January 2012 - B
A 60-day pause on highly pathogenic influenza research has been called by a consortia of leading laboratories around the world. This measure has been voluntarily taken because of extended biosecurity concerns regarding recent studies that report data about factors mediating trans-species virus transmission.
Using gravity as a selective force, a research group from the University of Minnesota reported the first in vitro-generated multi-celullar system evolved from single-celled individuals (yeast, in this case). The researchers observed how the single-celled yeasts began to ensemble themselves into clusters that behaved like individual beings, with their own life cycle.
Due to its bipartite genome, V. cholerae genome studies have been difficult to perform. A new publication reports the generation of synthetic V. cholerae strains whose genomes have been engineered so that they may have a single genome, two chromosomes of equal size or two chromosomes controlled by the same replication origin. The methodology by which these genome-engineered strains were obtained is based on site-specific recombination, allows massive genome rearrangment and may be useful for engineering other bacterial genomes.
The conservation of intelligence at old age may be heritable, as a recent publication states. The 80-year study reports data on the genetic component of the correlation of intelligence scores obtained at age 11 and those obtained at an old age.