops. The biotechnologist introduced the Bt gene from the bacteria, into crops now referred to as Bt crops. Bt crops can produce their own Bt toxin to protect themselves”, he said.

Speaking about some new discoveries in nature due to biotechnology, he said, biotechnology had provided a technology for Artificial Insemination (AI) in the livestock sector to allow superior male parents to father thousands of offspring’s at a time.

Prof Tetteh said it was estimated that the number of AIs performed globally in 1998 included 100 million cattle, 40 million pigs, 3.3 million sheep and 0.5 million goats, which the number in Africa was less than one million.

He said due to the high demand of male tilapia because of its fast growing and taste; a genetically male tilapia could be turned into a female through oestrogen treatment and when mated with a normal male, would produce only male tilapia fingerlings.

He mentioned some advantages of growing bt crops as only target insects are killed, as against the use of conventional insecticides on the crop, no danger of insecticide poisoning of farmers and consumers, no chemical residue to contaminate the environment, no additional cost from insecticide application and higher yields because the entire plant is protected.

Prof Tetteh called on experts and the media to provide credible information on modern technology to the public to avoid misinterpretation.

He expressed the need for the country to embrace modern technology to solve the problem of food security in the country and Africa as a whole.

OFAB monthly meeting is aimed at bringing together stakeholders in biotechnology and facilitates interactions between scientists, farmers, journalists, civil societies, law makers.

The initiative serves as a platform to share knowledge and experience and explore new avenues for unleashing biotechnology.

OFAB Ghana Chapter, which is the sixth to be established in Africa, is a collaborative initiative between African Agricultural Technology Foundation based in Kenya and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

OFAB seeks to promote and sustain a well informed and interactive society capable of making informed decisions regarding research, development, regulation and commercialization of agricultural biotechnology products.**


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Wall Street Journal: Here's an Omical Tale: Scientists Discover Spreading Suffix (2012)

Wall Street Journal: Here's an Omical Tale: Scientists Discover Spreading Suffix (2012) | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

In the beginning, there was the genome.

Then came the foldome, the phenome and the connectome, quickly followed by the secretome, the otherome and the unknome.

Over the past decade, a linguistic trickle swelled into a flood of buzzwords tagged with the curiously resonant suffix "ome." Today, hundreds of "omic" terms have worked their way into the lexicon, coined mostly by scientists intent on creating new sub-specialties.  "It sounds futuristic. It sounds computational," said medical geneticist Robert C. Green at Harvard Medical School, who studies what he and his colleagues call the incidentalome—the realm of all incidental medical findings. "When you use the term "omics," it signals you are a new paradigm guy."


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MPMI: A draft genome sequence of Nicotiana benthamiana to enhance molecular plant-microbe biology research (2012)

MPMI: A draft genome sequence of Nicotiana benthamiana to enhance molecular plant-microbe biology research (2012) | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

Nicotiana benthamiana is a widely used model plant species for the study of fundamental questions in molecular plant-microbe interactions and other areas of plant biology. This popularity derives from its well-characterized susceptibility to diverse pathogens and especially its amenability to virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) and transient protein expression methods. Here we report the generation of a 63-fold coverage draft genome sequence of N. benthamiana and its availability on the Sol Genomics Network (http://solgenomics.net/) for both BLAST searches and for downloading to local servers. The estimated genome size of N. benthamiana is ~3 gigabases (Gb). The current assembly consists of ~141,000 scaffolds, spanning 2.6 Gb of which >50% are longer than 89 kilobases. Of the ~16,000 N. benthamiana unigenes available in GenBank, >90% are represented in the assembly. The usefulness of the sequence was demonstrated by the retrieval of N. benthamiana orthologs for 24 immunity-associated genes from other species including Ago2, Ago7, Bak1, Bik1, Crt1, Fls2, Pto, Prf, Rar1 and MAP kinases. The sequence will also be useful for comparative genomics in the Solanaceae as shown here by the discovery of microsynteny between N. benthamiana and tomato in the region encompassing the Pto/Prf genes.


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New plan on GMO rules to reduce risks  - Politics and policy |businessdailyafrica.com

New plan on GMO rules to reduce risks  - Politics and policy |businessdailyafrica.com | Biology & Biotech baubles | Scoop.it

Kenya plans to develop all the necessary guidelines for handling Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) by the end of year. The National Bio-Safety Authority (NBA) Chief Executive Officer Willy Tonui said the procedures will help consumers tackle the potential risks of biotech products.

“We have already put in place some regulations but by the end of the year, we will have developed all regulations to handle GMOs,” Dr Tonui said during a workshop for the Open Forum for African Biotechnology (OFAB).

He said that so far, there has been no commercial release of biotech products in the market.

“NBA has currently approved five confined trials, including for biotech cotton, fortified sorghum, water resistant maize and cassava,” he said.

He added that NBA only regulates and approves use of biotech products it was up to industry players to meet requirements before their producst are allowed into the market.

Dr Tonui noted that Kenya’s road towards commercialisation of GMOs has been hit by lack of sufficient research to develop products.
Last May, NBA put in place regulations on labeling of products containing GMOs.

“The laws will ensure that consumers are aware of the presence of any GMO material in foods and will also facilitate their traceability,” he said.
According to the authority, there are few certified bio-safety professionals in the country.

“We are therefore developing a curriculum to be used by the universities in order assist in the certification of professionals,” Dr Tonui said.
NBA said Kenya will next month host a national conference to review bio-safety concerns relating to GMOs.

“The first annual Bio-safety Conference will run from Aug 6-9, where over 100 scientists will deliberate on use of biotech to enhance food security in the country,” Dr Tonui said.

 

OFAB Kenya Chapter Chair Margaret Karembu said the country should have biotech crops available by 2014.
“There is a lot of promising research in biotech crops that are key to food security in Kenya and so our hope is to make them available in Kenya as soon as possible,” she said.

Dr Karembu noted that biotech crops will be one of the solutions to Kenya’s perennial food production deficits.

“Crops that can resist drought conditions will be crucial if Kenya is to increase its food production,” said she.
-Xinhua


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