General microbiology and science, June 27

Viruses in primate genomes, viruses altering shrimp metabolome, transposable elements and repeats, dengue, other infectious diseases in developing countries and Dr. Bik’s Picks.

Metagenomics / viruses

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 9.21.29 PMCute animal alert! A tarsier is a tiny primate with huge eyes.
The First Endogenous Herpesvirus, Identified in the Tarsier Genome, and Novel Sequences from Primate Rhadinoviruses and Lymphocryptoviruses – Amr Aswad, Aris Katzourakis – PLOS Genetics

“We describe the first endogenous herpesvirus from the genome of the Philippine tarsier, belonging to the Roseolovirus genus, and characterize its highly defective genome that is integrated and flanked by unambiguous host DNA. From a draft assembly of the aye-aye genome, we use bioinformatic tools to reveal over 100,000 bp of a novel rhadinovirus that is the first lemur gammaherpesvirus, closely related to Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated virus.”

 Metabolomics

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 9.32.37 PMAn Invertebrate Warburg Effect: A Shrimp Virus Achieves Successful Replication by Altering the Host Metabolome via the PI3K-Akt-mTOR Pathway – Mei-An Su – PLOS Pathogens

“We show that the PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway was of central importance in triggering this WSSV-induced Warburg effect. Although dsRNA silencing of the mTORC1 activator Rheb had only a relatively minor impact on WSSV replication, in vivo chemical inhibition of Akt, mTORC1 and mTORC2 suppressed the WSSV-induced Warburg effect and reduced both WSSV gene expression and viral genome replication.”

Biofilms

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 9.33.21 PMFilaments in curved streamlines: rapid formation of Staphylococcus aureus biofilm streamers – Minyoung Kevin Kim – New Journal of Physics

“We discovered that S. aureus rapidly forms flow-induced, filamentous biofilm streamers, and furthermore if surfaces are coated with human blood plasma, streamers appear within minutes and clog the channels more rapidly than if the channels are uncoated. “

Chromosomal organization

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 9.34.04 PMDigital Genotyping of Macrosatellites and Multicopy Genes Reveals Novel Biological Functions Associated with Copy Number Variation of Large Tandem Repeats – Manisha Brahmachary – PLOS Genetics

“Here, we demonstrate the utility of Nanostring technology as a targeted approach to perform accurate measurement of tandem repeats even at extremely high copy number, and apply this technology to genotype 165 HapMap samples from three different populations and five species of non-human primates. “

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 9.34.37 PMLarge-Scale Genomic Analysis Suggests a Neutral Punctuated Dynamics of Transposable Elements in Bacterial Genomes – Jaime Iranzo – PLOS Computational Biology

“In this work, we take advantage of the large amount of genomic data currently available and study the abundance distributions of 33 IS families in 1811 bacterial chromosomes. This allows us to test simple models of IS dynamics and estimate their key parameters by means of a maximum likelihood approach. “

Microbial Ecology

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 9.35.00 PMEx Uno Plures: Clonal Reinforcement Drives Evolution of a Simple Microbial Community – Margie Kinnersley – PLOS Genetics

“We previously showed that a population of E. coli that originated from a single clone and was cultured in the presence of a single limiting resource, evolves into a stable, three-membered community, wherein one clone excretes metabolites that the others utilize as carbon sources. To discern the genetic factors at work in producing this outcome and to illuminate the community’s physiology, we sequenced the genomes of the ancestral and evolved clones.”

Infectious diseases in developing countries

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 9.35.43 PMExploring the Relationship between Access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infection: A Demonstration of Two Recursive Partitioning Tools – Katherine Gass – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

“Improvements to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) likely provide sustained benefit, but few rigorous studies have evaluated the specific WASH components most influential in reducing infection. “

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 9.36.14 PMSocial Sciences Research on Infectious Diseases of Poverty: Too Little and Too Late? – José Azoh Barry – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

“Besides the vicious circle these diseases maintain with dire conditions of poverty, an increased microbial resistance to some therapeutic drugs adds to the complexity of health disparities and human suffering among the socially disadvantaged, marginalized, and prejudiced against.”

Dengue

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 9.36.37 PMVariability in Dengue Titer Estimates from Plaque Reduction Neutralization Tests Poses a Challenge to Epidemiological Studies and Vaccine Development – Henrik Salje – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

“We used repeated assays on the same two pools of serum using five different viruses (2,319 assays) to characterize the variability in the technique under identical experimental conditions. We also assessed the performance of multiple statistical models to interpolate continuous values of neutralization titer from discrete measurements from serial dilutions.”

Science and career

PLOSTen Simple Rules for Approaching a New Job – Philip E. Bourne – PLOS Computational Biology

“Thinking both as a job applicant and a job interviewer about how I have approached job situations over the years before, during, and after the interview and how those situations have turned out, I can offer the following ten simple rules as you prepare.”

A New Online Computational Biology Curriculum – David B. Searls – PLOS Computational Biology

“A recent proliferation of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and other web-based educational resources has greatly increased the potential for effective self-study in many fields. This article introduces a catalog of several hundred free video courses of potential interest to those wishing to expand their knowledge of bioinformatics and computational biology. “

Arsenic metabolism

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 10.00.06 PMAssociations between Arsenic Species in Exfoliated Urothelial Cells and Prevalence of Diabetes among Residents of Chihuahua, Mexico – Jenna M. Currier – Environ Health Perspect

“We measured concentrations of trivalent and pentavalent iAs, methyl-As (MAs), and dimethyl-As (DMAs) species in EUC from 374 residents of Chihuahua, Mexico, who were exposed to iAs in drinking water.”

Dr. Bik’s Picks

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 10.09.01 PMWith pictures and videos: Duration of urination does not change with body size – Patricia J. Yang – PNAS

“In this study, we report a mathematical model that clarifies misconceptions in urology and unifies the results from 41 independent urological and anatomical studies. The theoretical framework presented may be extended to study fluid ejection from animals, a universal phenomenon that has received little attention.”

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 10.01.44 PMFrom Gemstones to Arsenic: How the Development of Pigment Colored Art – Allison Meier

“A new exhibition at London’s National Gallery — Making Colour — looks at the development of color in art, from the Middle Ages to 1900. “

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