Despite the negative effects too much blood cholesterol has to cardiovascular health, this compound plays critical roles in living systems, including as a precursor to steroid hormones, and in developmental signaling, and control of membrane fluidity.
(E. Scotti, C. Hong, Y. Yoshinaga, Y. Tu, Y. Hu, N. Zelccer, R. Boyadjian, P.J. de Jong, S.G. Young, L.G. Fong, and P. Tontonoz, 2011. Targeted disruption of the idol gene alters cellular regulation of the low-density lipoprotein receptor by sterols and liver X receptor agonists. Mol. Cell. Biol. 31:1885-1893.)
Boston Researchers Identify New Dental Cavity-Causing Species
A team of scientists from Boston has confirmed that the bacterium Streptococcus mutans is a primary culprit in early childhood caries (EEC) cavities on the first set of teeth, and has identified a new species of bacterium, Scardovia wiggsiae, which they suspect is also a major contributor. They report their findings in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.
The study's ultimate goal was to determine which bacterial species should be suppressed "to prevent cavity formation," says Anne Tanner, of the Forsyth Institute, Cambridge, MA. EEC is the most common chronic infectious disease of childhood in the US. It afflicts one quarter of the relevant population, and more than one half among certain disadvantaged socioeconomic groups.
In this study, the researchers compared the bacterial populations in samples of dental plaque taken from deep cavities in afflicted children, with plaque from matched sites in cavity-free children. They identified species using 16S ribosomal RNA (16
|Contact: Jim Sliwa|
American Society for Microbiology