The Scientist - "Decoding Bacterial Methylomes"

 – May 15, 2013  –– 

Scientists are now beginning to uncover another layer of information that appears to be critical for understanding—and maybe controlling—bacterial pathogenicity: epigenetic modifications. In the midst of the 2011 e. coli outbreak in Germany that killed more than 50 people, Dr. Eric Schadt, director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and former chief scientific officer of PacBio, rapidly sequenced the dangerous bacteria using the PacBio sequencer. His team–along with other groups that were also sequencing the bacterium–discovered that it had acquired a Shiga toxin from a phage that could mostly explain the microbe’s increased virulence. Learn more