A Code by Any Other Name

IJMS Logo

Advances in next generation sequencing technologies, particularly RNA-seq, have revealed an unexpectedly large extent of human genome transcription, estimated between 60-90%, and propelled the rapidly growing field of transcriptomics. Since protein-coding genes account for less than 3% of the human genome (numbering about 20,000, or half that of Oryza sativa (rice), and about the same as the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans), there is an unsurprising and burgeoning interest in understanding the possible functions of the vast numbers of noncoding transcripts (ncRNAs). Continue reading

Toxic Relationships with Heavy Metals

IJMS Logo

Chlorinated organic solvents, manufactured in large quantities and widely used in industry for degreasing fats and resins, are among the most prevalent organic pollutants that contaminate groundwater and subsurface soils. Spills and leakages of these compounds in areas with heavy metal contamination have caused difficult to eradicate toxic sites since heavy metals can interfere with the enzymatic and metabolic activities involved in biodegradation of these organic pollutants; the presence of the two types of contaminants at one site thus causes a synergistic negative effect. Continue reading