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Showing results 71-79 of 79 for 'Genetics'


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    Bacterial Immune Systems Take the Stage

    Until a decade ago, scientists were not aware that bacteria had complex immune systems – ones that could keep up with the pace of evolution in viruses called phages that infect bacteria. That changed with the discovery of what is now the most famous bacterial immune mechanism: CRISPR. Scientists realized that CRISPR is a natural gene editor, and it has revolutionized the world of biological research in thousands of labs around the world. Researchers now understand that most microorganisms have sophisticated immune systems, of which CRISPR is just one element, but there has been no good way to identify these systems.

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    Researchers Discover 10 New Immune Systems in Bacteria

    Bacteria have been defending themselves from phages—viruses that attack bacterial cells—for billions of years, and unlocking the immune mechanisms they use to protect themselves has led to the development of powerful molecular biology tools such as restriction enzymes and CRISPR-Cas9. Now, researchers report in Science today (January 25) that they have discovered 10 more immune systems that bacteria use to protect themselves against phages and plasmids, opening up the possibility to add new tools to the molecular biology toolbox.

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    Genetics or Lifestyle: What Is It That Shapes Our Microbiome?

    The question of nature vs. nurture extends to our microbiome – the personal complement of mostly friendly bacteria we carry around with us. Study after study has found that our microbiome affects nearly every aspect of our health, and that the composition of our microbes, which varies from individual to individual, may hold the key to everything from weight gain to mood. Some microbiome researchers had suggested that this variation begins with differences in our genes, but a large-scale study conducted at the Weizmann Institute of Science challenges this idea and provides evidence that the connection between microbiome and health may be even more important than we thought.

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    Environment, Not Genetics, Primarily Shapes Microbiome Composition

    Environment plays a much greater role than host genetics in determining the composition of the human gut microbiome, according to a study published today (February 28) in Nature. And including microbiome characteristics when predicting people’s traits, such as cholesterol levels or obesity, makes those estimates more accurate than only personal history, such as diet, age, gender, and quality of life, the study finds.

    /news-media/in-the-news/environment-not-genetics-primarily-shapes-microbiome-composition
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    Bacterial Immune Systems Take the Stage

    Until a decade ago, scientists were not aware that bacteria had complex immune systems that could keep up with the pace of evolution in viruses called phages that infect bacteria. That changed with the discovery of what is now the most famous bacterial immune mechanism: CRISPR. This is a natural gene editor that has revolutionized the world of biological research in thousands of labs around the world. Researchers now understand that most microorganisms have sophisticated immune systems of which CRISPR is just one element; but there has been no good way to identify these systems.

    /news-media/in-the-news/bacterial-immune-systems-take-the-stage
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    Switching Sides: The Betrayal of an Anti-Cancer Gene

    It doesn’t often happen that army generals switch sides in the middle of a war, but when cancer is attacking, it may cause even a gene that acts as the body’s master defender to change allegiance. As reported recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have discovered that this gene’s betrayal can occur in more ways than previously appreciated.

    /news-media/news-releases/switching-sides-the-betrayal-of-an-anti-cancer-gene-1
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    Repairing DNA, Fighting Cancer

    Our genetic material – DNA – is under constant assault. It is damaged every day by external forces like sunlight, radiation, tobacco smoke, air pollution, and food additives, and internal ones like waste products left over from the body’s metabolic processes.

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