Allegations of flawed research techniques
at an NIH-funded medical lab at Johns Hopkins get notice in a Washington Post
article. Interesting piece on a scientific dispute, the accuser's loss of his job at Hopkins, and the suicide of one researcher from the lab whose analysis, published in Nature
, came into question.
posted by smrtsch
on Mar 12, 2013 -
Provirophages and transpovirons as the diverse mobilome of giant viruses
Abstract: A distinct class of infectious agents, the virophages1 that infect giant viruses of the Mimiviridae family, has been recently described. Here we report the simultaneous discovery of a giant virus of Acanthamoeba polyphaga (Lentille virus) that contains an integrated genome2 of a virophage (Sputnik 2), and a member of a previously unknown class of mobile genetic elements3, the transpovirons4. The transpovirons are linear DNA elements of ∼7 kb [kilobases]5 that encompass six to eight protein-coding genes, two of which are homologous6 to virophage genes. Fluorescence7 in situ hybridization8 showed that the free form of the transpoviron replicates within the giant virus factory and accumulates in high copy numbers inside giant virus particles, Sputnik 2 particles, and amoeba cytoplasm. Analysis of deep-sequencing data showed that the virophage and the transpoviron can integrate9 in nearly any place in the chromosome of the giant virus host and that, although less frequently, the transpoviron can also be linked to the virophage chromosome. In addition, integrated fragments of transpoviron DNA were detected in several giant virus and Sputnik genomes. Analysis of 19 Mimivirus strains revealed three distinct transpovirons associated with three subgroups of Mimiviruses. The virophage, the transpoviron, and the previously identified self-splicing introns10 and inteins11 constitute the complex, interconnected mobilome12 of the giant viruses and are likely to substantially contribute to interviral gene transfer.
[Full Text PDF
] and two explanations in English [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Oct 16, 2012 -
There is no question that HIV is an ugly virus in terms of human health. Each year, it infects some 2.7 million additional people and leads to some two million deaths from AIDS. But a new album manages to locate some sonic beauty deep in its genome. Sounds of HIV (Azica Records) by composer Alexandra Pajak explores the patterns of the virus's nucleotides as well as the amino acids transcribed by HIV, playing through these biologic signatures in 17 tracks. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation
on Nov 12, 2010 -
is designed for visualizing alignments, conservation and intra- and inter-chromosomal relationships within a genome, between genomes, or between any two or more sets of objects with a corresponding distance scale." Illustrative (via).
posted by stopgap
on Jan 23, 2007 -
New Scientist reports that
a virus has been built up from mail order components. Other reports on this are in USA Today
. This isn't time life has been created in the lab, as previously linked
What's interesting is that this study was funded by the Department of Energy
to produce a completely man made lifeform that can create hydrogen or consume greenhouse gasses.
The present virus is an artificially created copy of a naturally occurring virus.
posted by substrate
on Nov 14, 2003 -
Dr Venter says he will be able to provide an individual's genome on a CD
in about a week for $712,000 (£400,000) from later this year with the ultimate goal to sequence someone's entire genome in 24 hours for $1,000 (£562).
posted by nasim
on Sep 23, 2002 -
"Life science researchers -- even those who work in academic settings -- are finding that corporations are just as eager to patent the tools as they are the data, and in many cases, universities are bending over backward to let the private sector have its way. As a result, a growing number of bioinformatics researchers are beginning to look to the free-software and open-source software movements for inspiration in their quest for bio freedom."
posted by homunculus
on Feb 26, 2002 -
Why Genetic Engineering Is So Dangerous
Environmentalist/biologist Barry Commoner's essay in the February issue of Harper's magazine warns about the unknown dangers of genetic engineering.
"...billions of transgenic plants are now being grown with only the most rudimentary knowledge about the resulting changes in their composition. Without detailed, ongoing analyses of the transgenic crops, there is no way of knowing what hazardous consequences may arise. But,
given the failure of the Central Dogma, there is no assurance that they will not. The genetically engineered crops now being grown represent a huge uncontrolled experiment; its outcome is inherently unpredictable.
Our project is designed to help develop effective public understanding of the dangerous implications of this critical predicament."
He asserts that the "Central Dogma", the basis for the Human Genome Project, was known to be flawed prior to the inception of the $3 billion program. Should we be amused/impressed or very worried when we read about pig/spinach crosses and the like?
Related article here
posted by martk
on Jan 25, 2002 -
Last week I was watching a Nova program on PBS called 'Cracking the Code of Life'
, which brought to my attention a disturbing fact about the process of mapping the Human Genome; private companies have applied for patents for gene sequences that they've mapped. Many of these patents were applied for before the government began the Human Genome Project
. Although the patent office has put these applications on hold until it figures out what to do with them, many drug companies an researchers won't work with a gene sequence
if there is a patent application outstanding. You can get involved yourself by petitioning against patents on life
posted by Sal Amander
on May 1, 2001 -