Editor’s Selections: Origin of syphilis, RNAi and chromatin modification, and a pathogenic role for NADPH oxidaseJanuary 20th, 2012 Editor's Selections 4 Comments
Vincent Racaniello selects several notable posts each week from molecular and cellular biology and virology. He unravels viruses at virology blog.
- The first recorded outbreak of syphilis, caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, occurred in 1494 in Naples, Italy. Was the disease brought to Europe by Columbus and his crew, or was it always present in the Old World?
- It is well-known that RNAi silences genes by targeting mRNAs for degradation. Another mechanism of gene silencing occurs via modification of chromatin modifications. The results of studies in C. elegans reveal that such chromatin modification is gene specific and heritable.
- NADPH oxidase is a membrane-bound complex that produces reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that can destroy invading bacteria or viruses. Reduced activity of this enzyme might play a role in the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
I’ll be back next Friday with more selections.