Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lateral Thinking Produces First Map Of Gene Transmission

Date:
November 11, 2005
Source:
University of Queensland
Summary:
A University of Queensland (UQ) study mapping the evolution of genes has shed light on the role of gene transfer in bacterial diseases. The study, published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, was conducted by three scientists at UQ's Institute for Molecular Bioscience.

A University of Queensland study mapping the evolution of genes has shed light on the role of gene transfer in bacterial diseases.

The study, published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, was conducted by three scientists at UQ's Institute for Molecular Bioscience.

Dr Robert Beiko, Professor Mark Ragan and Mr Timothy Harlow examined the genomes of 144 species of bacteria, in an effort to map how genes are shared between bacteria.

The study highlights lateral genetic transfer – a process where genes are transferred between organisms that aren't directly related.

The map has traced the paths of lateral gene transfer, from the bacteria that donated the genes to the ones that received them.

Their results clearly show genetic modification of organisms by lateral transfer is a widespread natural phenomenon, and it can occur even between distantly related organisms, although particularly those which live in a similar environment.

The discovery that lateral transfer is so widespread shows how disease-causing bacteria can quickly become resistant to treatment: a bacterium with genes that confer drug resistance can, through lateral transfer, rapidly spread them to other bacteria, instead of just to their own offspring.

From the early days of the science of genetics, it was assumed that transfer of genes could only be vertical, i.e. from parents to offspring.

But more recently, scientists have become aware of lateral genetic transfer, which occurs in bacteria through methods such as bacterial viruses and direct contact between cells.

“The idea of lateral genetic transfer has been around for a few years, but what was missing was a good, hard, rigorous look at it,” Professor Ragan said.

“Previous studies have either been small scale, or used statistical shortcut methods.”

The study is believed to be the largest biologically inspired computation carried out in Australia, with over 500, 000 hours of computing.

The scientists used the national supercomputing facility of the Australian Partnership in Advanced Computing.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Queensland. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Queensland. "Lateral Thinking Produces First Map Of Gene Transmission." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051111103519.htm>.
University of Queensland. (2005, November 11). Lateral Thinking Produces First Map Of Gene Transmission. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051111103519.htm
University of Queensland. "Lateral Thinking Produces First Map Of Gene Transmission." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051111103519.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins