Monthly Archives: September 2013

Frontiers of Retrovirology Conference 2013

FOR 2013

    This year, the Frontiers of Retrovirology conference was held in the historic city of Cambridge and was a great success. A selection of the world’s leading researchers in human and animal retroviruses delivered inspiring and exceptional talks. Throughout the event, tributes were paid to Kuan-Teh Jeang, founder of the conference and of Retrovirology,… Read more »


Mad, bad and dangerous to know

Nycticebus javanicus

In a new review article published today in Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases (JVATiTD), Anna Nekaris and colleagues review the remarkable biochemistry and etiology of slow loris venom. The slow loris (Nycticebus spp.) is the world’s only venomous primate, just one of seven venomous species of mammal. From a defensive posture,… Read more »


Epigenetics and organisation

AM pic

Written by Dr Adele Murrell, University of Bath, UK A long time ago, when we still used restriction enzymes to identify polymorphisms and the term “epigenetic” was used to dismiss quirky data that did not obey the central dogma of ‘DNA-makes-RNA-makes-protein’, we used to think of genes as linear sequences of bases in a sea… Read more »


Overcoming drug resistance through epigenetic targeting

Lung and pills

Written by Dr Anne-Marie Baird, St. James’s Hospital/Trinity College Dublin, Ireland Worldwide, lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer related mortality, with the incidence growing dramatically in both females and non-smokers.  Survival rates continue to remain poor, with five year survival rates at approximately 15%. This figure has remained relatively unchanged in the… Read more »


Henrietta Lacks (HeLa) cell genome: cell line identity and the personal privacy


Written by Henry Heng, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Cytogenetics Privacy and ethical concerns about the publication of the HeLa cell genome sequence have generated a great deal of commentary.  In addition to a number of pieces from well-known scientific journals (1-2), the New York Times has also joined this interesting discussion (3). Today, regulations require informed… Read more »


The koala: Living life on the edge

Koala credit Nicole Davies

  Koalas living at the edge of their natural habitat range behave differently to those living well within in it, finds a study published in Movement Ecology this week. The research has implications for conservation, hinting that a ‘one strategy fits all’ approach is not the best tactic for animals like the koala, which straddles… Read more »


Veterinary Research and zoonosis in the Indian Ocean islands

Lemurs are native only to Madagascar and the neighbouring Comoros Islands

Today marks the publication of a special article collection in Veterinary Research on the subject of zoonosis and parasitosis in the Indian Ocean islands. Zoonoses, infectious diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans, place a significant burden on public health. An estimated 60% of human pathogens are zoonotic in origin. The Indian Ocean islands,… Read more »


Beating cancer with epi-drugs

Pills – attributed to ParentingPatch

Written by Professor Lucia Altucci, Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli   It is becoming increasingly clear that cancer is not only a genetic but also an epigenetic disease. Improper deposition of epigenetic marks is one of the hallmarks of cancer and the notion that epigenetic modifications can be critically involved in the pathogenesis of… Read more »


Extreme environments – a new thematic series in EvoDevo

NK109_male on sand credit Martin Reichard

Whether it’s the darkness of underground waterways, the freezing chill of the arctic or the dry and dusty desert, humans have long held a fascination with environmental extremes and the creatures that inhabit these inhospitable surroundings. To find life in these most unlikely of places, without light, or warmth, or water is one of Earth’s… Read more »