Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Ants, Bacteria, and Fungi. Oh, My

Emory University, Joint Genome Institute, and University of Wisconsin scientists plan to sequence 17 genomes — a variety of ants, bacteria, and fungi — with the goal of discovering new ways of making biofuels. In the rainforest there is a symbiotic relationship among ants, bacteria, and fungi. Leaf cutter ants bring pieces of leaves back to their nests, where fungi break the leaves down. The ants then use the sugar for food and carry the remaining parts of the leaves back outside where bacteria continue to work on breaking down the leaves. This process, says the Discovery News article, gets the most energy out of the leaves as possible. "Locked inside the community genome could be clues that could eventually lead scientists to new enzymes or techniques that could enable humans to produce biofuels more efficiently," the article says.

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.