Tag Archives: DNA

CRISPR-like ‘immune’ system discovered in giant virus

Giant mimiviruses fend off invaders using defences similar to the CRISPR system deployed by bacteria and other microorganisms. Like prokaryotes, mimiviruses are plagued by viruses known as virophages. This appears to have led to the evolution of a defence system … Continue reading

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Adenovirus interferes with the host DNA damage response

Adenoviruses (Ad) are everywhere, and while they pose limited threat in individuals with healthy immune systems, they cause significant disease burden in immunocompromised patients. A new study describes a mechanism by which the virus interferes with the host’s ability to … Continue reading

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Natural DNA Uptake by E. coli

In the laboratory, we force E.coli to take up DNA all the time. But what really goes on in the environment, or indeed, your gut? Continue reading

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Silencing of foreign DNA in bacteria

Newly acquired DNA sequences are problematic to bacteria. Continue reading

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Herpes simplex virus capsid assembly and DNA packaging

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is an important pathogenic agent that causes recurrent oral and genital lesions, blindness and encephalitis. It is a member of the family Herpesviridae, which contains three subfamilies (alpha- beta- and gammaherpesvirinae) whose members infect humans to … Continue reading

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It's Innate Immunity Day on MicrobiologyBytes

Two interesting recent papers on innate immunity to bacteria and viruses. Continue reading

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Epigenetic reprogramming of host genes in microbial pathogenesis

An epigenetic trait is a stably heritable phenotype resulting from changes in a chromosome without alterations in the DNA sequence. Such changes are mediated by chemical modifications to chromatin on both DNA and DNA-associated histones. Post-translational covalent modifications to the … Continue reading

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Acid-loving bacterium reads its DNA with enzyme strikingly similar to yours

Transcription, the process of converting DNA into RNA (which in turn is translated into proteins by ribosomes) is carried out by the multisubunit RNA polymerase (RNAP) enzyme. Transcription is fundamental to all organisms across the three kingdoms of life – … Continue reading

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HPV DNA Test Outperforms Pap Smear

A new DNA test for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer is so much better than current methods that some gynecologists hope it will eventually replace the Pap smear in wealthy countries and other tests in poor ones. Not … Continue reading

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