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Mar 1, 2007

Pathogenic Content of Infection-Causing Bacteria Sequenced

  • Yale University researchers have determined the pathogenic content of A. baumannii, a bacteria responsible for several infections, including pneumonia, meningitis, and those of the urinary tract.

    "The sequence of the genome of this organism is critical for understanding how it harms humans and ultimately will be useful for designing therapeutic agents to combat this infectious disease," points out Michael Snyder, Ph.D., who led the research at Yale University.

    Using 454 Life Sciences’ Genome Sequencer system, the scientists found that A. baumannii devotes a considerable portion of its genes to pathogenesis. A large amount of foreign bacterial DNA was seen to be incorporated into the A. baumannii genome. Sequencing also helped to identify virulence genes that lack homology with other known genes.

    The study was published in Genes & Development.

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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.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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