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Using phylogenetics to reconstruct a 59 million year old drug

Good news: Press Release 2011-10-03 The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has today decided that The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2011 shall be divided, with one half jointly to Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity and the other half to Ralph M. Steinman […]

Reverse Translation Discovered?

  We will never look at life at quite the same way again.   Until now, information flow in biology looked like this:   DNA gets transcribed to RNA, wheich in turn is translated to protein. While reverse transcription does take place with retroviruses using reverse transcriptase, the central dogma of molecular biology held that […]

A non-post about Craig Venter’s new bug

In case you have been vacationing in a parallel universe in the past two days, you should have heard about the new synthetic bacterium created at the J Craig Venter Institute. In a nutshell, the scientific team synthesized an artificial chromosome of the bacterium Mycoplasma mycoides and transferred it to another bacterium, Mycoplasma capricolum. The […]

Combrex: Computational Bridge to Experiments

Combrex is an exciting new project at Boston University to bridge computational and experimental techniques to functionally annotate proteins. They are hiring, see below: JOB POST We are seeking to hire a creative computational scientist for a transformative project: COMBREX: A Computational Bridge to Experiments. The work will involve building a novel resource that combines […]

“Codon” is now a four letter word

As part of the process of manufacturing  a new car,  the designers will take the blueprints to the factory floor. There they will set up an experimental assembly line, tinkering with the manufacturing process of the prototype until it is ready for mass-production. Can we do the same with the machinery of life — the assembly […]