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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Zit bacteria named for Frank Zappa

By Geoffrey Mohan



Genre bending iconoclast returns without pay or royalties and unwelcome 'audience'


JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) The late Frank Zappa is back for an encore, this time as a formerly pimple-causing bacterium that apparently has moved from human skin to the bark of grape vines.


Italian researchers named the new type of P. acnes after the genre bending and iconoclastic Zappa, whose surname in Italy also means "hoe," a nod to the agrarian roots of the wine-related institute where the discovery was made.


"This is the first time it's been found that a microorganism can switch from a human to a plant," said microbiologist and ardent Zappa fan Andrea Campisano of the Edmund Mach Foundation, lead author of the study published Tuesday in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.


Campisano said he played Zappa's music regularly and kept a quote from the rock musician displayed on his computer screen in the laboratory: "If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television then you deserve it."


So, when the researchers detected the DNA of a bacterium in grape vine cells that looked suspiciously like that of a common human acne bug, they didn't toss it out as a contaminated sample, according to co-author Omar Rota-Stabelli, an evolutionary microbiologist at the foundation. They followed their muse, who once said he made a living by drawing dots on paper and connecting them.


Rota-Stabelli used a "molecular clock" analysis, based on rates of DNA mutation, to estimate when "P. acnes Zappae" might have made its leap from finger to vine.


"It turns out that the most probable date is about 7,000 years ago, which is when we estimate that we started cultivating grape vines," said Campisano. "Probably as soon as humans started to touch this plant, this bug that used to live on human skin found a very hospitable environment inside the cells of the grape vine."


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Comfortably ensconced in bark tissue and pith, the bacterium does not appear to harm the grape vines. Researchers believe it simply changed its appetite from human fatty acids to those of plant cells. In fact, it has adapted so well it cannot grow on human skin, according to the study.


"It has extensively restructured its genome and DNA and it's now unable to go back to its earlier, human-associated form," said Campisano.


And that's a state of being that Frank Zappa probably would appreciate.

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© 2014, Los Angeles Times Distributed by MCT Information Services



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