Tag Archives: Genetics

The debt we owe to retroviruses

It was already known that genes inherited from ancient retroviruses are essential to the formation of the placenta in mammals. Now it appears that genes with retrovirus origins may also be responsible for the more developed muscle mass seen in … Continue reading

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Common Human Mutations That Protect against Infectious Disease

For millennia, pathogens and human hosts have engaged in a perpetual struggle for supremacy. From the earliest recorded smallpox epidemics around 1350 B.C.E to the Black Death due to Yersinia pestis in the Middle Ages and continuing to modern times … Continue reading

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Virus-resistant pigs

By genetically engineering pigs to degrade a crucial virus protein, animals can be made less susceptible to foot and mouth disease virus. Continue reading

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Microbial Genomics

Microbial Genomics is a new fully open access, online-only journal from the Society for General Microbiology. Increasingly I try only to link to open access journals from MicrobiologyBytes, but I don’t write much about microbial genomics – why is that? … Continue reading

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Polintons and network-like evolution of the virus world

Polintons were the first group of eukaryotic double-stranded DNA viruses to evolve from bacteriophages and gave rise to most large DNA viruses and various other selfish genetic elements. Continue reading

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CRISPRs and bacterial pathogenesis

CRISPR-Cas systems have taken microbiology by storm in the last few years. Continue reading

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Human telomeres carry an integrated copy of human herpesvirus 6

Up to half a million people in Britain today may carry a particular form of herpesvirus 6 inherited from a parent in their genetic material. Continue reading

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Burkholderia, evolution and chronic disease

The repertoire of genetic changes in Burkholderia pseudomallei during chronic human infection. Continue reading

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Smaller fleas upon their back to bite them

Rapid advances in genomics lead not only to the rapid growth of sequence databases but to discovery of fundamentally novel types of genetic elements. Continue reading

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