Missing Evolutionary Link -how RNA progressed to share functions with proteins

Alan Lambowitz, director of The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology and Senior researcher Paul Paukstelis and his team has found the missing links in evolution of life from the simple to the complex and involvement of RNA.

By crystallizing a fungus the team of researchers were able to visualize the process of moving from RNA to RNA and proteins and then to DNA.

The crystal structure provides a snapshot of how, during evolution, protein molecules came to assist RNA molecules in their biological functions and ultimately assumed roles previously played by RNA quoted by Purdue structural biologist Barbara Golden

The study is published at January edition of Nature

Alternative for Smallpox vaccine

University of California, Irvine researchers  Philip Felgner and Huw Davies with the Department of Medicine found that the modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) produced the same antiviral response in human and animal studies as the current smallpox vaccine Dryvax.

Smallpox was declared eradicated worldwide in 1980; the last naturally occurring case in the world was in Somalia in 1977. and last I heard of it was when I watched the zombie movie I am Legend  last year,

In the study, Researchers applied blood serum samples taken from both humans and animals to microarray chips containing more than 200 vaccinia virus proteins, on which they simultaneously studied how the serum antibodies responded to all the vaccinia proteins

Details are on the UCI website press release 

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