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Monday, March 13, 2000

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Yahoo! Finance TIGR Researchers Report Complete Genome Sequence Of Neisseria Meningitidis B and its Use for Development Of Novel Men B Vaccine By Chiron
"Investigators at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) today announced that they have determined the complete genetic blueprint for Neisseria meningitidis, the primary causative agent of bacterial meningitis. Herve Tettelin led the team at TIGR that determined the order of all of the 2.27 million individual chemical base units making up N. meningitidis' DNA."

"In an accompanying paper, Chiron Corporation, which funded this work, also reported that it has used this detailed information on the microorganism's genetic structure to identify novel vaccine candidates against meningococcal disease. This is the first demonstration of the important role that genomics can play in the development of commercial products."
Science Complete Genome Sequence of Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup B Strain MC58
[summary - can be viewed for free once registered]
"The 2,272,351-base pair genome of Neisseria meningitidis strain MC58 (serogroup B), a causative agent of meningitis and septicemia, contains 2158 predicted coding regions, 1158 (53.7%) of which were assigned a biological role. Three major islands of horizontal DNA transfer were identified; two of these contain genes encoding proteins involved in pathogenicity, and the third island contains coding sequences only for hypothetical proteins. Insights into the commensal and virulence behavior of N. meningitidis can be gleaned from the genome, in which sequences for structural proteins of the pilus are clustered and several coding regions unique to serogroup B capsular polysaccharide synthesis can be identified. Finally, N. meningitidis contains more genes that undergo phase variation than any pathogen studied to date, a mechanism that controls their expression and contributes to the evasion of the host immune system.”

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Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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