Salmonella are food-borne pathogens that infect millions of people a year. To do so, these bacteria depend on a complex network of genes and gene products that allow them to sense environmental conditions. In a new paper, researchers have investigated the role of small RNAs that help Salmonella express their virulence genes.
In light of long-standing inequities in STEM representation, many universities are now recognizing the value of diversity in higher education. Achieving such diversity involves creating an inclusive campus that welcomes scholars from different backgrounds, not only to foster a healthy intellectual environment, but also to provide role models to aspiring students. Faculty cluster hiring is an emerging practice in higher education, involving cross-campus collaborations to hire faculty working on interdisciplinary research topics.
Bacteria employ many different strategies to regulate gene expression in response to fluctuating, often stressful, conditions in their environments. One type of regulation involves non-coding RNA molecules called small RNAs (sRNAs), which are found in all domains of life. A new study by researchers describes, for the first time, the impacts of sRNA interactions in individual bacterial cells. Their findings are reported in the journal Nature Communications, with the paper selected as an Editors’ highlight article.
A cell’s efforts to respond and adapt to its external environment rely on an elaborate yet coordinated set of molecular partnerships within. The more we learn about this complicated internal dance, the more we appreciate the flexibility of its roles. In a recent University of Illinois study, graduate student Muhammad Azam and Professor of Microbiology Cari Vanderpool have demonstrated that a protein typically assumed to support the functions of other molecules is actually able to assume a primary role itself.