New Genetics and Microbiology Resources Published at ScienceIndex.com

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The Genetics and Microbiology Sciences are two of the key categories covered by the Sciences Social network ScienceIndex.com. The users of the website monitor nearly 190 scientific journals publishing in these two disciplines. ScienceIndex.com was established in 1998 to index the very latest news, headlines, references and resources from science journals, books and websites worldwide. The site covers news in all fields of biology, business, chemistry, engineering, geography, health, mathematics and society.

ScienceIndex.com is a Web 2.0 sciences social network established in 1998 to index the very latest news, headlines, references and resources from science journals, books and websites worldwide. The site covers news in all fields of biology, business, chemistry, engineering, geography, health, mathematics and society. ScienceIndex.com currently contains over 1.3 million stories distributed among 75 categories. Over 75,100 users monitor nearly 8,200 journals covering the broad spectrum of sciences. They share circa 2,500 new articles every day. Since new science content is discovered in real-time, the delay between original publication and appearance at ScienceIndex.com is no more than two days.

ScienceIndex.com's Biology Category covers life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, and distribution. Besides Genetics and Microbiology, its ten subsections include Ecology, Environment, Agriculture, Forestry, Anatomy, Biotechnology, Physiology and Zoology. This category currently contains 77,600 stories partly derived from 400 science journals publishing in these two disciplines.

ScienceIndex.com's Genetics Sciences Category deals with the genetic composition of populations during successive generations, natural selection, genetic variation among individuals, and development of new species. It currently contains over 20,000 articles partly deriving from over 110 scientific genetics journals. One of the latest additions shows that derivation of new human embryonic stem cell lines reveals rapid epigenetic progression in vitro that can be prevented by chemical modification of chromatin. This research is based on the fact that human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are pluripotent cell types derived from the inner cell mass of human blastocysts. For recovering nuclei with two active X chromosomes (class I), the authors developed a reprogramming strategy by supplementing hESC media with the small molecules sodium butyrate and 3-deazaneplanocin A (DZNep). Their results demonstrate that self-renewal and survival of class I nuclei are compatible with normoxic hESC derivation, and that chemical supplementation after derivation provides a strategy to prevent epigenetic progression and retain nuclei with two active X chromosomes in the self-renewing state. Another recently included article covers gene-gene interactions in breast cancer susceptibility. Since there have only been few definitive examples of gene–gene interactions in humans the authors report four interactions defined as departures from a multiplicative model between mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility genes ATM and CHEK2 with BRCA1 and BRCA2. They conclude that the interactions are such that the resultant risk of breast cancer is lower than the multiplicative product of the constituent risks, and plausibly reflect the functional relationships of the encoded proteins in DNA repair. Their findings may have important implications for models of disease predisposition and clinical translation.

ScienceIndex.com's Microbiology Sciences Category covers microorganisms and their effects on other living organisms. One recent article in this category covers the combined use of whole-cell protein extracts for the identification (SDS-PAGE) and enzyme activity screening of lactic acid bacteria isolated from traditional Greek dairy products. The authors examined 148 strains of lactic acid bacteria from the ACA-DC Collection which were isolated from traditional Greek dairy products such as yogurt and cheese. The lactic acid bacteria were then assigned to the genera Enterococcus, Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Leuconostoc and Streptococcus. With only a few exceptions, all partially characterized strains were identified to (sub-)species level. For quickly revealing characteristics which could be important for their use as starter cultures in dairy fermentations, the authors show that the bacterial cell-free protein extracts could simultaneously be screened for peptidase and esterase activities using synthetic substrates. Another article in this subcategory is based upon a study of starvation-survival processes of the bacterial fish pathogen Yersinia ruckeri. While the fish pathogen survived for more than three months in river, lake and estuary environments, the three strains showed similar survival dynamics, regardless of their origin or serotype. The results of this study demonstrate that Yersinia ruckeri may undergo a dormant state under certain starvation conditions. Such dormant cells were easily resuscitated by addition of fresh medium to the microcosms, showing the resuscitated cells levels of metabolic activity and plate counts similar to those seen prior the start of the experiment. The authors also demonstrate maintenance of virulence during the non-culturability state.

ScienceIndex.com's content is divided into "Popular" and "Upcoming" sections. While content in the "Upcoming" section is rarely older than a few minutes, the "Popular" section contains approved articles approved between 20 to 60 minutes after submission by users. All articles can easily be bookmarked with the AddThis Sharing tools which include the Google+1 button. The website provides an advanced search feature which suggests up to ten closely related articles for a search and also for a selected story. The latter list is sorted primarily by relevancy and secondarily by publishing date. This helps users compiling lists of related references for literature retrieval purposes.

Other features include a ScienceIndex.com "Life Traffic Feed" which is helpful in watching the online traffic in real-time and a "Top Content" sidebar which includes the most actively read and shared articles available on the site. The included Google Translate gadget supports translating ScienceIndex.com's content into over fifty languages.

ScienceIndex.com offers users to stay updated with the latest inclusions and news in their favorite science topics by subscribing to one or more of the seventy-five RSS feeds which are available for every category. ScienceIndex.com also maintains the new Twitter account @ScienceIndex_ for improving public exposure and inform their users about the latest developments in the sciences.

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George Maine
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