Bio! News March 2013 – A

Bio! News
March 2013 – A

A baby born with HIV in rural Mississippi is reported to be stable and with no detectable proliferative HIV. This is thought to be the result of an early intervention with three different antiretroviral drugs – which is an unusual treatment for newborns.  If fully confirmed, this would be the second reported case of a person being cured of HIV after medical intervention, the first one being Timothy Brown (the Berlin Patient), a man who received a bone marrow transplantation from an HIV-resistant donor.

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.


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