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His Plague Work Goes On

Malcolm Casadaban, a researcher at the University of Chicago, died last week, reports the Chicago Tribune. A cause of death was not immediately obvious, though he was exposed to a weakened form of the plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Casadaban studied the federally-approved version of organism to develop a stronger vaccine against the bacterium. Ken Alexander, the chief of pediatric infectious disease at the medical center, says that the risk of an outbreak from this is very low and that there likely was something about Casadaban that made him more susceptible to infection. "As colleagues, we all feel we owe it to this man to find out what was different about him," Alexander says to the Tribune. "Given his field of research, I think that's what he would have wanted."

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.