Progress, and Applications
of the Human Genome Project
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ANL's Advanced Photon Source Illuminates Ribosomal Activities
Using the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) to gain a detailed picture of ribosomal function, a team from the U.K. Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) has developed insights into how ribosomes manufacture proteins from amino acids to the exact specification of genes on DNA. Led by LMB head Venki Ramakrishnan, the team published its work in Science on May 4 [J. M. Ogle et al., Science 292(5518), 897 902].
Such information aids in understanding not only how antibiotics work but also the basis of certain kinds of resistance. If an antibiotic could induce a ribosome to make a "mistake" and add the wrong amino acid onto the protein chain, for example, such incorrectly made proteins would not function. If this happened in bacteria during development, they would be rendered ineffective. Ramakrishnan stated that pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies are keenly interested in such studies because of their potential usefulness in the design of new antibiotics that can overcome the growing problem of resistance.
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Last modified: Wednesday, October 29, 2003
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