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April 01, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 7)


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Yet another model organism has a genomic sequence project, and this one is a terror. Trypanosoma brucei is a parasitic organism spread by the tsetse fly that causes sleeping sickness. Trypanosomes contain 11 large chromosomes of 1–6 million base pairs each, six intermediate sized chromosomes (300,000–600,000 bp), and about 100 minichromosomes of 50,000–100,00 bp. The smaller chromosomes are involved in antigenic variation, which allows it to elude host immune systems. At the TryptoFAN site, hosted by Mark Field at Cambridge, visitors will find a searchable database, protocols, vector lists and descriptions, and a list of genes currently being investigated. Users can also BLAST against the RNAi sequences in the database. A useful site for Trypanosome research.
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