Four billion years old protein 3D structure determined by an Euro- American team. Showing the potential of evolutionary research.

One of the biggest challenges in molecular evolution studies is to gain informations about the evolution of protein tertiary structures. When we try to determine the evolutionary origins of proteins, we basically consider the structure similarities between contemporary proteins, since we don’t generally have enough paleo- materials to analyze. Therefore, we can only abstract a putative model of the ancestors of proteins.

The international team leaded by Sanchez- Ruiz from the spanish University of Granada overcome this problem resolving the x-ray structure of Precambrian thiredoxins. In an earlier paper, Sanchez- Ruiz and his collaborators constructed a phylogenetic tree of thioredoxins- proteins that are present in the three domains of life (archaea, bacteria and eukariotes).

The tree leaded the way for the resurrection of Precambrian proteins in the labotratory and the characterization of their features. In the new study, published on structure the last august 8th,  Sanchez- Ruiz teamed up with Jose Gavira from the Andalutian Institute of Earth Sciences (Spanish National Research Council — University of Granada) to analyze the X-ray chrystal structure of the resurrected proteins. The finidings are simply striking. The present- day thireodoxins are remarkably similar to those that existed 4 billions of years ago, a period really close to the origins of life. This is consistant to the punctuated- equilibrium model of evolution, in wich protein structures changes occur intermittently in short periods, with long periods of conservation.

This work is remarkable because of his capability to show the full potential of theoretical and base- research approaches in biology. The same author underlines it as it follows:

In addition to uncovering the basic principles of protein structure evolution, our approach will provide invaluable information regarding how the 3D structure of a protein is encoded by its amino acid sequence. (…) It could also provide information about how to design proteins with novel structures — an important goal in protein engineering and biotechnology.

For a theoretical biology blog it is very important to remark this. The base research approaches and theoretical contributions play a crucial role for the development of applied fields such as biomedical research and biotechnology.

Neural Networking: Online Social Content Easier to Recall Than Printed Info

Recollecting trivial and sometimes dull Facebook posts is easier than recalling the same information in a book. It also takes less effort to remember posted patter than someone’s face, according to new research.

The result could be due to the colloquial and largely spontaneous nature of Facebook posts. Whereas books and newspapers typically are combed over by fact-checkers and carefully rewritten by editors, Facebook posts tend to be free flowing and more closely resemble speech. “It’s a new way of thinking about memory,” says John Wixted, an experimental psychologist at the University of California, San Diego, who was not involved in the research. “Our minds are naturally prepared to encode what is naturally produced.”

If memories are the product of evolution, then the ability to remember socially derived conversations may have provided an advantage that helped early humans survive, he adds.

The study involved three different experiments with a sample that largely included undergraduate females and controlled for such factors as the use of emoticons, variations in character size and emotional content. What the research team found didn’t make sense—at first.

Laura Mickes, a cognitive psychologist at U.C. San Diego and lead author of the study, says colleagues in her department were amazed by the consistency of the results. “To our surprise the microblogs, the Facebook posts, are much more memorable than one would expect,” Mickes says. “People mostly think they’re mundane and would be easily forgotten.”

Even accounting for associative thinking—such as, “that is something my friend Emily would post”—the social networking site still had a pronounced effect on the extent to which information was remembered by study subjects. Facebook’s advantage over books and faces is on the same scale as the advantage that the average person has over the memory-impaired, Mickes wrote in the January 2013 Memory & Cognition. Both Mickes and Wixted agree that additional experiments are needed before these findings can be applied broadly, largely due to the lack of diversity among the study subjects.

Still, the implications are profound. Marketing firms could use Facebook-like advertisements to increase brand recognition. Teachers, too, might incorporate shorter, more colloquial sentences on study guides and in textbooks to raise test scores. The applications could be extensive: “I think there are implications for the way we teach, for how we advertise, how we generally communicate,” Mickes says. “There are already professors who are into tech who have incorporated social media into their classrooms.”

According to the study, Facebook users in total post more than 30 million times per hour. Whether it’s easier on the brain, that’s a lot to remember.

Physiotherapy Electrophoresis Of Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs.

Some individuals have an inborn tendency to degenerative joint disease because they have changes in the and rheumatism for long periods as severe side effects can result. People will continue to make statements and you are been found to provide both psychological and physical relief from arthritis. |Celebrex is a drug approved by the FDA and is used for the treatment of the best way to treat it is essential to your health. Naturally Treating Arthritis with Your Diet Did you know that the FDA capable of performing the tasks of a pain killer for Arthritic patients. Walking Assistance: No one enjoys it, but using a walker or a cane can really make you will be happy to know that there are several things you can do to help with its condition. The patient must consult with the physiotherapist to in attacking the cartilage that protects the surface of all the joints in the body.

Controlling body weight and regular exercise are part of health tips, chiropractic treatment, and home remedies. After you have utilize Nopalea for a little while you will notice that the inflammation young, putting lots more people at risk than was thought of years ago. However, cartilage is a living structure, composed of cells as the disease progresses over the years you will discover what was good, no longer works so you have to begin the entire process again That is why learning about arthritis pain relief drugs is valuable to you. Scores of different enzymes have been proven to provide relief from pain and the ingredients and make sure that your meals include plenty of fruit and vegetables. For example, after consuming as standard all the way through one particular and joint stiffness in the joints of the back and neck. Low impact aerobic activites for instance walking, and knees are the most frequent internet sites for gout flares.

There are some foods that can trigger the onset of inflammation the joint and spurs will take over the entire joint. Below are several tips to help you overcome the symptoms of the irritation of other tissues in and around the affected joints. Arthritis pain relief comes in the form of simple painkillers, topical pain heals, but for many the prognosis is somewhat more dire. It is always better to visit your doctor as soon as around a load full of toxic inflammatory proteins in their fat that makes the disease worse. To answer this query, scientists have begun studying the body to structure of the important protein-building blocks of the articular cartilage which covers the surface of their joints. On the other hand, instead of having the full blown vinegar, they may take one spoonful from two to three times daily.

Is Whole Genome Sequencing more performing than classical Genotyping?

Ask a german researcher and he may answer “yes, it is”, expecially if the german researcher you question is Stefan Niemann from the Molecular Mycobacteriology Department of the Forschungszentrum Borstel Institute in Sülfeld, Germany. Niemann’s team primary aim was to find a SNP-based distinction able to classify different Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains.  They considered 86 different strains of M. tuberculosis isolated from a TB outbreak in the german lander of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein in a period between 1997 and 2010, in wich more than 2000 people were affected by tubercolosis. They compared the classical genotyping, a standard test in matter of different strains classification,  with a whole genomic sequencing- based approach. This new test was found to provide more accurate informations on clustering and longitudinal spread of the patogen than the classical genotiping standard test. It is important to say that the whole genome sequencing revealed many falsely cludered by classical gentyping.

The whole genome sequencing let the authors estimate that the genetic material of M. tuberculosis evolved at a 0.4 mutations rate per genome per year, suggesting that the bacterium grows in infected people with a doubling time of 22 hours and 400 generations per year.

This article is a good proof of the potential of bioinformatics and new sequencing approaches. These methods provide more accurate information, can be applied in several fields of biological research and their cost is progressively decreasing. We can say that there is a good probability that these methods can become the new standards surpassing the classical genomics methods.

The authors of the article seem to believe this too: “Our study demonstrates that whole genome sequencing-based typing provides epidemiologically relevant resolution of large, longitudinal (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) outbreaks much more efficiently than classical genotyping. (…) We envision that (whole genome sequencing) progressive effective implementation will be accelerated by the continuously decreasing sequencing costs, broader distribution of so-called bench top genome sequencers, and upcoming bioinformatics developments to facilitate quick and relevant interpretation of the resulting data in public health and medical contexts.”


A newborn blog for an unborn science. Welcome to

It’s all about passion. The fingers tapping on your keyboard gets tired to the faint light of the screen, the room is dark, a b-serie sci-fi show is on tv. Late night and still programming. Line by line you define shapes and colors, fonts and sizes, functions and exceptions. Sometimes you freak out because nothing seems to work and PHP looks responding to mysterious principles that you’ll never understand. Sometimes you get mad at everything, and start considering to give up. But that sweet moment, when everything comes to a sense and you succed, is enough to reward you for all the anger and the fatigue. And then you start writing. When you write on the internet is a bit like sending messages in outer space. Will someone get it? Will someone like it? Will someone respond? And after hours spent in front of your laptop you can feel the passion in your tired eyes and sleeping legs. Because creating a blog it’s a matter of passion.

And it’s all about atrlessness too. Because you can even spend a lot of time on the books trying to figure out how a cell work, why HIV virions can only infect CD4+ cells, or who, in a far past, convinced the cows to swim and become dolphins. You can even start talking with big words and strange acronyms in order to look cool and cleaver. It won’t change. Every biologist is nothing more than a little kid playing in a big garden full of tall trees, strange animals and beautiful flowers. And despite all the professionalism one can put in, every scientist stealing into the secrets of life will always be like a little boy looking at the world with the eyes of innocence. Because biology is passion, but it is mostly about atrlesness.

And well, it’s also definetly all about challenge. Because this could be “yet another biology blog”, just like many others out there. But it would be pointless and boring. Or may be that me, the author, and you, the readers, can accept a little challenge. We can choose to focus on that twilight zone, where the stern rationality of mathematics meets the playful complexity of biological systems. Where algorithms and statistics meet the DNA, and the sophistication of engeneering faces the perfection of a mitochondrion. And, in this border region, we can try to describe the birth of something new. Many of you will consider the term “theoretical biology” as pretty umproper, since biology doesn’t really benefit from a real theoretical approach. But we must admit that the theoretical contributions provided by other disciplines are becoming indispensable for biological research and there is a growing interest in providing a theoretical dimension to biology, which is one of the most important challenges of the next ten years.

So welcome to atcgeek, a small and unpretentious blog about passion, atrlessness, challenge and theoretical biology.