In this episode we hear about the cocktail party effect, the role of psuedogene RNA in the immune response, the genetic origins of a common form of blindness, the flu vaccine, and the origins of schistosomiasis.
Escherichia coli is surprisingly tolerant to chromatinization by archaeal histones, suggesting that histones can become established as ubiquitous chromatin proteins without interfering critically with some key DNA-templated processes.
Reconstruction of great auk population dynamics suggests that hunting pressure alone could have been responsible for their extinction, demonstrating that even abundant, widespread species can be vulnerable to intense exploitation.
Ancient proteomes from tiny shell ornaments were successfully characterised for the first time, showing the unexpected use of mother-of-pearl from local riverine molluscs in both coastal and inland prehistoric sites.
The pro-apoptotic BH3-protein Bim contains two distinct binding sites for anti-apoptotic proteins that together confer resistance of Bim/Bcl-2 and Bim/Bcl-XL complexes to BH3-mimetic drugs under development for use in humans.