Monday, September 11, 2006
Also affecting the surface of bacterial cells, Seattle researchers have found evidence that the peptide sequence of proteins dictated by DNA may not be what finally gets constructed: it seems that the proteosomes can alter this order to finalize functional proteins. This is really surprising news, and could potentially rock all kinds of boats in the scientific world.
In diseases not caused by bacteria, research suggests that the avian flu H5N1 may be so lethal because it reproduces much better than other strains. Patients who died from the disease had much higher viral loads (and thus inflammatory responses) than did patients with non-lethal flus. Interesting...
The gene that causes cystic fibrosis, a debilitating (and usually fatal) genetic disease, may persist in the population by protecting, in heterozygotes, from tuberculosis. The researchers suggest that CF patients are deficient in a protein that TB needs to survive, and that this resistance explains why such a toxic gene is not weeded out by natural selection.