March 2013 – A
Resurrected enzymes and genetic elements
|From Risso, et al., (2013).|
A research group brought back to life a set of 2 – 3 billion years old beta-lactamases. They discovered that these enzymes show substrate promiscuity and believe they can be of use to study the evolution of antibiotic resistance, specifically, the evolution from generalists lactamases to specialist ones.
|From Li, X., et al., (2013).|
Another group also resurrected ancient biological molecules, but this time they are genetic transposable elements or transposons. These researchers showed that two transposons from the hTA familiy -TcBuster, an element that comes from the insect Tribolium castaneum, and SCIN, an ancient vertebrate element- are active in mammalian cells and can be used for genome engineering.