Monday, 8 October 2012

Did you know that...

Halothane is a halogenated anesthetic agent that when inhaled can cause severe liver dysfunction. This anesthetic when irregularly administered most commonly result in fatal hepatotoxicity [1]. Halothane does not derive from ether as other common inhaling anaesthetics, instead it comes from alcanes.

The way forensics investigators usually discover that a person was killed prior to a fire being set in order to mascaraed the actual reason of the murder, is by checking the presence of smoke in the lungs of the corpse. A dead person would never breath in.

Airene et al (2003) hypothesized that a cloning system might be improved by adding to it a lethal gene straight into the donor plasmid. The adjacent product kills cells that are still harboring the donor vector and a natural selection will let only recombinant bacmids survive. This is a commonly used strategy applied in cloning for SacB gene encodes levansucrase. Levansucrase  catalyzes the hydrolysis of sucrose to then generate the lethal product levan. Levan is responsible for the killing of these cells when sucrose is actually present [2].

[1]. Subcommitee on the National Halothane Study of the Committee on Anesthesia, N. Summary of the national Halothane Study. Possible association between halothane anesthesia and postoperative hepatic necrosis. JAMA. Sep 5 1966;197(10):775-88. [Medline].

[2]. Airenne, K. J., Peltomaa, E., Hytonen, V. P., Laitinen, O. H., Yla-Herttuala (2003). "Improved generation of recombinant baculovirus genomes in Escherichia coli". Nucleic Acids Research, 31(17), pp. 01-06.

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