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Obelisks

Obelisks mind map
Recent News
New Discovery
In Human Gut Microbes
Virus-Like Entities
When
Discovery Announced
January 2024
Why
Scientific Research
Investigating Human Microbiome
What
Characteristics
Circular RNA Genomes
Resemble Rod-Like Structures
Genetic Material
1,000 Bases Long
Novel Protein Superfamily
Called Oblins
No Sequence or Structural Similarity
To Known Biological Agents
Found All Over the World
In Various Microbiomes
Where
Locations in Human Body
Human Gut
Human Mouth
Who
Researchers Involved
Team at Stanford University
Cell and Developmental Biologist Mark Peifer
Biochemist Ivan Zheludev
Organisms Hosting Obelisks
Streptococcus Sanguinis
How
Methodology
Trawling through Genetic Sequences
Analyzed Over 5 Million Datasets
Found in 7% of Stool Samples
Found in 50% of Oral Samples
Significance
Uncovering Unknown Microbial Life
Deepens Understanding of Microbiome
Challenges
Uncertain Function
Unclear Role in Human Health
Research Yet to be Peer-Reviewed
Way Forward
Further Studies Needed
To Determine Functions
To Explore Health Impacts

The recent discovery of “Obelisks,” a new class of virus-like entities, has brought significant attention in the scientific community. Found within the human gut and mouth, these entities feature unique circular RNA genomes and are unlike any known biological agents. They were identified by researchers who analyzed over 5 million genetic datasets, finding their presence in 7% of stool samples and 50% of oral samples worldwide. Named after their rod-like structure resembling ancient monuments, obelisks contain genes for a novel protein superfamily called “Oblins.” Despite their widespread presence and intriguing nature, their function and impact on human health remain largely unknown, marking an exciting yet challenging frontier in microbiome research.

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