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

TrypanoFAN

URL:trypanofan.path.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/WebObjects
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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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*The opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and should not be construed as reflecting the viewpoints of the publisher, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., the publishing house, or employees and affiliates thereof.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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