Fundamental bioscience news
New insight into methanotrophs, bacteria that can oxidise methane, may help us develop an array of biotechnological applications that exploit methane and protect our environment from this potent greenhouse gas. Publishing in Nature, scientists led by Newcastle University have provided new understanding of how methanotrophs are able to use large quantities of copper for methane oxidation.
Scientists at the John Innes Centre have discovered that Euglena gracilis, the single cell algae which inhabits most garden ponds, has a whole host of new, unclassified genes which can make new forms of carbohydrates and natural products. Even with the latest technologies, sequencing all the DNA in Euglena remains a complex and longwinded undertaking.
Scientists have found a way to ‘switch’ the structure of DNA using copper salts and EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) – an agent commonly found in shampoo and other household products. It was previously known that the structure of a piece of DNA could be changed using acid, which cause it to fold up into what is known as an ‘i-motif’.