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A fundamental concept in biology is that heritable material, DNA, is passed from parent to offspring, a process called vertical gene transfer. An alternative mechanism of gene acquisition is through horizontal gene transfer (HGT), which involves movement of genetic material between different species. HGT is well-known in single-celled organisms such as(More)
Anhydrobiotic engineering aims to increase the level of desiccation tolerance in sensitive organisms to that observed in true anhydrobiotes. In addition to a suitable extracellular drying excipient, a key factor for anhydrobiotic engineering of gram-negative enterobacteria seems to be the generation of high intracellular concentrations of the nonreducing(More)
When subjected to drought conditions, some organisms enter a state of suspended animation known as anhydrobiosis, surviving for indefinite periods until rehydration allows them to resume normal metabolism. We have identified a gene in the anhydrobiotic nematode Aphelenchus avenae that is upregulated in response to desiccation stress and whose encoded(More)
Understanding the formation and propagation of aggregates of the Alzheimer disease-associated Tau protein in vivo is vital for the development of therapeutics for this devastating disorder. Using our recently developed live-cell aggregation sensor in neuron-like cells, we demonstrate that different variants of exogenous monomeric Tau, namely full-length Tau(More)
The fragile site FRA11B has been localized to the p(CCG)n repeat of the CBL2 proto-oncogene. A proportion of Jacobsen (11q-) syndrome patients inherited a chromosome carrying a CBL2 p(CCG)n expansion, which was truncated close to FRA11B. These results have broad implications for the role of p(CCG)n repeat expansion in the aetiology of genetic disease(More)
Bdelloid rotifers are microinvertebrates with unique characteristics: they have survived tens of millions of years without sexual reproduction; they withstand extreme desiccation by undergoing anhydrobiosis; and they tolerate very high levels of ionizing radiation. Recent evidence suggests that subtelomeric regions of the bdelloid genome contain sequences(More)
Theory suggests it should be difficult for asexual organisms to adapt to a changing environment because genetic diversity can only arise from mutations accumulating within direct antecedents and not through sexual exchange. In an asexual microinvertebrate, the bdelloid rotifer, we have observed a mechanism by which such organisms could acquire the diversity(More)
BACKGROUND Some organisms can survive extreme desiccation by entering a state of suspended animation known as anhydrobiosis. The free-living mycophagous nematode Aphelenchus avenae can be induced to enter anhydrobiosis by pre-exposure to moderate reductions in relative humidity (RH) prior to extreme desiccation. This preconditioning phase is thought to(More)
Immune systems of vertebrates function via two types of effector cells, B and T cells, which are capable of antigen-specific recognition. The immunoglobulins, which serve as antigen receptors on B cells, have been well characterized with respect to gene structure, unlike the T-cell receptors. Recently, cDNA clones thought to correspond to the beta-chain(More)
Although prevalent in prokaryotes, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is rarer in multicellular eukaryotes. Bdelloid rotifers are microscopic animals that contain a higher proportion of horizontally transferred, non-metazoan genes in their genomes than typical of animals. It has been hypothesized that bdelloids incorporate foreign DNA when they repair their(More)