Editor’s Selections: Monkeypox infections up in Africa, the stress symphony, and phenologs and unlikely models

Editor's Selections 12 Comments
By Vincent Racaniello

Vincent RacanielloVincent Racaniello selects several notable posts each week from molecular and cellular biology and virology. He blogs at virology blog.

  • The incidence of smallpox-like disease caused by monkeypox virus has increased 20-fold in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over the past 30 years. The cause may be a consequence of the cessation of smallpox immunization programs in 1980, leading to an increase in susceptibility to orthopoxviruses – including monkeypox and smallpox viruses.
  • The stress response is made up of a number of different hormonal cascades from both the peripheral and the central nervous system. It comprises two different systems, the Sympathetic Adrenal Medullary axis (SAM), the ‘fight or flight’ response) and the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis (HPA), which is involved in the long term effects of both acute and chronic stress.
  • If a group of genes is linked to a certain phenotype in one organism, and that same group results in another phenotype in a second organism, then those two phenotypes are phenologs. For example, many genes that are associated with abnormal angiogenesis in mice have orthologous genes in yeast, where the same genes are involved in sensitivity to the hypercholesterolemia drug lovastatin.

I’ll be back next Friday with more selections.

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