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Genetic Logic

Researchers led by Imperial College London's Martin Buck report in Nature Communications their construction of a novel modular and orthogonal AND gate in E. coli using a Pseudomonas syringae module. This, says Gunnar De Winter at the Curious Cub, is another step toward a biological computer. "In short, environmental signals can bind to promoters and result in the activation of two genes, hrpR and hrpS. When the products of both genes are present, they bind to the activator sequence of another gene. The result of this is that a closed transcription complex is remodeled into an open one, leading to the transcription of the third involved gene, which is a reporter gene (gfp) that enables the researchers to see that their inputs result in the desired output," De Winter says.

The Scan

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.

Study Points to Benefits of Local Consolidative Therapy, Targeted Treatments in Cancer Care

In JCO Precision Oncology, researchers report that local consolidative therapy combined with molecularly targeted treatments could improve survival for some lung cancer patients.

Genetic Variants That Lower LDL Cholesterol Linked to Reduced Heart Disease Risk

Rare variants in two genes that lower LDL cholesterol are also associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease, according to a new JAMA Cardiology study.

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.