HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
What's shaped like a pear and has two genomes? Check the pond

Rockville, MD--If you could peer microscopically into the closest freshwater pond, you'd hesitate before dipping a toe. Amid the murky water, you'd probably notice an oddly furry, pear-shaped organism gliding along--and gobbling up everything in its path.

This tiny predator has a big name--Tetrahymena thermophila--and a big fan club among scientists, as a star organism for research into how cells work.

Scientists have now sequenced, assembled, and analyzed T. thermophila's macronuclear genome. Their work, reported in today's issue of Public Library of Science (PLoS) Biology, explains the organism's impressive versatility. Rather than dividing labor into several types of cells, as humans and other multicellular organisms do, T. thermophila divides its activities, either into different places inside a cell or by changing the cell over time. It is a master multi-tasker.

"This organism is a true generalist," says evolutionary biologist Jonathan A. Eisen, who led the Tetrahymena project while at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) and is now at the University of California, Davis. "Whatever this unicell touches with its hairlike projections, it will try to eat. If it does not bump into anything, the organism will seek out food with diverse sensory systems. It can protect itself from radiation and other threats and also can fight back against competitors and predators. In short, versatility is its strength. Now, we can understand how this versatility works."

It takes plenty of genes. In fact, T. thermophila has roughly 25,000 genes--nearly as many as humans do. Although the organism is single-celled, it contains a genetic repertoire of seemingly more complex organisms. It shares, with humans and other animals, many genes and processes typically absent in single-celled organisms. That means Tetrahymena may be an ideal model organism for studies of the processes these genes encode.


'"/>

Contact: Kathryn Brown
kbrown@endpointcreative.biz
703-549-6641
The Institute for Genomic Research
28-Aug-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Whats the backscatter of your beer?
2. Whats going on in the body? Advanced time-of-flight PET takes a superior look
3. Whats in the water? Estrogenic activity documented in fish caught in Pittsburghs rivers
4. A Cross-Disciplinary Look at Scientific Truth: Whats the Law to Do?
5. Whats the difference between mice and men?
6. Ossur repeats Popular Science Best of Whats New award
7. Whats next for gene therapy? Plastic
8. Whats nature worth? New computer models tell all
9. HPV Vaccine: Whats next
10. Anti-evolutionism in AmericaWhats ahead?
11. Ossurs Power Knee wins Popular Science magazines 2005 Best of Whats New Award

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: What shaped like pear and has two genomes Check the pond

(Date:7/22/2014)... genus of planthopper known as Conosimus, which now includes ... in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula in ... appears in the open-access Journal of Insect Science ... Conosimus baenai , has been named after Manuel ... taxonomy of Iberian Hemiptera. , Conosimus baenai ...
(Date:7/21/2014)... 2014 (Toronto) As part of a multinational, collaborative ... Health (CAMH) have helped identify over 100 locations in ... schizophrenia, in what is the largest genomic study published ... online in Nature , point to biological mechanisms ... to new approaches to treating the disorder, which has ...
(Date:7/21/2014)... of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the ... the virus. The work, published this week in ... Society for Microbiology, indicates that further studies are needed ... the air. , MERS, a serious viral respiratory illness ... people as of June 11, according to the World ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):International team sheds new light on biology underlying schizophrenia 2International team sheds new light on biology underlying schizophrenia 3Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus detected in the air of a Saudi Arabian camel barn 2
(Date:7/21/2014)... July 21, 2014 Lawrence ... Investment Board (WIB) and Las Positas College (LPC) ... technical education and hands-on training for veterans, officials ... Program at Las Positas is designed to ... for engineering technician careers, and establishes a pipeline ...
(Date:7/21/2014)... (July 21, 2014) The yield so far is ... developed a low-energy, solution-based mineral substitution process to make ... use in electronics and alternative energy devices. , A ... of the July 21 issue of the journal ... research in the inorganic and nuclear chemistry fields. The ...
(Date:7/20/2014)... the process releases radioactive krypton and xenon gases. Naturally ... gas radon. A new porous material called CC3 effectively ... Nature Materials shows how: by breathing enough ... , The CC3 material could be helpful in removing ... air in buildings and also in recycling useful elements ...
(Date:7/18/2014)... LANSING, Mich. , July 18, 2014  Neogen ... Stephen Snyder , Neogen,s chief operating officer and ... said he will work as a consultant going forward ... Snyder has been in this position since ... be fulfilled by James Herbert , who has ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Engineering Program Established for Veterans 2Engineering Program Established for Veterans 3Oregon chemists eye improved thin films with metal substitution 2A noble gas cage 2A noble gas cage 3
Cached News: