Navigation Links
Of lice and man: Researchers sequence human body louse genome

They make you itch and they are hard to find but scientists have got the body louse well and truly in their sights.

A multi-institutional team has recently sequenced the body louse genome, an achievement that will yield new insights into louse and human biology and evolution. The body louse genome is the smallest known genome of any insect, said University of Illinois entomology Professor Barry Pittendrigh),who led the drive to fund the project and coordinated the international team of scientists who analysed the sequence.

Australian team member, Dr Stephen Cameron from CSIRO Entomology is researching the gene that is responsible for body lice responding to their environment.

"Lice have a simple life either in your hair or on your body with blood as their food. So most of the genes responsible for sensing their environment have been reduced," Dr Cameron said.

"One gene in particular is responsible for normal cell maintenance and in the body louse this gene is missing. This can give valuable insights into diseases and human ageing."

John Clark, of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Si Hyeock Lee, of Seoul National University, led the analysis of the enzymes of the louse and found that lice have the smallest number of detoxification enzymes observed in any insect.

The body louse's pared-down list of detoxifying enzymes makes it an attractive organism for the study of resistance to insecticides or other types of chemical defense, Professor Pittendrigh said. University of Illinois entomology Professor and department head May Berenbaum and former graduate student Reed Johnson contributed to this effort.

The body louse is also known to transmit lethal diseases such as typhus whereas its close relative, the head louse, does not. This study is helping explain the differences between these two insects as to which genes are involved in transmitting disease.

Other work that the team was involved in included sequencing the genome of a microbe that lives in the body louse gut. This research revealed that the body louse is not just dependant on humans for survival but also a particular bacteria which aids in the production of an essential nutrient.

This will make the body louse a useful tool for understanding co-evolution of disease carrying parasites and their bacterial co-conspirators.


Contact: Julie Carter
CSIRO Australia

Related medicine news :

1. AcademyHealth honors leading health services researchers
2. UCLA researchers, US military collaborate to open center for traumatic brain injury
3. UCSD researchers receive $2.5 million in new stem cell grants
4. Researchers find key to getting estrogens benefits without cancer risk
5. Mount Sinai researchers find structural basis for incidence of skin cancers in a genetic disorder
6. WSU researchers find mothers of children with autism pay price in workplace
7. Free Resources from EBSCO Publishing Providing Useful Information to Researchers
8. University of Utah researchers fight genetic killer of infants and toddlers
9. Researchers identify key enzyme in melanoma cell development
10. Researchers predict human visual attention using computer intelligence for the first time
11. Montreal researchers shed light on common juvenile cancer
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Of lice and man: Researchers sequence human body louse genome
(Date:6/25/2016)... Long Beach, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... from UCLA with Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School ... San Diego and returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of ... recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work ... Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 on E ... goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo not ... as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills Physicians ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Marne, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... awareness about the dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, ... for individuals who are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned ... receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and ... by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Capricor Therapeutics, ... a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development ... patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical ... 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the ... quarter of 2016, and to report top line ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the future ... today online at by the Diabetes ... stand in the way of academic and community service ... scholarship program since 2012, and continues to advocate for ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 The vast majority of dialysis patients ... Treatments are usually 3 times a week, with treatment ... travel time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen ... for patients who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly ... rehabilitation centers for some duration of time. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: